"But what about those of us who can't meditate as much as that?" I wondered, when I read about that research. Thinking of my own life as well as the lifestyles of most of my readers, we may get to a point (or have been there for a while) where we meditate regularly, but we may never reach buddhist monk-caliber meditation practices. I started wondering about "people like us."
And so, apparently, did Dr. Kristina Zaleski, of Northcentral University. She in fact studied people a lot like you and me: people who visited online websites (hello!) and meditated regularly--or didn't. Here are the specifics of the study:
- This study surveyed 118 participants in healthy populations (those without self-reported psychopathology), and examined differences between those who meditated regularly and those who did not. Each of the 59 regular meditators and the 59 non-meditators completed three online surveys: the Satisfaction With Life Scale, The Compassion Love for Humanity Scale, and the Perceived Stress Scale. Results showed that those who meditate regularly were significantly more satisfied with life than those who didn't, as well as more compassionate and less stressed.
If this inspires you to get started with meditation, here are some resources to help you do so:
- Meditation Techniques for Relaxation
- Benefits of Mindfulness for Health and Stress Relief
- Meditation Tips for Perfectionists
Do you have any experience with meditation? What's helped you to get started? Share your thoughts in the comments section, if you'd like, and feel free to visit the Facebook Page About Stress Management for more discussions and regular information on stress management.
Zaleski, Katrina, Ph.D. (2010). Examining the effectiveness of meditation on well being in subjects without any self-reported psychopathology. Proquest. (UMI No. AAT: 3436602) Retrieved January 22, 2011, from Proquest.