This is a quote from one of my patients which illustrates how profoundly a regular meditation practice can affect mood and anxiety.
The woman who shared this experience with me is a genuine skeptic about all things “new age” and that made her words even more meaningful in my mind…
“The most important thing to know is that for the past 11 weeks I have been meditating daily. It has transformed me. I took an 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class and it seemed to “click” for the first time – I have tried it many other times… I think it was finally the right time for me to pursue this…. My goal is to do something that is bare bones… just following my breath for 35 to 45 minutes a day… so far it has had a dramatic effect on my anxiety which has all but disappeared.”
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is a class that is offered by many local health care institutions and hospitals. It is based on the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn and was developed as part of his work with people with severe chronic pain. It has since been found to be helpful for many other health conditions.
Search for classes in your area, or if you can’t find one, this is a reasonable alternative… an online program…
It may not be a good option for those in the midst of a manic or depressive episode, but for those who are mildly symptomatic it can make the difference between doing “pretty well” and doing “very well.”
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