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Easing Anxiety & Stress with Meditation

Easing Anxiety and Stress with Meditation is a very important topic. Since we are all dealing with daily stress, its good to learn certain techniques on how to deal with what you are going through. Accept that you cannot control everything around you. Think about meditating,  taking time out, so simply taking deep breaths.

Here’s an interesting article in The Khaleej Times that I thought I would share with you. It is from past research in earlier studies which still apply today.

Researchers found moderate evidence to support the use of mindfulness meditation to treat anxiety, mental stress, depression and pain.  They used data from 47 earlier studies.

Easing Anxiety & Stress with Meditation - stone memorial

In an email to Reuters Health, Dr. Madhav Goyal who led the study at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, wrote “Many people have the idea that meditation means just sitting quietly and doing nothing.  That is not true. It is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways.”

Dr. Madhav Goyal and his colleagues wrote in JAMA Internal Medicine that meditation techniques emphasize mindfulness as well as concentration.

Mindfulness meditation is aimed at allowing the mind to pay attention to whatever thoughts enter it. This can be sounds in the environment, however, without becoming too focused on it.
Mantra meditation, on the other hand, involves focusing concentration on a particular word or sound.

Nationa Institutes of Health Research

According to the National Institutes of Health, in 2007, about 9% of people in the US reported meditating. About 1% said they use meditation as some sort of treatment or medicine.

Researchers, for their new report- searched several electronic databases that catalog medical research for trials that randomly assigned people with a certain condition— such as anxiety, depression or pain— to do meditation or another activity. These randomized controlled trials are considered the gold standard of medical research.

The researchers found 47 studies with over 3,500 participants that met their criteria. After combining the data, Dr Goyal said his team found between a 5 and 10% improvement in anxiety symptoms among people who took part in mindfulness meditation, compared to those who did another activity. There was also about a 10 to 20% improvement in symptoms of depression among those who practiced mindfulness meditation, compared to the other group.

Dr Goyal said, “This is similar to the effects that other studies have found for the use of antidepressants in similar populations. Clinicians should be prepared to talk with their patients about the role that meditation programs could have in addressing psychological stress, particularly when symptoms are mild.”

Harvard Medical School Comments

Dr. Allan Goroll, is a professor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He wrote an editorial accompanying the new study, and told Reuters Health the analysis is an example of an area of much-needed scientific study, because many people make treatment decisions based on beliefs.

Dr Allan Goroll wrote; “People should remember that meditation was not conceived to treat any particular health problem, rather, it is a path we travel on to increase our awareness & gain insight into our lives. The best reason to meditate is to gain this insight. Improvements in health conditions are really a side benefit, and it’s best to think of them that way.”

So…turn off the TV and computer, put down your phone and clear your mind when meditating. According to the research, it can help you to relax!

How to Beat Stress

Being a single mom with two kids, one of them a teenager with a busy schedule, the other an 11 year old who thinks she is 16, as well as trying to get to the gym daily before work and having a second job, three days a week…can be extremely stressful!

But, I have found that the key to successful stress management is to keep a mild, healthy degree of stress in your life, in intermittent amounts. It sounds crazy, but that’s how our brain works.

Relieving Stress

Relieving Stress

WD heart health expert Michelle Albert, MD. ,explains that stress sets off a surge of hormones, like adrenaline & cortisol, in your body. Elevated levels of these hormones can harm your heart because they raise your blood pressure and cause inflammation.  So it’s important to develop ways to cope when life becomes tense.

Each of us respond to stress in our own ways, so experiment with techniques that may help bring  balance in your life, and learn what works best for you. Most importantly, what I have learnt through trying to de-stress, is to make time for yourself.

This quick list helps me to manage stress in my daily life. I thought that I would share it with you.

Get away from the noise
Visualize yourself in a tranquil place
Gain control of your breathing
Repeat a helpful or inspiring quote or word
Use your imagination
Laugh a lot
Cry because you can

See problems as opportunities
Don’t take anything  personally
It’s not a perfect world out there
Push away negative thoughts
Control yourself! Not others
Smile. When you do, you feel better
Be yourself

Eat healthy foods
Cook more often
Practice yoga
Get a massage
Take a nap
Listen to soothing music.
Get enough sleep.
Take time out for yourself- Go for a walk, be in nature

I do and I feel great!