At this point, it’s pretty much been ingrained in our brains that meditation and exercise are the keys to a healthy lifestyle. Anxious about your home life? Stressed at work? Feeling a little down? If you confide in others about these symptoms—medical professionals included—they’ll often suggest you go for a run or try a mindfulness meditation app.
Over the years, it’s been proven that the practice of mindfulness meditation can ease feelings of anxiety in individuals and that those who exercise tend to be less anxious and depressed. What new research conducted by a team at Rutgers University just discovered is that when used back to back, meditation and exercise can actually lessen negative thoughts and feelings of depression.
The study published in Translational Psychiatry followed 52 participants—22 who were clinically depressed and 30 who were mentally healthy—and prescribed them all a routine of 30 minutes of meditation followed by 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a week. At the end of eight weeks, a whopping 40% of the participants described fewer symptoms of depression and chronic worrying. "We know these therapies can be practiced over a lifetime and that they will be effective in improving mental and cognitive health," Brandon Alderman, the chief author of the study, said in a statement. "The good news is that this intervention can be practiced by anyone at any time and at no cost."
Be sure to read about another way to break the pattern of negative thinking, and tell us what you think about this study in the comments.