Are there times when you feel anxious or depressed?
Good news: you're normal.
But there's more good news: new research from Johns Hopkins suggests you might be able to reduce anxiety or depression simply by sitting down and meditating.
The study was led by Dr. Madhav Goyal, an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was published online Jan. 6 in JAMA Internal Medicine. According to Goyal's research, "meditation appeared to provide as much relief from some anxiety and depression symptoms as … antidepressants." In other words, Goyal's research suggests that daily mindfulness-based meditation might be able to reduce depression as effectively as some pharmaceutical drugs. Also, Goyal notes, patients who participated in the study typically did not have full-blown anxiety or depression.
Now in case you assume that Goyal's cure for depression consists of sitting down and turning off your brain, there's something you should be, um, mindful, of.
The kind of meditation Goyal is referring to is a very active form of "mindfulness"—a form of Buddhist self-awareness designed to focus precise, nonjudgmental attention to the moment at hand. It's the difference between not thinking about anything, and being disinterestedly aware of what you are thinking about. The second one—the disinterested, non-judgey form of self-awareness—is what Goyal's research speaks to. (MORE)
Source: Johns Hopkins HUB