While there are plenty of home remedies to help you regain your inner calm, meditation appears particularly effective. People with anxiety disorders who took a mindfulness meditation course showed a dramatic dip in stress hormones and inflammatory responses when exposed to a stressful situation, compared with their counterparts who took a stress management course that didn’t include meditation. Mindfulness involves focusing on the here and now, rather than fretting about the future or dwelling on the past.
Stress was measured using a standard lab test—the Trier Social Stress Test—which assesses biochemical responses to the stress in blood or saliva that occur during a mock job interview followed by a math challenge performed before a panel of three judges. The meditators did better on the test after they took the course compared to how they fared before they learned mindfulness. These findings appear in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.