Thirty minutes of meditation may help improve anxiety and depression symptoms, reveals study.
Lead author of the study Madhav Goyal from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said in their research meditation appeared to provide as much relief from some anxiety and depression symptoms as what other studies have found from antidepressants.
The researchers evaluated the degree to which those symptoms changed in people who had a variety of medical conditions, such as insomnia or fibromyalgia, although only a minority had been diagnosed with a mental illness.
Goyal and his colleagues found that so-called "mindfulness meditation" also showed promise in alleviating some pain symptoms as well as stress.
The findings held even as the researchers controlled for the possibility of the placebo effect, in which subjects in a study feel better even if they receive no active treatment because they perceive they are getting help for what ails them.
Mindfulness meditation, the type that showed the most promise, is typically practiced for 30 to 40 minutes a day. It emphasizes acceptance of feelings and thoughts without judgment and relaxation of body and mind.
The study was published in journal JAMA Internal Medicine.