International Journal of Medicine and Public Health,2014,4,1,110-114.
Background: Meditation has been shown to be an effective practice of mindfulness and psychological health. The aim of the study was to explore this relationship and to investigate the role of meditation on mindfulness skills and psychological health. Materials and Methods: Sixty-seven long-term ‘Om’ meditation practitioners and equal number of normal healthy subjects matched to the meditators on age (meditators: 23.96 ± 3.25 years; non-meditators: 21.72 ± 3.44 years), years of education (meditators: 15.13 ± 1.57 years: non-meditators: 14.12 ± 1.76 years) participated in the study. Anxiety and mindfulness were measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI), respectively. Statistical analyses were carried out using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 18.00 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, USA). The mindfulness and state and trait anxiety scores were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and independent t-test. Results: The meditator group showed significantly lower state (P < 0.001) and total anxiety (P < 0.001) as compared to the nonmeditation group. ‘Om’ meditation practice was positively correlated to mindfulness (P < 0.001), acceptance (P < 0.001), and presence (P < 0.05); and negatively correlated to state (P < 0.01) and total anxiety (P < 0.001). Conclusions: The practice of meditation was associated with higher levels of mindfulness and lower levels of psychological anxiety.