The emotional implications of long-term meditative practices; effects on stress, anxiety and reappraisal.

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Brennan, Simone
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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A lot of controversy exists regarding the possible cognitive benefits of meditation and advocates claiming MP are a free and self-regulated way to control a number of psychological phenomenon which otherwise would be treated with medication. The present study took primary interest in the experience of stress and anxiety, 2 emotional states which are reliant, upon other things on our ability to regulate our emotional responses. An online survey recorded stress, anxiety and emotional regulation data from respondents (n=175) and grouped them into long-term (n=54), short-term (n=47) and non-meditators (n=74). Results suggested that long-term meditators had an improved ability to cognitively reappraise situations, furthermore the LT group showed significantly lower levels of stress, anxiety and perceived stress. Results support previous literature postulating the potential of meditation to provide protective cognitive benefits. Some practical implications of these findings may involve developing and implementing a meditation-based learning programme in schools and colleges in order to offset the negative effects of stress.