Short-term meditation improves attention and self-regulation

Abstract:
Recent studies suggest that months to years of intensive and
systematic meditation training can improve attention. However,
the lengthy training required has made it difficult to use random
assignment of participants to conditions to confirm these findings.
This article shows that a group randomly assigned to 5 days of
meditation practice with the integrative body–mind training
method shows significantly better attention and control of stress
than a similarly chosen control group given relaxation training. The
training method comes from traditional Chinese medicine and
incorporates aspects of other meditation and mindfulness training.
Compared with the control group, the experimental group of 40
undergraduate Chinese students given 5 days of 20-min integrative
training showed greater improvement in conflict scores on the
Attention Network Test, lower anxiety, depression, anger, and
fatigue, and higher vigor on the Profile of Mood States scale, a
significant decrease in stress-related cortisol, and an increase in
immunoreactivity. These results provide a convenient method for
studying the influence of meditation training by using experimental
and control methods similar to those used to test drugs or other
interventions.

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Short-term meditation improves attention and self-regulation

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