Researchers have found that daily meditation may work as well as popular drug, escitalopram (also known as Lexapro), in calming anxiety.
The 276 participants in the study were split into two groups: one received 10 to 20 mg daily dose of Lexapro and the other took weekly two-and-a-half hour mindfulness classes, plus 45 minutes of daily meditation homework for eight weeks.
At the end of the study, researchers found that both groups showed about a 20% reduction in the severity of the symptoms brought on by anxiety.
Read more about the study below:
“Effective treatments for anxiety disorders exist and include medications and cognitive behavioral therapy, but not all patients have access to them, respond to them, or are comfortable seeking care in a psychiatric setting. For example, nearly one-third of people surveyed in 1 study believed that psychiatric medication would interfere with daily activities, and about one-fourth believed it is harmful to the body. Further, roughly two-thirds of patients who do start taking an antidepressant discontinue it. While cognitive behavioral therapy is also effective, it can be difficult for patients to access due to a lack of health care professionals trained in this technique. These challenges support a need for additional evidencebased treatment options for patients with anxiety disorders with broad acceptability.
Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) may be seen as a more acceptable option given that mindfulness meditation has recently becomemore popular. For example, in theUS, approximately 15% of the population has triedmeditation. Mindfulness meditation has been found to help reduce anxiety; a recent meta-analysis of trials with anxiety disorders found a significant benefit with mindfulness meditation compared with treatment as usual. . .
In this trial,an MBSR was shown to be a well-tolerated treatment option with comparable effectiveness to a first-line medication for patients with anxiety disorders. Problematic habitual thought patterns characterize anxiety disorders, and mindfulness training specifically focuses themindon the present moment; thus, individuals practice seeing thoughts and sensations as merely transient mental phenomena and not necessarily accurate reflections of reality. This reappraisal process improves emotion regulation, and individuals become less reactive to thoughts and sensations. In addition, mindfulness is practiced with a nonjudgmental, accepting attitude, which over time appears to increase self-acceptance and self-compassion.”
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