The findings were published last month in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Mindfulness Meditation, which focuses on nonjudgmental awareness of sensations, feelings, and state of mind, is known for its powerful traits. However, now it has gotten a scientific stamp under its list of qualities: a treatment for depression.
Despite the great benefits extensive research has found that one can gain from daily practicing mindfulness meditation, some people still perceive it as another new age affair.
The truth needs to be spoken: not only chemical pills can make you feel good, centered and emotionally balanced. You own the greatest asset in the world and it is yourself.
You can heal yourself
According to a new study from Lund University in Sweden, group mindfulness treatment is as effective as talking to a therapist (CBT) if you suffer from depression and anxiety.
This is the first study that makes a comparison between mindfulness and individual therapy.
Before and after the sessions – both CBT and mindfulness meditation – the participants (a total of 215 patients), were asked to fill out questionnaires to define the level of their anxiety and depression symptoms. Among both groups, the described indications of depression and anxiety decreased. The interesting point is that the researchers noted there was no difference between the traditional forms of therapy and the mindfulness meditation.
A better brain
The reduction of depression and anxiety signs are caused by real changes in the brain. The changes are in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. Also, it has been found that the stress reduction is correlated with the amygdala, which plays an important part in anxiety and stress.
Other research – the analysis of MR images – by Massachusetts University found increased gray-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection. All of those changes occurred after the participants reported an average 27 minutes of mindfulness practice for less than 8 weeks.
Actual changes in your brain can happen if you decide to make mindfulness a part of your life style; it is your call. Having an improved brain is an improvement of your life. Your brain should be your ally, not your enemy. Little by little, with a consistent practicing, you can make your brain serve you so you can finally, in addition to moments of relaxation, find truely long-lasting happiness.