Stress, the real reprobate!
“STRESS”, which can simply be understood as an individual’s inability to cope with a demanding situation, is a very common problem being faced today. Every individual, right from a toddler to an adult, experiences stress in one way or another, up to varying degrees.
It is well known today, that stress is the main culprit in triggering various pathological phenomena in a healthy individual. According to National Ag Safety Database (NASD), 90% of illnesses and diseases are estimated to be stress-related. Few research studies show that children who are subjected to stress right from their childhood, are said to become psychologically and emotionally challenged in the near future.
Today research has established strong connections between stress and major mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and many others.
Mindfulness- The Real fix to ill health
Considering the immense damages caused by stress, many people around the globe have tried and tested methods, and finally postulated a few, to deal with stress and its consequences.
One of the most popular techniques is “Mindfulness Meditation”, a self-help technique that makes use of an individual’s ability to focus on the present moment while conceding with one’s feelings, thoughts, and kinaesthetic sensations and gaining tranquillity with the surrounding.
The 2 most proven mindfulness programs are Mindfulness-Based Stress Relief Therapy (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBSR is a method, which has its genesis in the Buddhist philosophy. It was devised by Mr. Jon Kabat Zinn in 1990, at the University of Massachusetts.
And on the other hand, MBCT is a method developed from MBSR. It involves MBSR practices conjoined with Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) from psychotherapy.
Several studies have been done in order to check the efficacy of these techniques and the following have been revealed about the same:
1) A systematic review and meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) done, to assess the effects of MBCT, was published in the PubMed journal, in the year 2016, and has revealed that MBCT can be used as an effective technique in not only curing depression but can also be used as a preventive tool in conditions of severe depression with recurring episodes.
2) Another review of empirical studies done on the practice of mindfulness techniques on psychological health and published in the PubMed journal in the year 2013, has revealed:
- Persistent alpha and theta wave activity in the brain EEG recordings, reflecting lower states of arousal with sleep
- Decreased oxygen and carbon dioxide consumption with lowered breath rate
- Lowered metabolic rate
- Individuals experienced higher levels of life satisfaction, self-esteem, agreeableness, sense of autonomy and optimism, increase in sustained attention and persistence
- Emotional responses could be better regulated at the prefrontal cortical inhibition of the amygdala
- Decreased frequency of negative thoughts
- There was improved cortical flexibility
- Greater activation of the grey matter
- Lowered psychopathological symptoms of anxiety and depression in individuals affected with the same
Way to self healing
Hence, we can consider the mindfulness technique, as an evolutionary one, as it has changed the perspective of medicine and psychology with research revealing such exemplary effects by its continued practice.
By the implementation of these methods, we can evolve from being a completely drug-dependent society into a civilization that has the ability to prevent disease before it actually manifests, by taking the right “mindful” steps.
Both MBST and MBCT serve as educational opportunities for people to attain better states of health, owning responsibility for their own well-being.
And the greatest gift to man is the gift of self-preservation, self-nurture and self-love which can be got through these practices!
Kshemavana having one of its 5 main pillars of healing as mind-body medicine, aims at introducing the mindfulness technique of MBCT, to give to its patients, the ability to self heal.
Hence, come abode and experience what it takes to really heal from within.