Is Meditation an Effective Treatment Option for Anxiety?

By John Edwards, BS

What is Anxiety, How Common is it and is Meditation Effective Against it?

Anxiety is a common emotion that everyone experiences at one point or another. It is a feeling of uneasiness, worry, or fear. Many people feel anxious when they are faced with a challenging situation, such as a job interview or a first date. For some people, however, anxiety is more than just a temporary feeling – it is a chronic condition that can interfere with their daily lives.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults. While there are many conventional treatments available, some people prefer to explore alternative methods. Herbal supplements, meditation, and yoga are a few popular alternatives. Some people find that these methods help to reduce their anxiety symptoms, while others find that they do not work for them.

An excellent article below discussed further how meditation is used as an alternative treatment for anxiety. It reviews the study they conducted as well as how effective meditation as a treatment for anxiety was vs commonly used prescription drugs.

During the study, which lasted two months, more than 100 participants with anxiety disorders were trained in MBSR techniques including breath awareness, body scanning, and mindful movement. They were instructed to meditate at home for 45 minutes a day, attend a mindfulness-based stress reduction class once a week, and also went on one day-long weekend retreat during the study. Very few of the patients were on any anti-anxiety medication when the trial began, though a few people were already consistently taking low-dose antidepressants (trazodone, benzodiazopenes).
More than 100 people in a separate group, who also had anxiety disorders, took a newly-prescribed SSRI drug (escitalopram) once a day, for eight weeks.

At the start and end of the trial, all participants were evaluated using the same, commonly used anxiety-measuring scale. Meditators and medicated patients both experienced significantly reduced severity in their anxiety, by about 30%.

Meditation works as well as a common antidepressant for reducing anxiety, study says, By Hilary Brueck – Insider November 11, 2022
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A picture of a hand pointing to the word Anxiety.


Meditation: What is it? How does it Help with Anxiety?

Meditation is a mental discipline that involves focusing your attention on a certain object, thought, or activity to achieve a state of inner peace. There are many different types of meditation, but the goal of all meditation is to clear your mind of distractions and help you focus on the present moment. Meditation has been shown to be an effective treatment for anxiety. Studies have found that regular meditation can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, including worries, racing thoughts, and physical tension.

Different Types of Meditation: Mindfulness, Breathing, etc.

Mindfulness meditation is a form of mindfulness that is widely practiced in the western world. It involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgement.

Breathing meditation is another popular type of meditation that can be used to focus on the present moment and calm the mind. It involves focusing on your breath and counting each inhale and exhale.

There are many other types of meditation that are practiced around the world, such as Transcendental Meditation, Vipassana Meditation, Zen Meditation, and more. Each type of meditation has its own unique benefits that can help to improve your mental and physical health.

How to Meditate

When it comes to meditation, there are many different ways to go about it. There is no one “right” way to meditate, so find what works best for you and stick with it. With that said, here are a few tips on how to meditate:

  1. Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. You want your spine to be straight, but not tense. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths in and out.
  2. Start by focusing on your breath. Breathe in and out slowly and evenly. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath.
  3. Once you’ve been focusing on your breath for a while, you can start to expand your focus outward. Pay attention to the sensations in your body or the sounds around you.

Benefits of Meditation: Lessens Anxiety Symptoms

Meditation has been found to be an effective treatment for anxiety symptoms. A review of studies found that meditation can significantly reduce anxiety levels and help people manage their anxiety.

Meditation works by calming the mind and body, and it has been shown to be particularly effective in reducing stress and improving mood. In one study, people who meditated for eight weeks had a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms. Meditation can also help people cope with anxiety by teaching them how to control their thoughts and emotions.

Conclusion: Regular Practice of Meditation Leads to Long-term Relief

In conclusion, is meditation a useful tool against stress and anxiety? It can be said that regular practice of meditation definitely leads to long-term relief from stress and anxiety. It is also natural and drug free, helping to avoid any potential negative side effects from medications. It is a simple and effective way to relax the mind and body, and it can be done anywhere, at any time (morning, noon or night). So, give it a try!

With the levels of stress and anxiety we all suffer from, there is a demand for meditation instructors. If you would like to learn more about meditation and how to become a meditation instructor then our online program might interest you. For more information on our Meditation Instructor certification program please visit our webpage here – Certified Meditation Instructor CE Program 

Additional Resources:

Identifying App-Based Meditation Habits and the Associated Mental Health Benefits: Longitudinal Observational Study Stecher C, et al. J Med Internet Res 2021;23(11):e27282
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Depression and Anxiety Disorders: Benefits of Exercise, Yoga, and Meditation, SY ATEZAZ SAEED, MD et al Am Fam Physician. 2019;99(10):620-627
Access Here – 

Meditation and Yoga can Modulate Brain Mechanisms that affect Behavior and Anxiety-A Modern Scientific Perspective. Krishnakumar D, Hamblin MR, Lakshmanan S. Anc Sci. 2015 Apr;2(1):13-19. doi: 10.14259/as.v2i1.171. PMID: 26929928; PMCID: PMC4769029.
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Brief Mindfulness Meditation for Depression and Anxiety Symptoms in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis, Zoe Thomas, et al CJASN December 2017, 12 (12) 2008-2015;
Access Here –