An Exploration of Stress Reactivity, Stress Recovery, Mindfulness Meditation and Prayer with the use of Heart Rate Variability
MetadataShow full item record
This study investigated post-stress heart rate variability (HRV) changes during mindfulness meditation (MM) and while listening to a prayer passage from the Holy Quran. HRV was measured in Muslim students (N = 114) during: (1) a resting phase; (2) a cognitive stress-induction phase; and (3) a 10-minute post-stress phase. In the post-stress phase, participants were randomly assigned to one of the four conditions: (1) guided-MM; (2) description of MM; (3) prayer passage; or (4) description of prayer. Results revealed greater mean HF-HRV for male participants in the meditation experimental (MExp) group than the meditation control (MCon) group at the 15 min and 610 min post-stress phases and greater mean HF-HRV for female participants in the MExp group than the MCon group at the 15 min phase. Further analyses of females with self-reported dysphoric mood suggested that both MM and listening to a prayer can promote relaxation following exposure to a cognitive stressor.