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How credible is Mindful Meditation in relieving Stress?

In today’s fast-paced lives, stress has become an inevitable part of our daily lives. Because of this, the inner longing for mental peace and calmness is coming naturally to every person these days. In a scenario like this, MINDFUL MEDITATION guarantees calm amidst the chaos. The whole process of the transformative mental health journey is rooted in ancient practices that make an individual aware of their present situation and help establish a deeper mind, body, and soul connection.

MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS

In simple language, meditation is attaining a state of positive emotions and a calm concentration. The most popular technique of meditation is MINDFULNESS.



Now, mindfulness has two parts- attention and acceptance.

The attention component involves tuning into your memories to focus on what is happening now. It usually entails paying attention to how you breathe, your thoughts, your physical responses in your body, and your feelings. Acceptance entails noticing such sensations and emotions without passing judgment. Rather than responding to or responding to those ideas or sensations, you strive to observe them to let them go.

Mindfulness workshops and therapies based on mindfulness give you the tools you need to implement those ideas. Examples of such programmes include breathing exercises, yoga, and directed instruction to help you become conscious of your bodily sensations, thoughts, and feelings.

Much of the mindfulness research has concentrated on two sorts of interventions:

  1. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is an 8-week therapy method that consists of weekly group workshops and daily mindfulness exercises to practise at home. Through yoga and meditation, MBSR teaches participants how to develop their mindfulness.

  2. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a treatment for depression that combines aspects of MBSR and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).



Essential facets of meditation-
  1. Concentrated attentiveness. One of the most crucial aspects of meditation is the ability to focus your attention. Concentrating your attention frees your mind from the various things that generate stress and concern. You can direct your attention to an object, an image, a mantra, or even your breathing.

  2. Take a relaxing pose. Meditation can be practised while seated, lying down, strolling, or in any other position or activity. Attempt to relax so that you can get maximum benefit out of your meditation. Try to keep a good posture when meditating.

  3. A peaceful location. Finding a peaceful place to meditate may be easy if you’re starting. Aim to have fewer distractions, such as no television, computers, or cell phones. You can meditate any place as your skills improve. It includes high-stress situations such as traffic congestion, a challenging work meeting, or a long grocery store queue. This is the time to make the most of meditation.

  4. An open mindset. Allow thoughts to move through your mind without judgment.

  5. Relaxed Breathing. This technique entails deep, even-paced breathing that expands your lungs by using the diaphragm muscle, which is located between your chest and your abdomen. The goal is to slow your breathing, take in more oxygen, and engage less of your shoulder, neck, and upper chest muscles during breathing, allowing you to breathe better.




Research evidence of benefits of Mindfulness Meditation-

Over 200 trials of mindfulness in individuals with good health were analysed, and researchers discovered that treatment based on mindfulness was very beneficial for reducing anxiety, depression, and stress. Mindfulness can also aid in the treatment of specific disorders such as depression, pain, smoking, and addiction. Some of the most intriguing studies have concentrated on those suffering from depression. MBCT, for example, has been shown in several studies to minimise significant recurrence in persons who have previously experienced severe depression. Mindfulness-based interventions can also benefit physical health. Mindfulness, for example, has been shown to improve pain, exhaustion, and stress in those suffering from chronic pain. Other research has discovered early indications that mindfulness can improve the body’s immunity and help patients recover faster from colds and flu. Researchers found that mindfulness affects two distinct stress pathways in the brain, altering the brain’s structure and activity in focus and emotion regulation areas. Scientists are also learning specific aspects of mindfulness that are accountable for its positive effects. In a review of meditation trials, psychologists discovered substantial evidence that those who received MBCT were less likely to react to stress with negative thoughts or harmful emotional reactions. They also found moderate evidence that persons who participated in MBCT or MBSR were more likely to focus on the present and were less inclined to worry or replay an unpleasant idea or experience.


Mindful meditation is a vital and easily accessible stress-reduction tool in our hectic and challenging lives. Mindful meditation, focused on the present moment, allows individuals to better understand their feelings and thoughts, generating a sense of serenity and clarity. The practice has been linked to lower stress levels, better emotional well-being, and increased overall resilience.


REFERENCES  
  1. Mindfulness meditation: A research-proven way to reduce stress. (2019, October 30). https://www.apa.org/topics/mindfulness/meditation 

  2. Staff, M. (2023, December 1). How to Manage Stress with Mindfulness and Meditation. Mindful. https://www.mindful.org/how-to-manage-stress-with-mindfulness-and-meditation/ 

  3. Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress. (2023, December 14). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858 

 

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