Keep up Yoga Practice for Anxiety and Depression!


The medical literature tells us that the most effective ways to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and many more problems are through healthy diet and exercise. Our bodies have evolved to move, yet we now use the energy in oil instead of muscles to do our work.David Suzuki

Chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes are not only physically difficult but also very frequently associated with emotional challenges, being frequently accompanied by anxiety and depression. The presence of a chronic disease makes it three times more likely to have a major depression. About 15% of patients with diabetes are depressed while about 20% of patients with coronary heart disease evidence depression.

The comorbidity appears to be bidirectional. The presence of depression nearly doubled the likelihood that diabetes would occur and there is a 50% greater likelihood that a depressed individual will have a heart attack than matched individuals without depression. So, chronic disease tends to predict anxiety and depression and these psychological disorders tend to predict chronic disease.

Dealing with mental health issues with a background of chronic illness presents a complex picture for treatment. One option is yoga practice. It is known to have both physical and mental health benefits, so it would seem to be well suited to dealing with the combination of the two. In fact yoga has been found to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and stress and improve distress tolerance as well as improving the immune response to combat disease It can even help protect the brain from aging degeneration

In today’s Research News article “Influence of Intensity and Duration of Yoga on Anxiety and Depression Scores Associated with Chronic Illness”

Telles and colleagues test not only the effectiveness of yoga practice for anxiety and depression in chronically ill patients but also investigated the amounts of practice that are effective. They found that the more months that yoga has been practiced the lower the levels of both anxiety and depression. In addition, the amount of daily practice in minutes was also associated with lower levels of anxiety associated with chronic illness.

There are a number of effects of yoga practice that may underlie its ability to relieve anxiety and depression in chronically ill patients. Yoga practice has been shown to decrease the physical and psychological responses to stress. The stress related to chronic illness can magnify both the symptoms of the illness and also the psychological impact of the illness. By relieving this stress yoga practice can affect both the physical and psychological symptoms of the illness.

Yoga practice is also known to improve mood which could directly affect the levels of anxiety and depression. It may also do so by altering brain chemistry which is known to be associated with depression and anxiety. In addition, the fact that yoga is frequently practiced in a group can provide social support and stimulation that can assist with mental health.

Regardless of the mechanism it appears clear that the more you practice yoga, the better you begin to feel psychologically and physically. So, keep up your yoga practice for physical and emotional health.

“Even if you have a terminal disease, you don’t have to sit down and mope. Enjoy life and challenge the illness that you have.” – Nelson Mandela

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

Heart Health with Tai Chi

“If you want to be healthy and live to one hundred, do qigong.” ~Mehmet Oz

Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient practices of mindful movement. The reason that they have continued to be practiced by millions for centuries is that they have major mental and physical benefits. Modern research is verifying these benefits. Mindful movement practice has been shown to improve balance, self-concept, and attention span, reduce falls, boost the immune system and helps to relieve symptoms of arthritis, asthma, Parkinson’s disease and insomnia. It has been shown to improve sleep in the elderly and even improve cancer recovery

Tai Chi involves slow motion smooth mindful movements. It doesn’t look much like an exercise and so it has the reputation of not being an exercise that improves cardiovascular health. Tai chi “does not supply the cardiovascular component that we’d be looking for in a well-rounded routine. The exertion level, while challenging, is not going to increase your heart rate.” – Jessica Matthews. This notion, however, turns out to be untrue.

In today’s Research News article “The Effect of Tai Chi Training on Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.”

Zheng and colleagues reviewed the literature on the effects of Tai Chi practice on heart and circulatory health in healthy adults. They find that there is considerable evidence that Tai Chi has positive effects on heart and circulatory health.

Tai Chi practice appears to improve blood pressure, heart stroke volume, resting heart rate, cardiac output, lung capacity, and heart and breathing endurance. It appears to do this without any adverse effects. This is remarkable, as all of the drugs used to produce these same effects have major side effects and adverse consequences. Hence, Tai Chi appears to be a safe and effective practice for heart and respiratory health.

