Eighty-two self-described anxious people participated in the study, performing a computer-based task while being randomly interrupted throughout. The study found that those who engaged in a quick meditation before doing the task did better than those who did not.
"Mind wandering accounts for nearly half of any person's daily stream of consciousness. For people with anxiety, repetitive off-task thoughts can negatively affect their ability to learn, to complete tasks, or even function safely," researcher Mengran Xu said in the DailyMail.co.uk report. "We also found that meditation practice appears to help anxious people to shift their attention from their own internal worries to the present-moment external world, which enables better focus on a task at hand."
Meditation has had a long and time-honored reputation for promoting health and wellness. Its health benefits cover everything from alleviating chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, to reducing depression to fighting inflammatory diseases, and, evidently, to improving focus -- which may be what most people need on a daily basis.
If you want to try a quick 10-minute guided meditation, HeadSpace.com recommends starting out by finding a quiet space where you can do your meditation. The routine will then involve sitting in the right position, deep breathing, checking-in with your surroundings, observing body sensations and breath patterns, 20 to 30 seconds of letting your mind run free, and finally checking back in before ending the meditation. The routine is quite simple, which only goes to show that this beneficial practice is accessible to pretty much anyone.
If it's turning out to be a particularly stressful day, you may want to try more than one stress relief method. Thankfully, there are a lot of easy ways to help you overcome stress and get you through the day. Here are a few, as listed on an article on HuffingtonPost.com:
Aside from these simple activities, getting adequate sleep every night and eating a well-balanced diet of whole foods can keep you from crumbling under the effects of chronic stress.