Mindfulness Meditation no longer seems like “the next new thing to be popular”. Instead, it’s evidence base keeps growing, showing its’ effectiveness for reducing stress (including cortisol measures), anxiety, and pain, while increasing sleep and quality of life. Mindful Meditation is effective for many other conditions, both physical and mental. In addition, research attention has recently focused on how mindfulness impacts the brain and the neurological mechanisms involved in the meditation process.
Does it work? Absolutely, this is no longer a question really. How does it work (in the brain)? The studies are showing so much now!
How to learn? While books and videos can help, taking a class with someone trained to teach mindfulness meditation is easier and clearer. When you have experiences during meditation that you wonder about, you can ask about them right then. Questions such as “I feel like I can’t breathe normally when I pay attention to my breath”, “I can’t get comfortable, is it ok to move?” and “my brain is everywhere, this doesn’t seem to be working”…. Immediate answers are so much better than waiting until you have time to look up answers in a book or on the web…AND…you’ll find you learn much from your classmates that is relevant for you. Classes are offered in-person and on-line. Here is one study comparing the two: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331969407_Mindfulness_Training_Offered_In-person_and_in_a_Virtual_World-Weekly_Self-reports_of_Stress_Energy_Pain_and_Sleepiness_among_US_Military_Active_Duty_and_Veteran_Personnel
Sleimen-Malkoun R, Devillers-Réolon L, Temprado J-J (2023) A single session of mindfulness meditation may acutely enhance cognitive performance regardless of meditation experience. PLoS ONE 18(3): e0282188. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0282188