Medication was suggested as a helpful strategy to treat anxiety in our earlier post.
Anxiety disorders are widespread, extremely upsetting ailments that have a negative impact. Although there are effective medicines available, many people do not have access to or respond to them. Mindfulness-based interventions, such mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), are another way to combat anxiety.
A study that was released in a prestigious publication on Wednesday found that mindfulness meditation is just as good at lowering anxiety as a typical antidepressant. This is the first randomized clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness meditation with the antidepressant.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Escitalopram for the Treatment of Adults With Anxiety DisordersA Randomized Clinical Trial
The adult members of the mindfulness group used a variety of techniques they had learned in weekly classes during their daily 45-minute meditation sessions. Additionally, they took part in weekend day retreats.
A variety of mindfulness meditation techniques, including breath awareness (focusing attention on the breath and other physical sensations), a body scan (paying attention to one body part at a time and observing how that body part feels), and mindful movement were all taught by qualified instructors (stretching and movements designed to bring awareness to the body and increase interoceptive awareness).
Participants in the antidepressant group got 20 mg of escitalopram daily for the remainder of the study after taking 10 mg daily for the first week. The mindfulness group had 102 patients, while the antidepressant group had 106.
Researchers observed the two groups for eight weeks, and discovered that those who practiced mindfulness meditation saw almost as much improvement in their anxiety as those who were taking an antidepressant.
According to the study’s primary author, Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, some patients may benefit from using mindfulness meditation instead of medications. Many people are concerned that taking antidepressants would negatively impact their daily lives, and some people start taking the drugs but stop.
1. Breath awareness
Focusing attention on the breath and other physical sensations
2. Body Scanning
- Close your eyes and lie on the bed or floor with your back to the wall.
- Follow your body with your awareness, concentrating on each location individually.
- Every time you feel a spot that is unusually tight or sore, pause and concentrate your breath there until the spot releases.
- At this moment, you can also benefit from using a soothing visualization (e.g., a ball of white light melting into the sore spot).
- Click here for a more thorough explanation of the body scan.
3. Object Meditation
Take a hold of something remarkable or fascinating to you. Put your full attention on it and take note of whatever information your senses send your way, such as its size, color, texture, smell, taste, or any sounds it makes when you move it.
4. Intentional Eating
Similar to the previous exercise, you can perform this one while concentrating on consuming a specific meal, such as dark chocolate or a raisin.
Use all five of your senses while eating—smell, taste, touch, sight, and even sound.
5. Walking Meditation
Go for a leisurely stroll at a slow, comfortable pace. Pay attention to your walking technique and the feelings that arise throughout your body.
Take note of how your shoulders, feet, and hips move as you walk. Also, pay attention to how your shoulders and feet feel as they touch the ground. Sync up your breathing with your walking.
6. Mindful Stretching
Any sequence of stretches you like can be used to practice mindful stretching, but if you’d prefer a guided exercise, try yoga.