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Feeling anxious? Try meditation

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Unread 02.06.17, 11:31 PM
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Feeling anxious? Try meditation

02.06.17 01:31 PM

Today’s always-on society means that Americans find fewer and fewer opportunities for quiet self reflection. And that’s leading to soaring rates of anxiety, which can be a precursor to more serious health problems. But if your doctor has suggested you try an anti-anxiety prescription, you may want to forego the side effects and try this instead.

According to a study commissioned by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, as many as 40 million American adults suffer from some form of anxiety disorder.

For many who seek help from their doctors, treating anxiety disorder means taking powerful prescription medications that come with side effects ranging from forgetfulness to fatigue and lethargy.

But research from Georgetown University suggests that there may be a better way to treat anxiety disorders. The best part, it’s free and you can do it right now.

Researchers at the school followed a group of adult study subjects over the course of an eight-week* Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program to determine how teaching people to better cope with anxiety could reduce overall anxiety levels.

MBSR uses meditation techniques to help patients deal with a variety mental and physical maladies. Formal MBSR programs include a variety of workshops dedicated to helping patients learn the best techniques for reducing stress without the help of medication.

The Georgetown researchers found that study subjects who learned the MBSR approach were far better able to handle a situation that causes anxiety in most people, giving a speech in front of a group. But perhaps more importantly, following the MBSR approach led to a decrease in inflammatory markers associated with heightened stress.

The MBSR standards were first developed in 1979 by Doctor Johns Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and have since been used to help more than 25,000 Americans cope with anxiety.

Unfortunately, mindfulness techniques still aren’t usually the first remedies prescribed by mainstream doctors.

But if you’re looking for a way to reduce stress without turning to potentially dangerous drugs, ask your doctor about MBSR techniques or do a little research of your own into how mindfulness could help. Here’s a helpful article from Dr. Mark Wiley at Easy Health Options, which is a good place to start learning basic breathing for stress reduction.

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