Of course, pills have side effects, and don’t always work. But it turns out there’s something that may be more effective with no downside, though it takes a bit of effort: meditation for about 30 minutes a day.
A new analysis by researchers at Johns Hopkins find that just a half-hour of “mindfulness meditation” may improve some of these garden variety, not yet full-blown, symptoms of anxiety and depression. The findings, published online in JAMA Internal Medicine, also found that some pain symptoms can also be relieved through a consistent meditation practice.
This should not come as breaking news. Many studies over many years link meditation to all kinds of health improvements. But I think it’s worth restating, since meditation is still viewed as a crunchy, ineffective practice by so many — including those in the medical mainstream.
Here’s lead study author Dr. Madhav Goyal, assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, quoted in the news release:
“A lot of people use meditation, but it’s not a practice considered part of mainstream medical therapy for anything,” says Goyal, M.D. M.P.H. “But in our study, meditation appeared to provide as much relief from some anxiety and depression symptoms as what other studies have found from antidepressants.” Continue reading