Meditation Can Help Treat Depression In Spanish-Speaking Immigrants

Meditation can help treat depression in Spanish-speaking immigrants. A new study has found that mindfulness training programs relieved depression in Spanish-speaking immigrants.

The study is published in peer-reviewed PLOS One. The research shows the key benefits of mindfulness meditation for immigrants who may find it difficult to learn a new language, find a job, obtain health care, and struggle with experiencing discrimination and fear of deportation.

Mindfulness is the practice of maintaining awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they occur in real-time. Mindfulness meditation that involves visualization techniques, smells, sounds, and other sensations improve both mental and physical health.

The study included 76 adults with moderate stress levels. Of the participants, 36 were Spanish-speaking adults and 40 were non-Latino, English-speaking adults. Participants randomly participated in either the mindful awareness or health education program.

Instructor guided people in the mindful awareness program with mindfulness techniques while doing regular activities including sitting, eating or walking. People in the health education received instructions in factors such as diet and nutrition, mental health, participants, and substance abuse.

Participants in both groups reported improvements in depression and stress as well as increased mindfulness-awareness. According to researchers, compared to participants in the health education group, the Spanish-speaking participants in the mindfulness meditation program scored almost 12 points higher on the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire.

“Community-based interventions are needed to reduce the risk of depression and other adverse mental health outcomes in the U.S and around the world,” said study author Dr. Michael Irwin.