So, practice Tai Chi and help maintain heart health.

“Tai chi does not mean oriental wisdom or something exotic. It is the wisdom of your own senses, your own mind and body together as one process.” ~Chungliang Al Huang

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

Learn Less Implicitly with Mindfulness

“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.” ― Jon Kabat-Zinn

When people think of learning they’re usually visualizing learning information like historical facts, peoples names, mathematical formulas, etc. But, there’s another very important form of learning, called implicit learning, which is learning how to perform automatic tasks rapidly and efficiently. Things like riding a bike, playing a musical instrument, serving a tennis ball and tying your shoelaces all require implicit learning and memory.

Implicit learning requires the person to actually perform and practice a task to master it. Many athletic skills fall into this category. The skills are mastered with repetition so that they can be performed instinctively and mindlessly when needed. Once you’ve mastered hitting a ball with a bat you don’t have to think about the actual swing. You only need to make the decision to swing or not; the automatic system takes over from there. This is very effective. In fact athletes will tell you that if they think too much about what they’re doing they won’t do it as well.

Implicit learning also involves most mundane tasks that we perform constantly throughout our day. Walking, producing speech, even typing this sentence on a keyboard all involve implicitly learned skills. So, implicit learning is important and helps to reduce the cognitive load on our nervous system for everyday behaviors. We don’t have the think about them so we can devote our brain capacity to higher level thoughts and ideas.

It has been demonstrated that mindfulness helps with explicit learning, such as academic material. For example mindfulness training can improve college entrance exam scores in students. But, does mindfulness also help with implicit learning? In today’s Research News article “Dispositional mindfulness is associated with reduced implicit learning”

Stillman and colleagues tackle this very question; investigating the relationship between mindfulness and implicit learning.

They found that mindfulness appeared to interfere with implicit learning, the higher the level of mindfulness the lower the score on implicit learning tasks. But, mindfulness was associated with positive outcomes such as lower depression, better overall health, episodic memory and inhibitory control. So, mindfulness appears to have many very positive effects but there appears to be a tradeoff. As the old saying goes ‘you don’t get something for nothing’. The benefits occur but there’s also a cost, lower ability for implicit learning.

To some extent this result makes sense. Implicit learning involves learning to perform an action without attention. Mindfulness involves learning to pay attention. So, the two would appear to be incompatible. Being better at paying attention in the present moment makes it more difficult to learn to not pay attention and learn implicitly.

There actually may be an upside to mindfulness interfering with implicit learning. There are a number of behaviors that we learn implicitly that we might call ‘bad habits.’ Mindfulness may interfere with the development with these also. Developing an addiction is a good example. It involves learning implicitly a myriad of behaviors elicited by certain environmental conditions. Interfering with implicit learning might interfere with acquiring an addiction. In fact, it has been shown that mindfulness training helps with kicking a bad habit, getting rid of an addiction.

So, be mindful, the plusses outweigh the minuses. You might not be as good at mastering an athletic skill, but your life will be much better in most other ways.

“Mindfulness may help prevent formation of automatic habits — which is done through implicit learning — because a mindful person is aware of what they are doing.” – Chelsea Stillman

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

Age Healthily – Sleep better with Meditation

Aging brings a myriad of physical and mental changes including altered amounts and patterns of sleep. Older people have the same sleep needs as when they were younger but they have more difficulty falling and staying asleep and do not sleep as deeply. In addition, aging individuals wake more often during sleep, tend to go to sleep and wake earlier than when they were younger. There is also an increase in sleep disorders, including insomnia and 44% of the elderly report at least occasional problems with insomnia.

Sleep problems are more than just an irritant. Sleep deprivation is associated with decreased alertness and a consequent reduction in performance of even simple tasks, increased difficulties with memory and problem solving, decreases quality of life, increase likelihood of accidental injury including automobile accidents, and increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It also places stress on relationships, affecting the sleep of the older individuals sleep partner.

