Our findings suggest the usefulness of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction as an intervention for a broad range of chronic disorders and problems. In fact, the consistent and relatively strong level of effect sizes across very different types of sample indicates that mindfulness training might enhance general features of coping with distress and disability in everyday life, as well as under more extraordinary conditions of serious disorder or stress. Another recently published study employing different inclusion criteria and a somewhat divergent strategy also provides additional support for the effectiveness of mindfulness interventions. In both investigations, improvements were consistently seen across a spectrum of standardized (1) mental health measures including psychological dimensions of quality of life scales, depression*, anxiety*, coping style and other affective dimensions of disability*. Likewise, similar benefits were also found for health parameters of (2) physical well-being, such as medical symptoms, sensory pain, physical impairment, and functional quality-of-life estimates.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Health Benefits: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 54 (2004) 35-43.
Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Med (2014) 174 (3): 357–68
The hypnotic state allows a person to be more open to increase motivation and alter behavior patterns. It is not a dangerous procedure, mind control or brain washing. A hypnotized person will not do, say or agree to anything that they do not want to do.
.Self-hypnosis is a naturally occurring state of mind that can be defined as a heightened state of concentration. With its use, clients can change their thinking, eliminate unhealthy habits and take better control of their lives.
It can be used to improve the success of treatments for many conditions, including: Phobias, fears, and anxiety; Sleep disorders; Depression; Stress; Post-trauma anxiety; as well as Grief and loss. Hypnosis also might be used to help with pain control and to overcome habits, such as smoking or overeating. It also might be helpful for people whose symptoms are severe or who need crisis management.
Left to itself the mind wanders through all kinds of thoughts — including thoughts expressing anger, craving, depression, revenge, self-pity, etc. As we indulge in these kinds of thoughts we reinforce those emotions in our hearts and cause ourselves to suffer. Mostly these thoughts are about the past or future and we "space out". The past no longer exists. The future is just a fantasy until it happens. The one moment we actually can experience — the present moment — is the one we seem most to avoid, as we rush through our lives as though we are on automatic pilot. So in mindfulness we’re concerned with noticing what’s going on right now in the present. That doesn’t mean we can no longer think about the past or future, but when we do so we do so mindfully, so that we’re aware that we’re actually thinking about the past or future.
However, in mindfulness meditation, when we “space out" into past and present thoughts, we try to notice this and just come back to now in the present. By purposefully directing our awareness away from such thoughts and towards the “anchor” or our present moment experience, we decrease the effect of past and future intrusive thoughts on our lives and we create instead a space of freedom where calmness, contentment and awareness can grow.
Adapted from John Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program, Univ Mass Med Ct
"It is how an individual accepts stress that determines whether the person can adapt successfully to stress.
Stress diseases are maladies caused principally by errors in the body’s general adaptation process. They will not occur when all the body’s regulatory processes are properly checked and balanced. They will not develop when adaptation is facilitated by improved perception, interpretation and awareness. The biggest problems with derailing the General Stress Syndrome and causing disease is an absolute excess, deficiency, or disequilibrium in the amount of adaptive hormones — for example, corticoid, ACTH, and growth hormones produced during stress. Unfortunately, with chronic stress, our defense response lowers its resistance since fewer antibodies are produced and an inflammatory response dwindles. Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorder, and other illnesses. Similarly if we reduce our stress through stress management, our defense mechanisms are strengthened and our resistance is heightened. American Institute of Stress
There has been no definition of stress that everyone accepts. Probably the most common is, “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension”. Another popular definition of stress is, “a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.” Thus stress is a measure of strain on the mind and body.
The mixed model introduced by Daniel Goleman uses both EI models as well as intra and ultra competencies maximizes health and performance. Goleman's model outlines five main EI constructs:
Self-awareness– the ability to know one's emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognizeimpact on others Self-regulation – involves controlling or redirecting one's disruptive emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.
Self-motivation - driven to excel and achieve for its own sake.
