I came across the work of American self help guru Byron Katie ten years ago. She has published a variety of books which offer a series of simple questions designed to challenge and overturn your perception of any situation you’re struggling with. The questions work by flooding your mind with the ‘fresh air’ of a new (often reversed) perspective.
It’s an appealing technique when you’re in pain. But her techniques always struck me as being like Paracetamol – a short term solution. My old views always came back, dragging their long tail of complicated emotional responses. What’s more, the persistence and tenacity of my habitual thought patterns endowed them, to my thinking, with truth.
Buddhist … Read more »
Rick Nauert, Ph.D., PsychCentral: A new study suggests a particular type of mental training can help to reduce stress and depression among school age children.
UK researchers found that mindfulness training, a technique that develops sustained attention that can change the ways people think, act and feel, is an effective method to promote wellness in school kids.
Mindfulness is a technique gaining popularity among adults for enhancing health and well-being. However, very few controlled trials have evaluated their effectiveness among young people.
School is ending for many school kids, a time of high stress as children prepare to take final examinations and other qualifying tests.,,
Christy Matta, PsychCentral: Mindfulness is being used in schools, colleges and universities to help teachers and students to improve their attention, interactions with each other, and understanding of others.
Lawyers and judges use mindfulness to listen to and present evidence and reduce distractions. In other work settings, business leaders, workers and HR departments are using mindfulness training to reduce workplace stress, improve focus, communication, creativity and productivity.
And mindfulness is widely used in the treatment of mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety. It’s also used to assist people with medical conditions, such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, hypertension and insomnia and to improve the symptoms of stress…
Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., PsychCentral: Mindfulness, or paying full attention to the present moment, can be very helpful in improving the cognitive symptoms of depression. These debilitating symptoms include distorted thinking, difficulty concentrating and forgetfulness. Cognitive symptoms can impair all areas of a person’s life. For instance, poor concentration can interfere with your job or schoolwork. Negative thoughts can lead to negative emotions, deepening depression.
Focusing on the here and now helps individuals become aware of their negative thoughts, acknowledge them without judgment and realize they’re not accurate reflections of reality, writes author William Marchand, M.D., in his comprehensive book Depression and Bipolar Disorder:…
Examiner.com: Elizabeth Scott, M.S. has written for About.com that the practice of mindfulness can bring many benefits to your emotional and physical health, and also to the relationships in your life. Mindfulness is a great tool for stress management and overall wellness because it can be used at virtually any time and can quickly bring results that last. On March 15, 2013, Alpha Galileo Foundation reported on materials from Ku Leuven, Mindfulness at school reduces (likelihood of) depression-related symptoms in adolescents.
Secondary school students who follow an in-class mindfulness program reported lowered indications of depression, anxiety and stress up to six months later. Furthermore, these…
The Poetry Foundation has an interview with the American poet and memoirist Mary Karr, in which she discusses how the mind can be its own worst enemy:
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If you’re suicidal, your mind is actually the keenest threat to your survival. Yet depressed people still listen intensely to their minds even though said minds NEVER have anything good to say. Think of it, you try to employ the diseased organ to cure itself! If someone outside your body were shouting those awful things you say to yourself in such times, you’d plug your ears and sing lalalala. You have to stop that mind or die.
A simple meditation practice I started twenty-three years ago involves counting
A new study has found that participating in an eight-week meditation training program can have measurable effects on how the brain functions even when someone is not actively meditating. In their report in the November issue of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, investigators at Harvard Medical School-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston University (BU), and several other research centers also found differences in those effects based on the specific type of meditation practiced.
“The two different types of meditation training our study participants completed yielded some differences in the response of the amygdala — a part of the brain known for decades to be important for emotion — to images with emotional content,” says Gaëlle Desbordes, … Read more »
Julie Deardorff, Tribune Newspapers: Regular practice shown to decrease symptoms of stress and depression.
A simple form of mindful meditation can help breast cancer survivors stave off the symptoms of depression, new research suggests. But the potential benefits don’t stop there.
Meditation may help wipe out some of those repetitive thoughts about the past or future that can clutter the mind once treatment ends. It may also reduce loneliness and decrease the body’s inflammatory response to stress — which can trigger serious illness — according to a small study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.
“Mindfulness meditation is particularly effective in buffering …
Alice G. Walton: Most people do what they have to do to get through the day. Though this may sound dire, let’s face it, it’s the human condition. Given the number of people who are depressed or anxious, it’s not surprising that big pharma is doing as well as it is. But for millennia before we turned to government-approved drugs, humans devised clever ways of coping: Taking a walk, eating psychedelic mushrooms, breathing deeply, snorting things, praying, running, smoking, and meditating are just some of the inventive ways humans have found to deal with the unhappy rovings of their minds.
In traditional Buddhist teaching, doubt is a hindrance to progress. Now the English word doubt can also mean something positive — the kind of skeptical enquiry upon when rational thought, science, and even true spiritual practice are based — but the hindrance of doubt is not a helpful thing. While healthy skepticism is an essential part of a search for truth, the hindrance of doubt (vicikiccha) is an avoidance or even denial of the truth.
Doubt is a form of storytelling. It’s the lies we tell ourselves. So when we hit an obstacle and tell ourselves “I can’t do this” or “this is a stupid task anyway,” that’s doubt. When we tell ourselves … Read more »