A recent study by US researchers has found that Heartfulness Meditation. A simple heart-based meditation practice aimed at attaining a balanced state of mind helps reduce stress and also improves the quality of sleep. The study has been published in the International Journal of Environmental and Public Health,
Dr. Kunal Desai, Dr. Priti Parikh, and Dr. Alpa Desai from the Department of Internal Medicine at Boonshoft School of Medicine. Wright University, Ohio, along with Prof (Dr) Pratibha Gupta from the Food Nutrition and Health Agricultural Research Development Program at Central State University, Ohio, conducted the study. Stress and lack of quality sleep are major serious public health challenges, which got much more focus during the COVID-19.
The study aimed to investigate whether using a virtual heart-based meditation program. This program has a connection to enhanced stress levels and improved sleep quality. The researchers enrolled 63 participants to receive an eight-week virtually conducted Heartfulness Meditation program. Of these, 36 (57 per cent) completed the entire eight weeks of the Heartfulness meditation program.
We advised participants to attend at least two out of eight virtual trainer-guided group Heartfulness relaxation and meditation sessions per week. These sessions were a key part of our recommendation. One of the authors, also a Heartfulness trainer (KD), conducted these sessions. Participants engaged in 5–7 minutes of relaxation, followed by 20 minutes of meditation. They received instructions on how to use the ‘HeartsApp’ on their phones, which allowed them to connect anonymously with a Heartfulness trainer and meditate without audiovisual interaction. The trainer also recommended self-practices to the best of their abilities.
Dr Kunal Desai, who led the study, said, “Our study showed that following Heartfulness meditation practice, PSS and PSQI improved significantly in the participants from different parts of the United States. Healthcare professionals comprised approximately 31% of the participants, and the entire program was conducted in a virtual format. Based on these observations. We propose that meditation programs offered via virtual platforms can offer a convenient, helpful, and easily accessible tool. To a large community at once to help improve the psychological wellbeing of individuals.”
He further added, “The results of qualitative analysis in our study bring a unique perspective to this aspect as we were able to show that the participant’s subjective experiences strongly supported the results of the survey findings. Thus, these results enhance our understanding of how Heartfulness meditation practice helps reduce stress and improve the quality of sleep. Our qualitative analysis suggests these effects could be because a simple heart-based meditation brought a ‘calming effect’ in our participants. Resulting in ‘inner peace’. Such an effect also resulted in inner changes in our participants. Including positive thinking, accepting and empathic attitude. and an increase in awareness of one’s own emotions and the needs of others.”
Says Kamlesh Patel also known as Daaji, Guide of Heartfulness Meditation said. “The simple focus of life is to become better each day. To achieve this we need to be in a state of complete awareness about our self. And raise our consciousness in tune with our true nature. Stress is the modern day ill created by our inability to focus on things that matter. Stress and its negative impact on our overall wellbeing has slowly but steadily taken control of every individual. While we know Covid-19 as the pandemic, the build up of stress and its ill impacts is the bigger pandemic and equally a bigger health crisis. Stress needs our urgent attention as well and in consistent practice of meditation. We have the most effective vaccination to ward of stress and is the Visa for living your life in joy.”