Science Says Meditating for 15 Minutes Is as Beneficial as a Vacation Day
If you can't make it to Spain, head to a studio instead.
Now that summer's finally here, it's important to remember that there are loads of health benefits associated with taking advantage of your vacation days. But if you're strapped for time—or cash—you're in luck: A new study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology says that just 15 minutes of meditation can have the same positive effect on your well-being as one vacation day does.
Researchers at the University of Groningen had 40 college students and community citizens participate in the eight-week study, which required them to meditate for 15 minutes per day for two non-consecutive weeks. The participants were asked to complete daily surveys on their state of mind. The researchers tracked when participants went on vacation, which allowed them to study how a short meditation session can affect mood relative to taking time off.
Those who meditated reported higher levels of mindfulness and were more likely to agree with statements such as, "I paid attention to sounds such as clocks ticking, birds chirping, or cars passing" and, "I watched my feelings without getting lost in them." They also reported feeling less stressed and less likely to react negatively, comparable experiences to those who went on holiday.
"We found that just 15-minutes of meditation was associated with similar effects as a day of vacation on aspects of mindfulness," Christopher May, study author and assistant professor at the University of Groningen, told PsyPost. "Both meditators and vacationers reported heightened awareness of their environment and greater equanimity in experiencing their emotions."
Though the study is limited due to its small sample size and the fact that the results were self-reported, it does align with previous research that has found that meditating can make you feel more calm, present, and happy overall. In fact, a 2019 study published in the Journal of Business Venturing even found that as little as 10 minutes of meditation can be worth nearly an hour of extra sleep.
So the good news is that even if you can't get out of your office, you can still escape in your own mind. And for more on the benefits of meditation, check out Boost Your Brain with This Science-Proven Trick.
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