Mindfulness group therapy may be just as effective as individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for treating a wide range of psychiatric symptoms, including those related to anxiety and depression, according to a study published in the journal European Psychiatry.

Over the course of eight weeks, Swedish researchers studied 215 men and women with depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders at primary care centers in southern Sweden.

Read: Mindfulness Training Benefits: Results For Older Adults Are Mixed, Study Says

Patients’ psychiatric symptoms were assessed through several types of questionnaires, including the Symptom Checklist-90, which is a 90-item index that takes about 15 minutes to complete. Some of the symptoms measured included those of depression, general anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, aggression, phobic anxiety, and psychoticism.

The researchers evaluated how the patients’ symptoms changed over the course of the study, either with mindfulness group therapy or CBT. The results revealed both groups’ scores on the various questionnaires decreased significantly.

The study authors conclude mindfulness is a viable treatment and also more cost effective than cognitive behavioral therapy.

"As mental illnesses are increasing at a very fast rate it is absolutely essential to expand the treatment alternatives for this patient group in primary healthcare,” said study author Jan Sundquist, in a press release. “Our view is that the scarce resources should be partly reallocated to mindfulness group therapy so that the limited availability of individual psychotherapy can be utilised in an optimal fashion.”

Practicing mindfulness involves becoming more aware of your physical, mental and emotional state in the present moment. It’s becoming increasingly popular and involves a wide range of techniques including breathing exercises and meditation. Whereas, CBT is a form of talk therapy.

See also: Yoga And Deep Breathing May Be The New Prescription For Depression, Study Reveals

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