84 patients from Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Toronto were under research of how Mindfulness meditation can be as effective as antidepressant. They have been taking antidepressant for 8 months due to having depressive experiences. After 8 months medication, they were divided into 3 groups: the first group continued to take antidepressant, the second group was given placebo pills which contain nothing (that pill was considered as antidepressant), then the last group practiced Mindfulness Meditation and took no medication.
The group that took placebo pills had many more depressive experiences than the group that took antidepressant. How about the group that practiced Mindfulness Meditation? It turned out they were as well as medicated group.
Mindfulness Meditation inhibited depression to the same level as antidepressant did. It showed that people have an option that is free of side effects and charge.
How can Mindfulness Meditation help depressive people? To find out, the researchers used standardized questionnaires to look for different mindset between the meditators, doctors, and placebo-takers. They found significant changes in participants: 1) a change in attitudes where they did not give any judgements on occurred events, 2) being able to accept the feeling as if it only felt for a moment in the mind, 3) a decrease desire to attach yourself to thoughts and feeling, 4) a decrease of negative feelings and events.
The fourth change happened to meditated group, but the others seemed unique for the meditators who have been doing meditation regularly.
The same research has found that Mindfulness Meditation also help people who suffer from anxiety, stress, and insomnia. All the things are regulated by amygdala, a part of brain (fear, anxiety, stress). The researchers saw the amygdala’s structural changes on a meditator’s brain who does Mindfulness Meditation regularly, showing less stress level.
So, are you interested to prove it yourself?
Source : “Shaping Your Meditation Through Brain Science”. Medium, 2020.