The recently published research article linked below brings together many of the cutting-edge ideas around stress, stress reduction, mindfulness and meditation.
Firstly, the research is looking at the benefits of doing as little as 10-minute meditation per day. Currently, we here at Mindfulness Mavericks recommend a unified mindfulness approach to meditation. It seems to be far more effective, easier to learn and simpler for people to progress with. If you already have a well-established mindfulness meditation practice of your own, then the benefits of staying with that are significant. The figure of 10 minutes is reported by many groups as an effective length of time. Although I am aware of some groups looking at a time scale of as little as one minute per day. As usual, it is doing meditation frequently rather than the length of time that is important.
Secondly is what is called heart rate variability. This is a very good thing. Numerous studies have clearly shown that people who have a very regular heartbeat are likely to suffer from a whole range of problems. This is something the HeartMath Institute has been working with for decades. They have a good book called the heart math solution that goes into more detail.
If you like the details of research studies then please read the article below.
The article below is written by Zawn Villines.
Many studies show meditation can reduce stress. Yet most studies have relied on subjective measurements of stress, such as self-reports. Little research has quantified how much meditation can reduce stress. New research by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the University of North Texas seeks to change this.