Why does meditation help reduce symptoms of anxiety
Why does meditation help reduce symptoms of anxiety
36430 Topic: Discussion 9
Number of Pages: 1 (Double Spaced)
Number of sources: 1
Writing Style: APA
Type of document: Essay
Language Style: English (U.S.)
Order Instructions: Attached
Please discuss, elaborate on the topic below. 275 words.
What do you think of this concept? Why does meditation help reduce symptoms of anxiety?
Discuss the topic on the given site http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201310/transcendental-meditation-treatment-anxiety
Chapter 3: Stress Management (3.1-3.3)
Stress is a feeling you get when faced with a challenge. In small doses, stress can be good for you because it makes you more alert and gives you a burst of energy. For instance, if you start to cross the street and see a car about to run you over, that jolt you feel helps you to jump out of the way before you get hit.
But feeling stressed for a long time can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Even though it may seem hard to find ways to de-stress with all the things you have to do, it’s important to find those ways. Your health depends on it. Why does meditation help reduce symptoms of anxiety
Section 3.1 Chronic Stress
We all have stress sometimes. For some people, it happens before having to speak in public. For other people, it might be before a first date. What causes stress for you may not be stressful for someone else. Sometimes stress is helpful – it can encourage you to meet a deadline or get things done. But long-term stress can increase the risk of diseases like depression, heart disease and a variety of other problems. A stress-related illness called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops after an event like war, physical or sexual assault, or a natural disaster.
If you have chronic stress, the best way to deal with it is to take care of the underlying problem. Counseling can help you find ways to relax and calm down. Medicines may also help. Why does meditation help reduce symptoms of anxiety
Section 3.2 The Effects of Stress on the Body
Not all stress is bad. All animals have a stress response, which can be lifesaving in some situations. The nerve chemicals and hormones released during such stressful times prepares the animal to face a threat or flee to safety. When you face a dangerous situation, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity—all functions aimed at survival. In the short term, it can even boost the immune system.
However, with chronic stress, those same nerve chemicals that are life-saving in short bursts can suppress functions that aren’t needed for immediate survival. Your immunity is lowered and your digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems stop working normally. Once the threat has passed, other body systems act to restore normal functioning. Problems occur if the stress response goes on too long, such as when the source of stress is constant, or if the response continues after the danger has subsided. Why does meditation help reduce symptoms of anxiety
Section 3.3 Stress and the Brain
Stress has many definitions, but according to Richard Lazarus, stress is a state of anxiety produced when events and responsibilities exceed one’s coping abilities. In this way, stress relies not only on environmental factors, but on cognitive appraisals of these factors (Myers, 2004). The cerebral cortex perceives the stressor, the hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland to release epinephrine and norepinephrine. This in turn stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormone cortisol (Myers, 2004).
Stress affects many other areas of the body, such as the amygdala, which produces a fear response. It seems to hardwire the brain differently. Middle-aged rats that had undergone early life stress had abnormal brain-cell activity and memory loss (Brunson et. al., 2005).
The sources of stress are numerous: from catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina, significant life changes, poverty and inequality, to daily hassles like traffic tie-ups and demanding jobs (Myer, 2004). Especially in urban and overcrowded environments, psychologist s see links between everyday stressors and hypertension, and unhealthy behaviors such as lack of sleep and alcoholism (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). In fact, the leading causes of death today in America are linked to lifestyle and stress.
According United Nations Security Council, about half of the world’s children grow up in extremely stressful environments (poverty, violence, war, abuse), which means that these children may have impaired cognitive abilities later on in life.
According to research by Janet Rodin, the less perceived control of a situation, the greater the stress. The elderly that lived in nursing homes, were lonely, and had to be fed, dressed, and changed, felt significantly more stress and had shorter lifespans than their independent, active counterparts. Why does meditation help reduce symptoms of anxiety
Females seem to be more susceptible to stress and depression. After experiencing traumatic events, females are twice as likely as men to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, where humans develop maladaptive behaviors such as avoidance, reduced responsiveness and guilt (Myers, 2004). Why does meditation help reduce symptoms of anxiety
However, mindful exercise, such as Tai Chi, meditation, and aerobic exercise decrease stress response and promote overall well-being (Sandlund and Norlander, 2000). In a University of Wisconsin study, participants who did meditative exercises showed more electrical activity in the left side of the frontal lobe, indicating that they had a lower anxiety and a more positive emotional state (Davidson, 2003). Meditation, yoga, and other relaxation exercises also assist in autonomic reflexes.
This is called conscious control. Through these practices, it is possible to gain control over the sphincter muscles in the anus and bladder. Yoga has been shown to help control heart rate, blood pressure, and other autonomic functions. These are learned behaviors – they involve the formation of new pathways in the brain. Why does meditation help reduce symptoms of anxiety
Researchers have also found the correlation between a social support network of close friends and family and less physiological stress effects (Brown and Harris, 1978). Stress Inoculation Training and Hardiness Training are cognitive behavioral techniques that work to improve stress resistance through analyzing stressors, teaching coping techniques, and changing behavior so that the patient feels more assertive and in control (Kobasa, 1986).
Drugs, such as beta-blockers, which reduce stress arousal, anxiolytic drugs, such as minor tranquilizers, and anti-depressant drugs, which treat severe anxiety, can also be used to combat stress.