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How Long Do I Need to Meditate?

Study on nurses reveals significant benefits in as little as four weeks practicing 30 minutes a day

One of the most common fears people have around starting a mindfulness practice is: how can I make time for this in my already packed schedule ?

Most people struggle to juggle work and family commitments so they don’t want slow improvement over months – they want solutions now.

So just how much commitment is required and is it worth it ?

Teri Pipe, PhD and her colleagues at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona set out to investigate. They used a mindfulness-based stress reduction program with a group of nurses in leadership positions. Nursing is a stressful job. A survey found that nurses were significantly more stressed than the general population.

Researchers randomly assigned 32 nurses to either a mindfulness treatment group or a control group.

The treatment group participated in 4 two-hour MBSR sessions, along with 30 minutes of daily mindfulness practice. The control group received a structured educational series containing stress management and leadership strategies.

After only four weeks, the nurses who received MBSR reported significant improvement in anxiety, phobic anxiety, and distress compared to the control group.

While most mindfulness programs take 8 weeks or more, this study showed a significant effect after only a month of training.

Thirty minutes a day might seem like a significant commitment. But when we consider  that the benefits - more positive emotions, reduced stress, reduced anxiety, greater resilience - bflow through into other areas of our life, such as relationships, work, and even parenting, then perhaps it's worth checking out.

If you’d like to read the full study, you can find it in theJournal of Nursing Administration.

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