Current and traditional treatments for stress, anxiety, and other mental health conditions—major contributing factors to other chronic illnesses—have historically been provided via prescription drugs. However, new research published by JAMA shows daily mindfulness techniques offer the same anxiety and depression relief as prescription anti-anxiety medications. Researchers at JAMA Psychiatry recently published their study comparing the anxiety-relieving properties of mindfulness therapy with the generic drug form of Lexapro, one of the major antidepressants used by psychiatrists. In the study, patients were divided into two groups—one took anxiety medication, and the other practiced mindfulness. Patients in the mindfulness group were guided through 2½ hours of meditation each week and tasked with practicing the same techniques for 45 minutes daily.
In as little as two months, researchers found that both groups experienced a 30% decline in anxiety symptoms, demonstrating the incredible potential of mindfulness to control some of our worst anxiety and depression symptoms. Anxiety improved equally in both groups over the following four months, continuing the promising trend shown by the initial results.