Hence, it is clear that getting a good night’s sleep is important for everyone. But for the elderly it’s more difficult to get it. So, anything that could assist older people to sleep better would help the individual to age healthier with a better quality of life. Mindfulness has been found to be associated with healthy aging (see

Mindfulness can also be helpful with sleep problems. Indeed, meditation has been shown to be effective for the treatment of insomnia in adults (see But, the elderly are different and it is not known if meditation might also help them to sleep better.

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment among Older Adults with Sleep Disturbances: A Randomized Clinical Trial”

Black and colleagues demonstrate that meditation can improve sleep quality in people over 55 years of age. They found that meditation increased the quality of sleep and the degree of improvement was related to the degree of increase in mindfulness produced. Meditation also resulted in less insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, and depression and less interference in daily living produced by fatigue. These findings are very exciting and suggest that meditation may be an effective intervention to improve sleep in the elderly.

Sleep problems are associated with a high level of physiological arousal. Meditation has been shown to reduce the hormonal and neural systems that underlie arousal and reduces responses to stress (see This could be one mechanism by which meditation improves sleep. Also sleep disturbance is often associated with psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, worry and rumination. Meditation is also known to reduce these processes. Indeed, Black and colleagues demonstrated reductions in depression with meditation in older individuals (see also and mindfulness is known to reduce anxiety (see and worry (see  This may be another potential mechanism by which mindfulness improves sleep.

Regardless of the mechanism, it is clear that meditation improves sleep in older individuals. Since meditation is relatively safe and easy to perform and has become more and more common and acceptable in modern western cultures, it would seem to be an ideal solution to the sleep problems of the elderly.

So, meditate and sleep better as you age.

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

The Purpose of Life

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

We tend to make everything overly complicated. We do this repeatedly in our existence and particularly in our search for meaning in life, for our purpose in living. Rather than see its elegant simplicity we intellectualize it and attempt to construct some form of theoretical understanding in reference to what we’ve been taught and what we’ve learned from experience. In other words we use our intellects to make up a purpose. It is no wonder that we feel uncertain and confused about our purpose.

So we look to scriptures, the writings of great thinkers, or the productions of great artists to reveal to us the meaning and purpose of our lives. For some that seems to bring comfort. But, they are comforted only because they don’t invest significant time and energy in processing the logic of the solutions. They simply defer to someone else’s ideas. With a little reflection though, the purported purpose is realized to be unsatisfactory.

How sad, that our minds convince us that our purpose has to be difficult to discern. Our purpose in existing should be simple and patently obvious to all. Only our intellects would need to look for something obscure and complex. Simply put, thinking prevents us from seeing. So, let’s look without thinking. Let’s simply look around us.

The purpose of life should be revealed in the present moment, not in our hazily remembered and reconstructed past and not in our imagined and projected future, but right now. The only time that we can have a purpose is right now. So why not look for it there.

If we look carefully at what we’re experiencing right now in the present moment without thinking or reference to the past or future, we will experience an incredible panoply of sensations that arise and fall away, arise and fall away, arise and fall away. If we try to grasp ahold of any of them we fail and become unhappy. But, if we simply sit back and let whatever comes come and whatever goes go, we experience the beauty of the ever changing present. We can come to enjoy the pleasure and wonder of the richness of every moment. We can see it for the miracle that it actually is.

This quickly leads to the patently obvious conclusion that the purpose of life is simply to experience it. Nothing more! If we truly stop trying to make it complicated and simply focusing on experiencing what is there right in front of us, a revelation begins to dawn on us that our purpose is not to come up with an intellectual answer to produce meaning but simply to experience the meaning that is revealed in every single moment.

How wonderfully obvious and simple!

It’s not rocket science. It’s simply seeing the wonder of existence and allowing it to play out for us.

So, experience life in all its glory and fulfill your purpose.

