According to a new study, meditation can create large and rapid drops in anxiety, depression, and many other psychological symptoms. This method can simultaneously raise levels of happiness and other positive emotional states.
This recent research study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, the leading journal in the psychology field, observed participants using a recently developed method called EcoMeditation. EcoMeditation combines several scientifically authenticated methods into a brief and simple routine. Its components include mindfulness, neurofeedback, heart coherence training, acupressure, and self-hypnosis. It is designed to be simple for novices to not only learn but excel in quite quickly. Instead of requiring people to still their minds, which most novice meditators find difficult, EcoMeditation uses physiological cues, such as slowing the breath and relaxing specific muscles, to enter elevated emotional states.
A randomized controlled trial that used MRI to examine brain function in people using EcoMeditation found that this method also produces functional changes in the brain within 30 days. Brain regions associated with suffering showed a reduction in activity, while those that process positive emotions like compassion, happiness, and gratitude increased in activity. This demonstrated that EcoMeditation not only produces improvements in mental health, but also physical changes in the brain.
After a one-day EcoMeditation workshop, participants’ anxiety dropped by a significant 42%, and depression by 38%. This type of large and rapid symptom decline rarely occurs in psychological and mental health studies. At three-month follow-up, investigators found that participant improvements were maintained over time. The results were “statistically significant,” a research term indicating that there was only a one-in-twenty possibility that the results were due to chance. This new type of meditation demonstrated promising results for those looking for effective mental health treatments.
According to lead investigator and originator of this method, Dawson Church, head of the National Institute for Integrative Healthcare, EcoMeditation is effective because it uses physical rather than mental methods.
Church states, “Those who try EcoMeditation tend to stick with it, because they feel immediate shifts in their bodies the first time they use it.” In another study, EEG expert Judith Pennington found that, “EcoMeditation facilitated participants’ ability to induce and sustain the alpha brain waves characteristic of high-level emotional, mental, and spiritual integration.”
This may explain the positive long term results of this mental health study. At the three-month follow-up period, 71% of study participants continued to experience increased happiness and “flow” states of energized focus. Several other studies have also found positive effects from the EcoMeditation method, including reduced blood pressure and cortisol levels.
The World Health Organization has measured a 25% global increase in the mental health issues of anxiety and depression since the start of the 2020 pandemic. This makes therapeutic methods like EcoMeditation, which do not involve drugs or side effects, a useful alternative to conventional treatments.
EcoMeditation is attracting increasing attention from people looking for a simple but effective method. Its combination of immediate results with long-term improvements holds promise for the treatment of mental health issues. To learn more about EcoMeditation, and try it yourself, visit the EcoMeditation page HERE.
For full text of study, see: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.907846/full