Mindfulness training reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety

In a joint study conducted by the University of Bedfordshire and Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran, has reported that mindfulness based cognitive therapy or MBCT can significantly reduce depression and anxiety in non-clinical participants who took part in a real life stress inducing situation.

45 participants were recruited; they were all due to sit an important exam which formed the non-clinical stressful event. The subjects were either assigned to the MBCT program which consisted of 2 and a half hours of mindfulness tutorials each week for 8 weeks or were assigned to the waiting-list controls.

Statistical tests were conducted at five assessment periods to establish if the mindfulness program was having any effect on anxiety or depression symptoms, prevalence of negative automatic thoughts and dysfunctional attitudes.

During the mindfulness course, the participants were taught to recognise that the negative thoughts and feelings they were experiencing were simply thoughts in the mind as opposed to ‘self evident truths’. It was reported that training people who showed depressive and anxiety symptoms greatly reduced them and it was found that negative thoughts and dysfunction attitudes diminished and remained so at the follow up assessment 6 months after the MBCT course .

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