Embargoed until: December 31, 2021 11:00 CET
Hair analysis shows: Meditation training reduces long-term stress
Mental training that promotes skills such as mindfulness, gratitude or compassion reduces the concentration of the stress hormone cortisol in the hair. This is what scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig and the Social Neuroscience Research Group of the Max Planck Society in Berlin have found out. The amount of cortisol in the hair provides information about how much a person is burdened by persistent stress. Earlier positive training effects had been shown in acute stress situations or on individual days - or were based on self-reporting by the study participants. The current study thus provides objective evidence for the first time that mental training reduces physical signs of long periods of stress, even in healthy people.