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Study: Mindfulness Helps with Anxiety

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

In the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, an article was published on 11 November 2022 about the treatment of anxiety symptoms with the help of mindfulness.

The article discusses a study conducted by the Georgetown University Medical Center in the United States. They had recruited 276 people with anxiety disorders. Participants were randomly assigned to either receive the best drug treatment (so-called gold standard) consisting of escitalopram (eg Cipralex) or undergo a method called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).

MBSR is inspired by Buddhist meditation and consists of a structured eight-week group program where the participants had a 2.5-hour group meeting a week, a daily 45-minute practice to perform at home and two all-day retreats.

Vad är skillnaden mellan mindfulness och meditation?

The participants' anxiety level was mapped and analyzed before and after the treatment. The researchers who performed the analysis did not know which treatment, ie. medication or MBSR, which the participants had received. The results showed that the participants who underwent MBSR treatment were able to show a reduction in the severity of anxiety by about 30 percent, which was as much as the symptom reduction for the group that received medication.

The article comments on the results of the researcher and psychologist Oskar Flygare at the Karolinska Institutet. He says the study is well done, but questions, among other things, how much of the positive effects come from mindfulness as such and how much can be derived from the fact that that group received attention in the form of the 2.5-hour weekly group meeting and the all-day retreats. Flygare says that the treatment given to the participants in the study is significantly more thorough than what you would expect if you went to a medical center.

A few comments

I myself had a lot of anxiety and worry before I started meditating. So for me it is not at all strange that the current mindfulness treatment could demonstrate good results. It is gratifying to see that mindfulness, meditation and other types of treatments are receiving attention in the research world.

Without making any scientific claims, I believe that the meditation given at Stockholm Meditation works excellently for anxiety-reducing purposes. Apart from myself, I have seen many people who have been helped and finally got an effective tool to release their anxiety-causing thoughts. The more you meditate, the less identified you become with your negative thought patterns. One finds a natural freedom within. The beauty of Stockholm Meditation is also that you can meditate as much as you want, every day if you want. You also get personal support and help.

It is worth mentioning that there is no conflict between meditating, taking medication, doing mindfulness or undergoing CBT therapy. It may be that a combination of, for example, medication and another type of treatment is the best way for the individual person. I think it is important that you find the path that suits you best.


Footnote: The study was published in Jama Psychiatry on November 9, 2022. Read more here.

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