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”  ― Eleanor Roosevelt

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” -Dalai Lama

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

Live More Effectively with Breast Cancer with Mindfulness

About 1 in 8 women in the U.S. develop invasive breast cancer over their lifetimes and about 40,000 women die annually from breast cancer. It is encouraging however that the death rates have been decreasing for decades from improved detection and treatment of breast cancer. Five-year survival rates are now at around 95%. Nonetheless, more women in the U.S. die from breast cancer than from any other cancer, besides lung cancer.

The improved survival rates mean that more women are now living with cancer. This can be difficult as breast cancer survivors can have to deal with the consequences of chemotherapy, and often experience increased fatigue, pain, and bone loss, reduced fertility, difficulty with weight maintenance, damage the lymphatic system, heightened fear of reoccurrence, and an alteration of their body image. With the loss of a breast or breasts, scars, hair shedding, complexion changes and weight gain or loss many young women feel ashamed or afraid that others will reject or feel sorry for them.

There is a need then to find ways to help women adjust and adapt to life with breast cancer. Mindfulness training has been shown to help in dealing with the psychological issues associated with having cancer (see ). In today’s Research News article “The effect of group mindfulness – based stress reduction program and conscious yoga on the fatigue severity and global and specific life quality in women with breast cancer.”

Rahmani & Talepasand employed Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) to help women who live with breast cancer. They found that MBSR produced robust and clinically significant improvements in the patients’ quality of life including role, cognitive, emotion, and social quality of life. It even reduced pain and fatigue in these women.

These are encouraging results that MBSR can be of great assistance for women coping with breast cancer. It has been previously shown that MBSR reduces fears of recurrence and symptoms of anxiety and depression in breast cancer survivors. These reductions alone could be responsible for improved quality of life. But, MBSR does so much more. It also reduces perceived stress and arousal in the sympathetic nervous system. Reduction in stress, allowing the patient to relax, by itself can also improve quality of life.

MBSR is also known to improve present moment awareness. By focusing on the present moment rather than catastrophizing about the future of the cancer, MBSR can help the patient to focus on living with the cancer in the moment making them better able to cope. MBSR also improves emotion regulation. This allow the women to more effectively process and respond to how their feeling about their situation. So, rather than being paralyzed by fear, anxiety, and depression, they can allow themselves to feel these emotions and still respond effectively to the needs of the moment.

MBSR is also known to reduce pain (see In part, MBSR works by interrupting the rumination and fear of pain that amplifies the perceived pain. This can go a long way in improving quality of life with cancer.

Finally, there is evidence that MBSR can increase the activity of the enzyme telomerase that is responsible for long-term cellular health. This can directly affect the progress of the cancer.

So, practice mindfulness and live more effectively with cancer.

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

Kick the Drug Habit with Mindfulness

Substance abuse is a major health and social problem. There are estimated 22.2 million people in the U.S. with substance dependence. It is estimated that worldwide there are nearly ¼ million deaths yearly as a result of illicit drug use which includes unintentional overdoses, suicides, HIV and AIDS, and trauma. In the U.S. about 17 million people abuse alcohol. Drunk driving fatalities accounted for over 10,000 death annually and including all causes alcohol abuse accounts for around 90,000 deaths each year, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

Obviously there is a need to find effective methods to prevent and treat substance abuse. There are a number of programs that are successful at stopping the drug abuse, including the classic 12-step program emblematic of Alcoholics Anonymous. Unfortunately the majority of drug and/or alcohol abusers relapse and return to substance abuse. Hence, it is important to find an effective method to prevent these relapses.

In today’s Research News article “Relative Efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, Standard Relapse Prevention, and Treatment as Usual for Substance Use Disorders: A Randomized Clinical Trial”

Bowen and colleagues examine the ability of a 12-step program, a Relapse Prevention (RP) program, and Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) in preventing relapse over a one-year period.

The Relapse Prevention (RP) program attempts to prevent relapse by helping the abuser to identify situations that tend to precipitate relapse and teach cognitive (thinking) and behavioral skills to navigate through these situations. Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) employs some components of relapse prevention and adds mindfulness based components to increase awareness and behavioral flexibility in daily life.

