A daily practice of meditation and particularly “Mindfulness Training” can become a game-changer for stress. Just as an anxious way of thinking creates hormonal levels of chronic stress, a relaxed or mindful way of thinking can harness the healing power of homeostasis, the naturally calm state where all systems are balanced in equilibrium.
In 2014, a thorough study of the by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality showed clear cut positive effects of meditation on stress. After a review of 17,801 citations, and 41 controlled trials involving 2,993 participants the study concluded that “Meditation programs, in particular mindfulness programs, reduce multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress.”
The study added that the effects of a mindfulness practice are “fairly comparable with what would be expected from the use of an antidepressant in a primary care population,” and, that mindfulness practice could be used as an analgesic to reduce pain. Like Neurotherapy and Biofeedback, mindfulness training in any format improves self-esteem and effectively opens the mind, changing habits that are self-destructive. A practice of regular meditation and affirmations can treat alcoholism, substance abuse and depression, reduce chronic inflammatory disease, or act as as cognitive therapy to improve overall mental health.
Stress studies show that the critical factor in reducing stress is a belief in gaining control over one’s immediate environment A regular practice of mindfulness via yoga, transcendental meditation, tai chi, or deep breathing, to name just a few, provides a foundation for feeling in control. In short, mindfulness does what we choose it to do, and works to create a subconscious belief in our ability to heal ourselves.