What to Read Next

Meditation as effective as medication for depression and anxiety: Study

Shereen Dindar
Shine On
January 7, 2014
Meditation may be as effective as medication in treating depression and anxiety. (Thinkstock)

Could treatment of depression and anxiety symptoms really be as simple as creating a 30-minute daily mindfulness habit? According to a large research review, daily meditation may be as effective as antidepressants for people with anxiety and depression.

American researchers discovered that people who participated in 30 minutes of daily meditation showed a 5 to 10 per cent reduction in anxiety symptoms and a 10 to 20 per cent improvement in depression compared to people in placebo groups.

"A lot of people use meditation, but it's not a practice considered part of mainstream medical therapy for anything," says Dr. Madhav Goyal, lead author and medical professor at Johns Hopkins University. "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."

The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, examined 47 randomized controlled clinical trials with a total of 3,515 adults who participated in a meditation group (either mindfulness or mantra) or enrolled in another treatment, like exercise.

Also see: Traditional Chinese medicine plant a potent painkiller

Most of the benefits of meditation were seen only in the mindfulness meditation group -- a kind of meditation that focuses on keeping one's thoughts rooted in the present moment, not the past or future. It emphasizes acceptance of feelings and thoughts without judgment and relaxation of the body and mind.

Goyal suggests that a clear benefit of meditation over antidepressants is that it has no negative side-effects.

Also see: Pulling an all-nighter may cause brain damage

"Also relevant for physicians and patients is that there is no known major harm from meditating, and meditation doesn't come with any known side effects," he tells Forbes.

The review also found that meditation improved pain management, yet found little evidence for other reported benefits of meditation -- including curbing substance abuse, poor eating habits, sleep disorders and weight problems.

Previous research has also linked meditation with a reduction in activity in the amygdala, the brain area that governs the stress response.

Owe the IRS? Settle Taxes

See if your tax debt & circumstance qualify for relief (877) 713-9492

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Is your insurance comp Laughing Behind Your Back?

New Studies Show that if you drive less than 55 miles a day you can save a ton on auto insurance.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Get your taxes done from your favorite device

Grab your W-2 and your phone or tablet, and file taxes for Absolute Zero : $0 Fed, $0 State, $0 to File. TurboTax Federal Free Edition.

Personal Loan Rates as low as 5.99% APR

$25,000 for $742/mo. 3 yr repayment, $0 down payment. No obligation quotes. Get up to 5 offers in minutes. Quotes are free! Start loan request now.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

How to Choose the Best Student Loans

The fun of summer vacation is often dampened by thoughts of student loan debts. See which loan is the best for you.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan option, but there's another plan you should consider.

How To Make Sagging Skin Look Tight and Lifted

[Watch] The easy and effective way consumers across the country are improving the look of their wrinkled and sagging skin without cosmetic procedures.

Reconnect With Your High School Friends

Classmates® has the largest directory of high school class lists. Remember the good times and reconnect to create new memories.