They found at three month follow-up that all three programs were effective in preventing relapse. But at 6 months both the RP and MBRP programs were superior to the 12-step program in preventing relapse. The participants in these programs had significantly higher abstinence from drug use and refraining from heavy drinking. The superiority of the Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) program was evidenced at the one-year follow-up, reporting 31% fewer drug use days and a significantly higher probability of refraining from heavy drinking. So, all programs were effective over the short term, but over the long-term the mindfulness based program worked the best.

How can mindfulness help an addict to refrain from indulging over the long-term? Mindfulness training stresses present moment awareness of both internal and external stimuli. It puts the individual in better touch with their own feeling and thoughts in real time. The cognitive therapy components of the program help the individual properly interpret what their feeling and to change the way they think about themselves and others. This improves the addict’s ability to recognize and tolerate the discomfort associated with craving, interpret it correctly, not see it as a personal failure, and effectively employ an alternative technique to deal with craving.

In addition mindfulness is known to improve emotion regulation. The individual becomes better at recognizing and responding effectively to their own emotions. Thus the addict can better recognize emotions, particularly negative  ones, and feel them thoroughly but respond to not with drugs or alcohol, but with responses more appropriate for the current situation.

Regardless of the mechanism the fact that mindfulness training can extend the effectiveness of relapse prevention is very significant. The longer the addict remains drug or alcohol free, the greater the likelihood of developing more adaptive behaviors which can, in turn, spawn the kind of success experiences that can help to maintain the drug free existence.

So, practice mindfulness and kick the habit.

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

Control Inflammation with Mind-Body Practices

When the body is confronted with damage, invasion of foreign material, or an unwanted virus it immediately sends out an alarm and recruits all of the body’s resources to fight off the potential damage. This is called the inflammatory response. It can be elicited by a myriad of different stimuli including a bug bite, a splinter, a virus infection, a bruise, or a broken bone. The inflammatory response dispatches cells and chemicals to the site to isolate and  repair the damage. This is a key part of the body’s defense system, an indispensable protective response of self-defense.

To some extent the inflammatory response is an overreaction. The body triggers all of the resources and processes to defend itself until it can identify the precise problem and the targeted solution. This overreaction recruits mechanisms that are not needed and can actually be damaging. Paradoxically, the inflammatory response may produce tissue damage while it is engaged in healing and repair. But, the body’s logic is to get to the problem immediately with everything it has to insure survival first and deal with the consequences later. This is called acute inflammation and is short-lived, lasting only a few days.

If the inflammation continues for a longer period of time, it is termed as chronic inflammation and can last for weeks, months, or beyond. It is when inflammation is chronic that it becomes a major health problem. It can damage the tissues of the body producing or exacerbating disease. Inflammation may play a role in such diverse disorders as Alzheimer disease, meningitis, atherosclerosis, cystic fibrosis, asthma, cirrhosis of the liver, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diabetes, osteoporosis, and even psoriasis.

Obviously, there is a need to have balance in the inflammatory response such that it deals with emergencies but stays restrained when no emergency is present. In today’s Research News article “Mind–body therapies and control of inflammatory biology: A descriptive review.”

Bower and Irwin review the literature on the effectiveness of mind-body therapies such as Tai Chi, yoga, and meditation on restraining chronic inflammation. They concluded that mind-body therapies worked to help balance the inflammatory response at the gene level. They decreased the expression of inflammation-related genes and reduced pro-inflammatory signaling.

Mind-body techniques are known to have beneficial effects on health (see  Bower and Irwin’s results suggest one of the mechanisms by which they produce these benefits, by helping to balance the inflammatory response, making it a useful defense against inflection while restraining its potentially damaging effects.

So, engage in mind-body practices, control damaging inflammation, and improve health.

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies


Eat Mindfully for Obesity


Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population. Although the incidence rates have appeared to stabilize, the fact that over a third of the population is considered obese is very troubling.

It is troubling because of the health consequences of obesity. Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This is because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others. Obviously there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment.

Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesity (see This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity. In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Obesity-Related Eating Behaviors: A Literature Review”

O’Reilly and colleagues reviewed the published research on mindfulness interventions for obesity related eating behaviors. They concluded that the research demonstrates that mindfulness based interventions are effective for reducing the incidence of some obesity related behaviors that lead to overeating; binge eating, emotional eating, and external eating.

Binge eating disorder involves regularly eating far more food than most people would in a similar time period under similar circumstances and feeling that eating is out of control. It’s the most common eating disorder and is estimated to affect 2.8 million U.S. adults of which 70% are obese. The reviewed research indicates that mindfulness based interventions had large, clinically significant effects.

Emotional eating involves the consumption of food in response to emotions and external eating involves eating in response to the stimuli that are associated with food such as the sight, smell, and taste of food. Both of these eating patterns are associated with overweight and both are effectively reduced with mindfulness based interventions.

One way that mindfulness appears to have its effects on eating results from mindfulness improving emotion regulation. It has been well demonstrated that mindfulness improves the individual’s ability to regulate their emotions, reducing their intensity and responding more effectively and appropriately to them. So, the individual feels the emotion mindfully and then responds not by eating but by responding in a way more appropriate to the actual emotion.

Mindfulness also appears to affect eating by making the individual more sensitive to their internal state of hunger and satiety. By improving present moment awareness, mindfulness helps the individual be more in touch with the sensations from their body. This makes them more sensitive to their state of hunger and satiety, responding to these appropriate stimuli for eating and stopping eating. This then reduces mindless eating to emotions and food cues.

These findings are important and suggest that mindfulness based interventions may be useful in the treatment and prevention of obesity.

So, be mindful and control your eating.

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies


Alter Your Thinking with Meditation for Mental Health


Meditation has been shown to have significant promise as a treatment for a variety of mental illnesses, including depression (see, obsessive compulsive disorder (see, and worrying (see It is known that one mechanism by which meditation works is by improving emotion regulation, making the individual better able to control and deal with emotions. Meditation also produces cognitive (thought) changes that appear to assist in improving mental challenges.

In today’s Research News article “Common Factors of Meditation, Focusing, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Longitudinal Relation of Self-Report Measures to Worry, Depressive, and Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms Among Nonclinical Students.”

Sugiura and colleagues investigate how these cognitive effects of meditation might work to improve the symptoms of worry, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. They studied five psychological states affected by meditation, refraining from catastrophic thinking, logical objectivity, self-observation, acceptance, and detached coping.

They found that detached coping was associated with a decrease in both depressive and obsessive compulsive symptoms. Detached coping is a cognitive skill involving detachment and distancing from external events. This is cultivated by meditation in developing non-judgmental awareness of what is transpiring in the present moment. This allows the individual to simply observe what is happening around them without becoming identified with the events, which then are taken much less personally and thereby have a much smaller impact on depression and obsessions and compulsions.

Sugiura and colleagues also found that refraining from catastrophic thinking was associated with a decrease in worrying. Refraining from catastrophic thinking involves cognitive skills to analyze and reinterpret negative thoughts. This effect was meditated by negative beliefs about worrying, where refraining from catastrophic thinking is associated with fewer and less intense negative beliefs about worrying which in turn was associated with reduced worrying. Worrying about worrying is a problem in that it tends to intensify worrying. By reducing the negative beliefs about worrying meditation interrupts this process disabling the worrying about worrying. In this way meditation helps reduce worrying.

These findings indicate that, of the cognitive (thought) processes that are affected by meditation detached coping and refraining from catastrophic thinking are particularly important for relief of symptoms of troubling mental conditions. Both of these cognitive processes involve distancing the individual from the events and thoughts about the events that occur. This suggests that distancing attitudes are useful for long-term reduction of various psychological symptoms. It further emphasizes the importance of the non-judgmental observing that is cultivated by meditation.

So, meditate, improve non-judgmental observing, and improve mental health.

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies