Thursday, 16 April 2015
Mindfulness for treatment of depression and anxiety
By Tabeer Shaikh
One in five Americans have suffered from mental health issues. As mental health becomes more prevalent in the discourse of overall health, medical practitioners are looking for alternative ways to alleviate depression and anxiety. One of these methods that has been garnering attention lately is mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness meditation, which has recently entered our lexicon but has been a Buddhist practice for more than 2,400 years, focuses on cultivating self-awareness, being present in the moment by paying attention, all while being non-judgmental of any thoughts or feelings that may arise. Meditation helps us understand how our minds work and better connects us with ourselves by facilitating changes in brain regions associated with self, empathy, stress and memory.
How is mindfulness being incorporated into the mental health field?
In the past 40-years or so, we have seen mindfulness emerge into the medical field. Jon Kabat-Zinn, an MIT-trained molecular biologist, developed a program known as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, which essentially combines mindfulness meditation with medicine... more