30 minutes of meditation relieves depression and anxiety

According to a study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, a publication of the American Medical Association, half an hour of meditation a day can improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

"Meditation is used by many people, but the practice is not considered a traditional medical therapy," said Madhav Goyal, assistant professor of internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland. "But in our study, meditation appears to provide relief from some symptoms of anxiety and depression that other studies with antidepressants have shown," he added.

The patients who participated in the study did not suffer from severe anxiety or depression.

Researchers have evaluated how these symptoms change in people with various conditions such as insomnia and Fibromyalgia, although only a few have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

Goyal and his colleagues found that so-called "mindfulness meditation," a form of Buddhism that focuses attention on the present moment without judging what is happening, also has the ability to relieve some painful symptoms.

These findings held true even after researchers considered the possibility of a placebo effect, in which study participants felt better even when they did not receive any treatment because they feel like they are getting help for their illness.

In this study, researchers analyzed 47 clinical trials conducted on 3515 participants that covered meditation and various aspects of physical and mental health, including depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, substance abuse, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and chronic pain.

The researchers found evidence of small improvements in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and pain after participants completed a typical meditation training program.

They also found little evidence of improvements in stress levels and quality of life. In studies that followed participants for six months, the improvements were maintained.

Goyal says that “many people think that meditation is sitting and doing nothing.” "But this is not reality," he added. “Meditation is active mental training aimed at improving the perception of reality. “There are many different meditation programs that allow you to achieve this in different ways.”

Mindfulness meditation is typically practiced for 30 to 40 minutes a day and emphasizes accepting perceptions, emotions, and thoughts without judgment and relaxing the body and mind.

The best meditation techniques

1. Full attention or mindfulness:

  • Focus on your breathing: Observe how the air enters and leaves your body. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath.
  • Scan your body: Pay attention to the sensations in each part of your body, from your head to your feet. Don't judge or analyze, just observe.
  • Observe your thoughts: Let your thoughts come and go without judging them. Don't get hooked on them or try to change them.

2. Mantra:

  • Repeat a mantra silently or out loud: A mantra can be a word, phrase or sound that inspires peace and tranquility.
  • Focus on the sound of the mantra: Let the sound of the mantra fill your mind and help you quiet your thoughts.
  • Visualize the mantra: You can visualize the mantra written in your mind or as an image that represents peace and tranquility.

3. Transcendental:

  • Use a personal mantra: A personal mantra is a sound that is assigned to you by a transcendental meditation instructor.
  • Repeat the mantra silently: Repeat the mantra silently for 20 minutes twice a day.
  • Don't focus on breathing or thoughts: Simply let the mantra flow in your mind.

4. Movement:

  • Walk carefully: Pay attention to each step you take and the sensations in your body as you walk.
  • Tai Chi: It is a form of meditation that combines slow, fluid movements with conscious breathing.
  • Yoga: It is a practice that combines physical postures, conscious breathing and meditation.

Tips for meditating:

  • Find a quiet place: Find a place where you will not be disturbed and where you can be quiet and comfortable.
  • Sit in a comfortable position: You can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor or on the floor with your legs crossed.
  • Close your eyes: This will help you focus inward.
  • Start with short sessions: Start with 5 or 10 minute sessions and gradually increase the time as you feel more comfortable.
  • Practice regularly: Meditation is like any other skill, it takes practice to improve.

Resources to learn to meditate:

  • Applications: There are many apps available that can help you get started. Some popular options are Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer.
  • Books: There are many books available that can help you learn more about this practice. Some popular books are "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle and "Meditation for Beginners" by Jack Kornfield.
  • Meditation classes: You can find classes in your community or online.

The best meditation technique for you

The best meditation technique for you is the one that feels most comfortable and effective for you. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you.

Remember: Meditation is a practice that can be done anytime, anywhere. You don't need any special equipment or specific clothing. You just need a few minutes of your time and the willingness to be present.