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Harvard Health Blog
Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress
About the Author
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
I find that using mindfulness techniques and positives vizualisations really helps calm my orthodontic patients. Even suggesting they focus on their breathing appears to calm many people.
Thanks for the article. As you say, successful practitioners of this method are a pleasure in interaction. I have found on the down side that some of my patients with serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are at a serious disadvantage as they may not be able to draw enough ego control to still the many “voices” and actually deteriorate in mental health, getting lost in interior spaces. I have found this to be helpful in individuals with transient grief reaction, episodic stress, and anxiety as well.
Mindfullness meditation helps to concentrate better and also improves congnitive function.
Right on the mark. Even HR departments like ours encourage these practices just as a way to foster positive well-being of our employees. A little Yoga goes a looong way in supporting emotional health.
This is interesting for dealing with depression and high anxiety. Meditation makes you focus on your work(present work, whatever work it is). Forget about past, regrets of past and everything.
true mindfulness practice doesn’t make one forget the past; it allows the practitioner of mindfulness to learn to skillfully use their mind to decide one which thoughts are lead to productive outcomes (e.g., if I focus on the fantasy of what might happen in surgery, vs. how I will recover quickly after it) big difference.
This is interesting for dealing with depression and high anxiety. I’m always looking for an alternative way to healing before any surgery. Thanks
Everyone suffers with Stress at some point of time and it was unavoidable for many of the people. Meditation has been used for many years and it was very helpful in reducing stress, anxiety. Mindful meditation will relaxes your mind and body brings to a peaceful,calm state.
I discovered meditation while I lived in India. It has become a great tool for me to relax and focus on the important things in life.
Great post. I think your mom would know about the actual benefit of mindful meditation. Meditation gives you freshness, the freshness of the present and makes you forget about the bad incidents of past. Meditation is the best stress buster. A 20 minute meditation(mindful) releases all your stress up to that minute. Meditation makes you focus on your work(present work, whatever work it is). Forget about past, regrets of past and everything.
A very informative and interesting article in the way that it not only tries to help us to know the importance of meditation but also tries to emphasise on how it helps us to have a better control on our breating as well.Mindful Meditation can be wonderfully calming, anytime when the daily grind is getting on top of you. Definitely it is something we should not knock off our list until we’ve given it a try. Just ten to twenty minutes can leave one feeling invigorated and serene.It can also help build positive emotions which are linked to better health, longer life, and greater well-being
Nice article…..Thanks for this post…keep it up.
Giving yourself a wonderful yet simple treat or something to look forward to at the end of the day helps as well!
Your Mom knows what she is saying. Learning from our parents and seniors and acknowledging their accomplishment at survival, internalizing their triumph amidst loss and challenges can help us younger(not so younger ones)a lot. We need to maintain our roots! As i was thinking..if you can laugh and be happy for 10 seconds amidst (turmoil/a challenge), you can choose to be happy most of your life. 🙂
Great Info. We have been using meditation and alpha waves to reduce anxiety for exam takers as a part of our “critical exam Taking Techniques” for our PMP students.
Everyone thinks we’re nuts, until they don’t!
I recommend the books “Buddha’s Brain” and “Hardwiring Happiness” for the neuroscience of rewiring the brain for improved mood and stress reduction, using meditation.
Great article comparison but this methodology is dependent on one’s ability to clear their mind, believe in the effectiveness of such self help and relax. It would be more cost effective to refer people interested to a spiritual counselor or guide.
Its a Really informative Article to reduce mental stress,
thanks to the post .
I’m so glad to see this, for many folks the more science backing up what they consider “whoo-woo” stuff the more likely they are to at least try it. I have meditated for years and teach mindfulness meditation to people in their homes- in NYC. I just got back from a six week mindfulness meditation retreat. To get the benefits one just needs to do a little bit, 15 or 20 min, at least 3x a week will give benefit.
do meditation for is really require physical fitness?
i was in some reading of hatha yoga for physical fitness
and tracking to managing our calories with fitness trackers
Any form of yoga is a great form of physical fitness…Bikram is great for increasing ones flexibility and strength, as well as lowering stress levels….
Remember too that Mindfulness is the most researched and effective burnout prevention techniques for physicians and other healthcare providers. For the doctor to be able to release all the hubub of the office day and give the patient their undivided attention is a huge benefit to both parties.
Dike Drummond MD
Study, research, publish … meditative practices are increasingly being objects of study of biomedical and psychosocial sciences in the West, but it is the regular practice that makes all the difference. No one will reap the effects of meditation just reading the latest scientific evidence. The challenge is to make the practice a habit! Armando Ribeiro das Neves Neto (Sao Paulo – Brazil).
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