Meditation, Depression, Anxiety and Stress

Over the last 10 years and more #Meditation has experienced a rise in popularity amongst #mental #health professionals to celebrities. Some people including myself amongst them swear by the practice and some don't. But regardless of this meditation in one form or another has been around for thousands of years.

Professor Vijaya Manicavasagar, Director, Psychological Services at the Black Dog Institute says “Meditation has its roots in eastern philosophy. #Hindu and #Buddhism are the first recorded texts that we have that reported meditative procedures and techniques,”

"Every ancient culture had its way of #meditating, and meditation can take many forms."

Dr Addie Wootten, CEO of Smiling Mind and Clinical Psychologist

Jon Kabat-Zinn brought #Mindfulness Meditation which has it's roots in Buddhist meditation practices to the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the 70’s. He developed a Mindfulness Meditation program for patients who were experiencing chronic stress related conditions.

He went on to develop the now world-renowned 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program that has a significant evidence base for its effectiveness in reducing distress, pain and other physical symptoms such as fatigue and improving wellbeing, and resilience.”

Celebrities such as #Gwyneth #Paltrow, #Oprah, #Russell #Brand and #Hugh #Jackman all publicly endorse mediation and its benefits. But what about for regular folk? And for those with #depression and #anxiety?

“There is a lot of evidence which is always growing, that meditation helps in the #management of depression. In the 90s, that it was thought it was only useful for #preventing #relapse in #patients who had suffered #depressive episodes. Research since then has demonstrated that it's effective in the direct #treatment of anxiety, #depression and #bipolar #disorder. It has also been used for people with #substance #abuse. Mediation has a wide applicability,” said Manicavasagar.

Wooten recommends meditation is best applied under the guidance of a qualified doctor.

For those wanting to get started, try to understand that mediation is different for everyone. No two people experience the same thing.

“People often have this vision in their mind of someone who is sitting somewhere for hours on end, completely oblivious to their surroundings; However, that kind of stage people only obtain after years and years of practice," said Manicavasagar.

"If you're going to start, what I would suggest is very short periods of time. Start small. Learning to #focus on one thing is part of meditative #practice. Even focusing on a #candle flame in an #accepting mode for three or four minutes is a great start.”

Wootten suggested having help to start.

If you're looking for a place to get started with meditation come along to one of Go Get You's Ko-Do classes which incorporate movement exercise with short periods of meditation or get started with #Zenywhere, our very own online guided meditation library

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