Almost everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their lives.\u00a0 Anxiety becomes a problem when it interrupts everyday life with consuming thoughts or fears that persist for six months or more.\u00a0 Common stressors for those with anxiety include work, money, general health, and safety.\u00a0 Anxiety disorders cause individuals to look at situations with a skewed viewpoint \u2013 often seeing the situation as much worse than it actually is. Fortunately, meditation and other relaxation treatments have shown to be a big help when it comes to reducing fear and anxiety.\u00a0 Meditation is an ancient spiritual practice that is starting to gain credibility in the medical field as a form of stress relief.\u00a0 According to Herbert Benson, MD, cardiologist and founder of the Mind\/Body Medical Institute at Harvard\u2019s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, of those who go to the doctor for sickness of any sort, between 60 and 90 percent can benefit from stress management techniques such as meditation.In fact, Benson says that the technique is now even being used to treat illnesses such as cancer and AIDS.\u00a0 Benson says that meditation is just one of many practices that lead the body into a calm and peaceful state.\u00a0 He adds that there are many relaxation techniques including yoga, deep breathing, and prayer and believes that none is better than the other.\u00a0 He maintains that any of these are beneficial because they elicit a relaxed response from the body, which helps lower metabolism, blood pressure and heart rate.\u00a0 These techniques also cause brain waves to slow down and breathing to become less labored. In a study conducted at the University of Madison, Wisconsin, researchers found that meditation not only helped individuals to control their emotions, but they also found that it had a preventative benefit when it came to illness because it helped the subjects boost performance of their immune system.\u00a0 The results of the study were published in the February 2003 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine. As part of the study, 25 individuals took part in mindfulness meditation courses that lasted eight weeks.\u00a0 Mindfulness meditation teaches subjects to be aware of thoughts and feelings without being consumed by them.\u00a0 It is meant to quiet the mind.\u00a0 Unlike, concentrative meditation, which chooses one center of intense focus, mindfulness meditation encourages participants to be cognizant of all things passing through the mind. The individuals had weekly classes and also attended a seven-hour retreat.\u00a0 After class, their homework was to practice one hour of mindfulness meditation, six days a week.\u00a0 Participants\u2019 brain waves were measured before they started the study and also four months after their treatment sessions ended.\u00a0 Results were compared to a control group that didn\u2019t attend the classes or meditate. Researchers found that the left, frontal region of the brain was stimulated in the test group.\u00a0 This is the part of the brain associated with positive mental emotions and reduced stress.\u00a0 Also, both the test group and control group received flu shots after the eight-week training session concluded.\u00a0 Blood tests conducted a month and two months later showed that the test group had produced more antibodies to the flu virus than those in the control group, suggesting that the meditation techniques may help keep sickness at bay by boosting immune function. Since meditation requires concentration, it may not work for those suffering from more serious anxiety disorders.\u00a0 Meditation may be more helpful when used as a supplement to other forms of medical treatment.\u00a0 If you suspect you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder, talk to your doctor about the treatment options best suited to you.