You’ve heard it again and again: you should be meditating. It helps relieve stress, improve concentration and enhance your overall wellbeing, but did you know that it’s also more powerful than pain medication?
Researchers at Wake Forest University divided 75 people into different groups of pain management: mindfulness meditation, placebo meditation, placebo cream, and a control group. After putting a high-heat thermal probe on each participant’s skin, the scientists found that the meditation group’s physical pain intensity was reduced on average by 27%, and their emotional pain intensity was reduced by 44%. The placebo group’s pain was reduced by 11% (physical) and 13% (emotional), by contrast.
But here’s the kicker: In past studies mirroring this one (using morphine rather than meditation), results showed that morphine reduced pain by just 22%—making meditation almost twice as powerful from an emotional standpoint.
Although more research needs to be conducted for conclusive results, if you’re in the midst of a painful breakup (yep, we’ve all been there) or simply going through an emotional period in your life, why not try it. Some quiet time could be exactly what your mind and body needs.