News / Utah / 
Studies Showing Meditation Helps Stress

Studies Showing Meditation Helps Stress

Posted - Dec. 22, 2004 at 9:33 p.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Ed Yeates reporting People, tired of the world "screaming" at them all the time, have banded together for a different kind of social activity.

It's catching on across the country, with backing from major research groups.

Outside this window, the "clatter" of a world goes on. But inside these walls, it's blocked out, if only for a moment.

"Okay, so we'll go ahead with our group meditation and we'll meditate for 20 minutes"

In a Salt Lake home, people gather, not to have a party, not to eat or socialize necessarily -- but to close their eyes in complete silence. What's it all about?

Randall Tolpinrud: "We sit down, we close our eyes, and then we introduce a mental technique where the mind begins to settle down to a quieter and quieter level of thinking."

There's no particular trick to it - newcomers find it easy to do. Though Transcendental Meditation has been around a long time , now a mixed generation - young and old - seems to be embracing the technique to counter what it calls stressful times.

Mary Lou Coleman: "It's such a charming experience to just sit quietly - to experience this deepest state of quiet and the stillness that exists - you know - when all the world around you can be screaming - there is this beautiful quiet, and i so love going there."

Going there, individually, in their own homes twice a day - or in an evening group session such as this.

Kris Meecham: "You do feel, whatever this is, and it's a mystery to me. But you do feel that - when you are in the presence of people who are actively engaged in meditating."

ElIiot Hulet: "You give the body deep rest. It gets rid of stress, fatigue - you're able to think more clearly."

Tom Coleman: "The stresses are there. You can't get away from the stresses. But the impact on the nervous system is less."

Research groups apparently agree, coming on board with studies funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The American Journals of Hypertension and Cardiology, the Journal - Stroke, The New England Journal of Medicine - all publishing studies.

The most recent by the The American Heart Association shows heart and artery health improved 69 percent in test groups trained to practice a consistent technique for meditation.

Earlier this year, randomized studies in a Detroit middle school showed scheduled meditation breaks reduced not only stress but verbal and physical aggression between students.

"It relaxes you and then you're just good to go"

Textbooks, in many high schools, now talk about it as one more ingredient in a recipe for overall fitness.

James Shields: "Like okay, I'm taking a psychology class right now and we just finished a chapter on stress and health - and one of the things that they recommend - there was a whole chapter on it - was to meditate."

Meditation without - necessarily - a religious label!

Most folks embracing it now simply find this mind body connection refreshing, relaxing - a comfortable way to find peace with themselves and others in neighborhoods surrounded by a high-speed, racing world.

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast