A new study published in medical journal The Lancet has found that mindfulness may be as effective as anti-depressant medication in combating major bouts of depression.
The trial involved a group of 424 UK adults at risk of further depression, half of whom were allocated mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). This revolved around group sessions, where they learned guided meditation and mindfulness skills.
Progress was assessed against the other group of patients, who continued to take a full course of medication over two years. By the end of the study, a similar proportion of people had relapsed in both groups.
"Mindfulness gives me a set of skills which I use to keep well in the long term," said one participant. "Rather than relying on the continuing use of anti-depressants, mindfulness puts me in charge, allowing me to take control of my own future, to spot when I am at risk and to make the changes I need to stay well."
Mindfulness - defined as paying attention to your feelings in the present moment without judgement, to foster emotional resilience - has been credited with everything from building positivity to aiding concentration in the workplace.
With its benefits now recognised in medical circles, it seems an apt time to take a look at this new mindfulness infographic from the folks over at lifestyle and psychology blog Fix.com.
It shows four simple techniques for practising mindfulness - by anyone, anywhere - in 15 minutes or less.
Each exercise helps to reduce stress, as well as improving relaxation, memory and performance. And best of all, each one is incredibly easy to follow. No special equipment or complex thinking is required; you just need a few quiet minutes to yourself, to focus the mind.
Read on to bring a whole new level of calmness to your daily routine:
(Click to enlarge)
For an introduction to mindfulness, we recommend downloading the Headspace app (for free) here.