The poet Rumi asks the question “Do you pay regular visits to yourself”? Day after day in my work as a clinical psychologist I am acutely aware of the stress that people are faced with. I often ask them, do you take time out to be alone with yourself? Do you connect with a deeper stillness when giving your undivided attention to your inner self? This appears to be a ridiculous question to ask busy exhausted parents. However, with the many pressures, demands and responsibilities people have, they often become driven to be outwardly focused and hijacked by obsessive/incessant thinking. Regular visits can help you to spontaneously experience a fundamental transformation in the way you think about yourself, others, and the world. There are many ways to do this, and for me it is through meditation, which can create a groundedness and resilience in the midst of chaos.
A few years ago I was faced with a life-threatening illness. It was a shocking wake-up call from my body as the body never lies.
This is the time of year when the holidays bring more consumerism and people tend to become more stressed. Yet no matter what the season, we all worry over health issues, family problems, job or school related demands, children with special needs, our mistakes, not getting approval from others, or the fact that there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done, to name a few. Sometimes we know how to ease our worries by better self-care, more quality time with family, or slowing down and getting our priorities straight. It is refreshing to wake up after a good night’s rest and feel ready for a new day. It helps to have taken care of business the day or night before, so we know fairly well what to expect from the day in front of us. But what about the days where you can’t control what is ahead of you?
by Dr Angel Adams, Dr Patricia Papciak
“Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
There are numerous studies on how meditation helps to lessen stress and improve overall well-being. Jon Kabat–Zinn, the founder of the Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, was a pioneer in recognising that mindfulness meditation could be helpful for adult patients suffering from chronic pain. He developed a secular version of the Buddhist practice, which he called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). There are currently over a thousand studies published in peer review journals. Kabat-Zinn’s MBSR program has been found to reduce not only chronic pain but also high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, alleviate depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, eating disorders and substance abuse. Read more