More than one in five French people (21%) suffer from generalized anxiety disorders during their lifetime, according to the High Authority for Health. Worldwide, cases of these disorders have increased by 25% since the start of the pandemic according to the WHO. These disorders can lead to phobias, panic attacks, a feeling of imminent death or catastrophe, which can sometimes lead to suicide.
To control this extreme anxiety, medical treatment is often prescribed and psychotropic drugs are taken by patients. But an American study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry reveals that mindfulness meditation is just as effective as an antidepressant in reducing symptoms. Europe 1 takes stock.
30% decrease in anxiety level
Patients who practiced mindfulness meditation observed a 30% drop in their anxiety levels, similar to those who took an antidepressant. The purpose of this practice is to learn to analyze negative thoughts. “Whatever comes to our consciousness, we welcome it and observe it” can be a phrase said during a session.
It takes eight weeks of daily sessions to permanently reduce anxiety disorders. This type of meditation has a direct effect on certain areas of the brain.
“Create calm in the body”
“The practice of mindfulness will create a ‘modified state of consciousness’ and it will therefore modify the functioning of our brain”, explains Claire Aujard, practitioner of this type of meditation, at the microphone of Europe 1. This allows “d ‘to have an influence on the central nervous system and to be able, for example, to create appeasement in the body,’ she explains.
This therapy is much better tolerated. Only 15% of patients experienced side effects, while at the same time, 78% of those who took an antidepressant complained of drowsiness, nausea, or even headaches.