Empathy - feeling and caring what other people are feeling
Social skill - managing relationships to optimize interactions
(Goleman, D. (1998). Working with emotional intelligence, Bantum Books, NY, NY)
It is based on the concept that your body and mind are connected. Using all of your senses, your body seems to respond as though what you are imagining is real. It requires you to employ not only your visual sense, but also your sense of taste, touch, smell, and sound. When used as a relaxation technique, visualization involves imagining a scene in which you feel at peace, free to let go of all tension and anxiety. Choose whatever setting is most calming to you, whether it’s a tropical beach, a favorite childhood spot, or a quiet wooded glen. You can do this visualization exercise in silence, while listening to soothing music, as you are guided through the imagery. To help you employ your sense of hearing you can use a sound machine or download sounds that match your chosen setting, the sound of ocean waves if you’ve chosen a beach.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to monitor one's own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. There are three models of EI. The "ability model" focuses on the individual's ability to process emotional information and use it to navigate the social environment. The "trait model" encompasses behavioral dispositions and self perceived abilities and is measured through self report. The final model, the "mixed model" is a combination of both ability and trait EI. It defines EI as an array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership performance, as proposed by Daniel Goleman.
Studies have shown that people with high EI have greater mental health, exemplary job performance, and more potent leadership skills.These qualities mark people who excel in life, whose relationships flourish, who are stars in the workplace.Markers of EI and methods of developing it have become more widely coveted. In addition, studies have begun to provide evidence to help characterize the neural mechanisms of emotional intelligence.
[Barbey, K.; Colom, R; Grafman, J (2012). "Distributed neural system for emotional intelligence revealed by lesion mapping". Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 9 (3): 265–272.]
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Meditation originally was meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. These days, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction. Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.
Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. And these benefits don't end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may improve certain medical conditions.
When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.
The emotional benefits of meditation can include:
There are various types of meditation to choose from including: Guided, Mantra, Mindfulness, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Transendental, Yoga, Walking, Praying, Reading, Breath, Body, Love and Gratitude. Experiment to determine which style suits you best.
Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress.
While a growing body of scientific research supports the health benefits of meditation. Research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as: Anxiety disorders; Asthma; Cancer; Depression; Heart disease; High blood pressure; Pain; and Sleep problems.
These definitions of stress tend to focus on the negative feelings and emotions it produces. A more comprehensive definition is the biopsychosocial model that has three components. This definition of stress distinguishes between an external element, another that is internal, as well as a third that represents the interaction between these two factors. The external component is made up of elements in the external environmental conditions that include the basic elements of water, food, shelter, family friends and social connections. The internal component in this definition of stress consists of physiological and biochemical factors in the internal environment or body, such as distressing health, disease and illness issues. The interaction between these two components in this definition of stress represents the cognitive processes that result from the interaction between external and internal components.
A complete definition also includes the hormonal stimulants that produce a fight-or-flight response following a startling, frightful event or chronic tension.
Acute Stress: Fight or flight. The body prepares to defend itself. It takes about 90 minutes for the metabolism to return to
normal when the response is over.
Chronic Stress: The cost of daily living: bills, kids, jobs, etc. This is the stress we tend to ignore or push down. Left uncontrolled this stress affects your health - your body and your immune system.
Eustress: Stress in daily life that has positive connotations: Marriage, Promotion, Baby, Winning Money, New Friends, Graduation
Distress: Stress in daily life that has negative connotations: Divorce, Punishment, Injury, Negative Feelings, Financial Problems.
Goleman includes a set of emotional competencies within each construct of EI. Emotional competencies are not innate talents, but rather learned capabilities that must be worked on and can be developed to achieve outstanding performance. Goleman posits that individuals are born with a general emotional intelligence that determines their potential for learning emotional competencies.
Goleman, D., (1995) Emotional Intelligence, New York, NY, England: Bantam Books, Inc
Mindful Awareness is the moment-by-moment process of actively and openly observing one's physical, mental and emotional experiences. Mindful Awareness has scientific support as a means to reduce stress, improve attention, boost the immune system, reduce emotional reactivity*, and promote a general sense of health and well-being. Mindful Awareness Practices are tools and exercises such as meditation, yoga and tai-chi that develop greater mind-body awareness and promote mindfulness in daily life. UCLA Mindfulness Research Center