Meditation – Better Than a Vacation for You?

By: Maaheem "Mak" Akhtar

people running in the ocean in wet suits
Share with your community

A recent study published in Nature assessed the biological impact of meditation, as compared to vacation, on biomarkers that impact aging and health generally. The researchers hailed from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the University of California, San Francisco and Harvard Medical School.

64 out of 94 participants were not regular meditators. They were randomly assigned to either simply enjoy their time at a California resort or enroll in a meditation program there. Where can I sign up for the follow up study?

The researchers studied nearly 20,000 genes via blood samples to observe any changes in gene expression. Their findings? All three groups significantly improved their stress levels and immunity. What’s more is that the experienced meditators showed boosted antiviral activity as well.

The authors stated, “We also identified a ‘meditation effect’ within the regular meditator group, characterized by a distinct network of genes with cellular functions that may be relevant to healthy aging.”

The “vacation effect” was that everyone felt less stressed after their retreat – even the control group. The “meditation effect” was that those in the meditation group experienced positive change even at the genetic level. But the biggest benefit in the novice meditators was that they reported fewer feelings of depression and less stress a whopping 10 months after the retreat.

This study points strongly to the physiological and long-term impact of mindfulness practices. So:

a) It’s not just psychological.

b) The more you do it, the more you’ll reap.

When should you book that vacation and start that meditation practice, you ask? Yesterday.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter on the latest industry updates, Rethink happenings, and resources galore. Simply follow the link to the footer and enter your email.

Related Resources

On this episode, Angela and Kristin discuss some tips and tricks to a productive summer....
As we recognize the importance of Mental Health Awareness Month, a topic that does not...
Businesses thrive when employees choose to do innovative work in collaborative spaces. This traditional view...

Learn more about Rethink

Take care of your people with RethinkCare’s evidenced-based solutions that support the well-being your entire employee base in all aspect of their lives - from personal to parenting, and professional

Build strong school communities and healthy, safe learning environments for all your students with RethinkEd’s evidence-based strategies and technology solutions across SEL, Special Ed, Behavioral & Training

Start, grow and manage your practice with Rethink’s workflow automation and evidenced-based clinical best practice tools that help you optimize outcomes and operations

Support your members and your provider networks with Rethink’s solutions that support autism care management across your network while offering unique value-added services to your members.

logo rethinkfirst white

Together We’re Powering Potential

Transforming the Behavioral Health landscape requires scalable platforms that address a broad range of mental, emotional, and wellness needs. At Rethink First we are proud to work across the continuum of care to help individuals and the people they care about live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.

The leading behavioral and mental health enterprise platform to support working parents, caregivers and their families.

Award-winning solutions empower districts and their educators to improve outcomes and wellness for all tiers of students and to build healthy and safe learning environments.

Fully integrated workflow automation and evidenced-based clinical tools help behavioral health organizations optimize outcomes and operations.

Patent-pending clinical solutions and member engagement services streamline autism care management processes and support outcomes for health plans, providers, and members.