For several reasons, mindfulness and meditation have been the subject of more and more well executed scientific research over the past twenty years. Much of this research has investigated the effect of meditation on mood and on the brain’s ability to regulate emotion. Other research has investigated the capacity for meditation to help people suffering from anxiety disorders such as panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. It may be that the study of meditation’s ability to make us happy has gotten more publicity than the study of meditation’s capacity to reduce anxiety. However for people with diagnosable anxiety disorders, the potential to be gained from meditation is perhaps greater than it is for everyone else. Meditation can “quiet the mind,” and pave the way for certain types of anxiety (e.g., worry, panic attacks) to improve.
(Originally published at http://www.anxiety-ocd.info/blog/2010/09/meditation-and-mindfulness-research/)