In one of the most thoroughly designed studies of meditation ever published, full-time workers who used Sahaja Yoga meditation became much less stressed and depressed compared to more conventional approaches to relaxation or even placebo, according to a paper published this week in the online journal Evidence Based Complementary Medicine, a leading publication in its field.
A team of researchers, at Sydney University’s Meditation Research Programme, monitored stress levels of full-time Australian workers in Sydney’s CBD to determine the effectiveness of meditation in combating this widespread and expensive problem.
The 8 week clinical trial provides strong evidence that there are measurable, practical and clinically relevant effects that appear to be specific to Sahaja Yoga meditation.
The study divided volunteers into three groups. And those who used Sahaja Yoga meditation showed significant reduction in their stress levels compared to those who used other methods of meditation that didn’t involve thoughtless awareness, which usually only generate a placebo effect at best.
It’s one of only a few meditation studies in the world that clearly demonstrates an effect that is much greater than just placebo hence it has broad and important implications for all levels of society.
Work stress is described by many experts as a modern epidemic. It costs the Australian economy $15 billion per year and the US economy more than $300 billion. It is a leading cause of absenteeism, causing both mental health problems such as anxiety and physical problems such as heart disease. Sahaja Yoga can now be confidently put forward as a simple, low cost intervention that can help prevent this.
The strategies currently available to tackle work stress often have limited effectiveness. This is where this study is remarkably relevant. It shows that a simple, mental silence orientated meditation skill, reduces stress significantly more than other often more expensive approaches to stress management.
Another remarkable aspect of the study was the impact on depressive mood. Depression is a major problem in our society, so any low cost intervention that reduces the risk of depression is of great public health significance. This study, along with the evidence from other research that we have done, indicates that strategies such as Sahaja Yoga should be used to prevent some of the major mental health problems that are facing our community.
A substantial proportion of depression in the community starts as works stress, says recent Australian research. Given the shortage of other options to prevent the mental health epidemic that threatens the younger generation, we should seriously examine the potential of this unique finding to stem the tide of depression that affects our communities.
Stress is not just limited to the workplace. In western countries, studies estimate that more than 70% of medical consultations feature stress as a major issue. Until now medical practitioners have been at a loss to know what to recommend that is safe, effective and scientifically evaluated to tackle this stress. This study clearly says that Sahaja Yoga is something that health professionals can confidently recommend to both prevent and reduce stress.
To see the research article go to: Sahaja Yoga Meditation research.
Pingback: Sahaja Yoga Medytacja – efektywna metoda w leczeniu depresji oraz stresu | Sahaja Yoga
Great article –
Through tracking brain activity, researchers have found when the activity in the Left Prefrontal Cortex (LPC) is higher than in the Right Prefrontal Cortex (RPC) – people feel alert, energized, enthusiastic, joyous, enjoy life more, and are happier. When the activity in the RPC is higher than in the LPC – people worry and are anxious and sad. If the activity in the RPC cortex is much greater than the LPC, people are prone to depression.
Meditation has been proven to stimulate the use of the LPC.
I suffer from depression and meditate everyday. My blog talks about combining spirituality and psychiatry. It is exciting to hear the latest research which backs up the fact that meditation is effective in treating depression. I have heard of the changes it makes to the amygdala which is fascinating. Thank you!
how long did the study last and how much time was spent on meditation each day before the reduction of stress was measurable thank you for your work
use ful to my research
I think there are now a substantial number of studies particularly in the US that have shown the positive effects of meditation in the workplace. I cannot understand why we do not adapt it far more than we do into our western culture.
Very happy to come across this, I have been going through NCCAM and looking for more sources regarding the validity of meditation as a stress relief method, nice to see a Doctor blogging about the benefits. One of the other reasons I was drawn to this is due to the fact that I was living in Syndey a while back, semingly half the people living in Sydney believed that stress was just a part of life, the other half felt that there had to be a better way of doing things. Yet very few had ever considered meditation. Things are shifting now, at least in my experience, though we still seem a way off from wide acceptence and integration of meditative practice as a daily part of life. Keep up the good work, with Doctors like yourself doing this work we shift closer to that point every day! Thanks.
This is an excellent and highly enlightening article on the wonderful and unique benefits of meditation for both depression and stress relief. Thank you for sharing, and I know it is going to help those in need.
I have been practicing Sahaja Yoga for past three years. Have you come across any research articles comparing different meditation techniques? If yes could you please be share the link?
The article is very useful for researcher who wish to work for finding solution for stress related decease