What do you think of when hearing about meditation?
You may envision a practice that takes place at a special room at work, or a fitness center, or a specialist’s office; or even in a comfortable room at your own home.
But mindfulness meditation has been popping up in other environments as well in the last decade or so. Namely, physicians’ offices, rehabilitation centers, and other professional settings; where practitioners address mental health concerns.
Are you already familiar with mindfulness meditation?
Then you know that a number of doctors recommend this practice as a supplemental treatment for mental health issues.
Able to assist with everything from chronic pain to life-threatening conditions, mindfulness mediation has certainly come a long way in the medical realm.
But as it turns out, it’s come a long way with psychiatrists, phycologists, and other licensed therapists as well.
Mind over Matter
As recently as the 1990s, psychiatrists and physicians alike researched a relatively new kind of therapy, known as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).
It integrates seamlessly with cognitive forms of therapy, in which patients are ‘trained” to rethink the way they think, act and respond.
Doctors are now recognizing MBCT as a successful form of therapy for a wide array of mental health issues.
To understand how mindfulness meditation fits in with cognitive or behavioral therapy, it’s important to understand how these therapies work.
How MBCT Works
Cognitive and behavioral therapies are some of the most common forms of therapy for a wide array of conditions. These include anxiety, PTSD, depression, and addiction.
Essentially, these two therapies focus on changing the way a person thinks and responds in order to improve their condition, and their outlook.
For example, a person who has addictive behavior tendencies re-trains their brain to respond to situations differently. So the need to indulge in harmful behavior dwindles or with hope disappears over time.
Old Concept, New Outlook
Sound familiar? It might, because you'll find these same principles in mindfulness meditation as well.
Mindfulness meditation performs similar effects on our brains.
Instead of naturally giving in to triggers, pressures, or cravings, meditation wires our brains to examine the situation; and to prioritize our needs. We can make a smarter and healthier decisions.
In the addictive behavior scenario, mindfulness meditation allows a person to recognize the “urge,” and to let it pass naturally, with minimal effort.
So it’s no wonder that mindfulness meditation has emerged as a valuable tool. Universities, mental health centers, and psychiatric professionals all over the globe now integrate it with other therapies.
The effects boil down to how our brains act on information and situations. Mindfulness meditation can enhance and naturally supplement mental health treatments across the board. The best part is, it is beneficial to everyone!
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