Here are some key quotes:
"Meditating can have an almost instant effect on reducing stress, researchers have found.
For the study, Creswell and his research team had 66 healthy individuals aged 18-30 years old participate in a three-day experiment. Some participants went through a brief mindfulness meditation training program; for 25 minutes for three consecutive days, the individuals were given breathing exercises to help them monitor their breath and pay attention to their present moment experiences. Published in the journal 'Psychoneuroendocrinology,' the study investigates how mindfulness meditation affects people's ability to be resilient under stress.
Each individual reported their stress levels in response to stressful speech and math performance stress tasks, and provided saliva samples for measurement of cortisol, commonly referred to as the stress hormone. The participants who received the brief mindfulness meditation training reported reduced stress perceptions to the speech and math tasks, indicating that the mindfulness meditation fostered psychological stress resilience. More interestingly, on the biological side, the mindfulness meditation participants showed greater cortisol reactivity.
'When you initially learn mindfulness mediation practices, you have to cognitively work at it — especially during a stressful task,' said Creswell. 'And, these active cognitive efforts may result in the task feeling less stressful, but they may also have physiological costs with higher cortisol production." Creswell's group is now testing the possibility that mindfulness can become more automatic and easy to use with long-term mindfulness meditation training, which may result in reduced cortisol reactivity."