Does Meditation Alleviate Anxiety Symptoms?

A former chief of psychiatry with the United States Army’s Blanchfield Hospital, Lester Sandman, MD, also worked as the chief of inpatient services at the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Lester Sandman currently works in private practice, where he regularly treats patients with anxiety disorders.

For many years, mental health experts have touted the benefits of meditation in alleviating anxiety symptoms. For the most part, meditation involves finding a comfortable sitting position, focusing on breathing, and turning thoughts to the present moment. In a review of 19,000 meditation studies conducted by Johns Hopkins University, researchers found that mindfulness-based meditation had a significant effect on anxiety, depression, and even chronic pain. Because relief of psychiatric disorders is often difficult to quantify, there is no way to directly measure the effects of meditation on anxiety and depression. The research is still promising, however, and many medical experts consider meditation a valuable supplement to medication and clinical therapy.