It seems that every day there’s some amazing new benefit of meditation making the rounds on the internet, and while some might think it’s just hocus pocus, there are studies that back some of these findings. The latest? Meditation could actually help you to experience the same effects of taking a vacation day. Do we have your attention? Yes? Let’s get right to it then.
Take a “vacation” every day
Imagine if you had an extra day off every week. Imagine a three-day weekend being the norm. You’re already imagining a happier version of you, right? Well, a new study shows that meditation could take you to that happy place within 15 short minutes.
How did the study work?
The Journal of Positive Psychology has published an extensive longitudinal study that investigated the impact meditation and vacation can have on people’s wellbeing and mindfulness. The study was done using 50 community members and university students. They received a crash course in mindfulness training and 15-minute meditation audio. Then they were instructed to meditate for 15 minutes every day for two non-consecutive weeks.
The participants had to fill out daily surveys to document their overall wellbeing, their thoughts, and emotions as well as their mindfulness levels and their non-reaction to feelings. The same survey was filled out on participants’ normal vacation days within the eight week period.
The results are very interesting
Once the eight week period was over and all the results were in, the study found something amazing – the data that had been gathered clearly showed that meditation has some of the same benefits as a vacation day.
First of all, on the days the participants meditated, they reported that they felt less negative and way more positive. They also experienced higher levels of well-being and the mindfulness facets of observing, describing, and non-reacting. A vacation day had similar effects.
Meditation vs Vacation
When comparing the two, researchers found that both meditation and vacation helped people to rid themselves of negative mindsets and emotions and experience more positivity and feelings of well-being. They also found that, even though these findings correlate quite well with one another, the effects of a vacation is far greater. Meditation did, however, win in the mindfulness department.
The study did have its limitations – meditation was a manipulated variable whereas vacation was a measured variable. The study was also limited to the use of beginner meditators and the meditation periods only lasted for two weeks for 15 minutes a day. This suggests that the effects could become equivalent to that of a vacation day should the amount of time spent meditating be increased.
Make it a daily practice
We all know full well that a vacation high doesn’t last very long. The same goes for meditation if you don’t continue to practice it regularly. This research suggests that, should you make it a daily habit, you could reap amazing benefits – it might even eventually beat that vacation high. Some extensive research has been done on the benefits and effects of long-term meditation, which leads us to believe that this might just actually end up giving us the high we sometimes so desperately need without taking a day off work.
All you have to do is start
Yes, nothing beats an actual vacation day, but heck, if we could get that high all the time we surely won’t complain. There’s no denying that incorporating meditation into your daily routine will have amazing benefits. It’s about time that we all take some time to do it. It’s always available to us – all we need to do is sit down for a few minutes and be quiet. There are amazing apps out there that can help you get started on your meditation journey. There really are way more reasons to do it than there are excuses not to.
Do you practice meditation? What would you say are some of the most amazing benefits?