Depression is often a direct consequence of stress and finding ways to manage both issues can be difficult. While medication helps, many patients also seek holistic treatments to complement this and to develop a coping mechanism. According to a recent study, meditation can be a useful tool in combating feelings of depression, anxiety and stress. Researchers at the University of California monitored school teachers that were given a short, intensive programme of meditation. Following the course, the teachers reported that they felt less stressed and were more compassionate to the feelings of others. Meditation is traditionally used to clear the mind and has previously been linked to improvements in blood pressure, metabolism and pain. Dr Margaret Kemeny, lead author of the study, commented: "The findings suggest that increased awareness of mental processes can influence emotional behaviour. "The study is particularly important because opportunities for reflection and contemplation seem to be fading in our fast-paced, technology-driven culture." Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.