As the practice of mindfulness grows, so do the findings of its efficacy in treating mental health disorders.
While I’ve never been to a therapist, I have found mountains of mental relief through meditation and mindfulness practices. In fact, the more I study mindfulness, and the more I directly experience its benefits, the more certain I am in its ability to help us all become healthier human beings.
We women need a bit of extra support in this department, now more than ever.
Modern life is ripe with distraction. Our attention is constantly being pulled here, there, and everywhere---until we feel completely frazzled, our nerves frayed to the point at which we just want to throw our hands in the air and go hide in the bathtub.
But, where’s the time for that?!
And when it comes to mental health, who has time for talk therapy? Or, for that matter, the resources to take on the bill associated with long-term psychotherapy?
Don’t get me wrong. I certainly believe in psychotherapy. In fact, my brother has a practice in the Kansas City area. And I’m really proud of the work he’s doing with men. As well, one of my longtime girlfriends is now a therapist with the VA in Baton Rouge.
But I also believe some of us are more inclined towards the DIY approach---with a pinch of spirituality thrown in for good measure.
An added bonus of our mindfulness and meditation practices is discovering the science behind behind them---those that support the mental health benefits of committing to a full-time practice.
Mindfulness Rivals Traditional Psychotherapy
For instance, a study published in European Psychiatry compares the effects of mindfulness based group therapy (MGT) to treatment as usual (TAU), which in this case, takes the form of individual cognitive based therapy.
The study---which observed primary care patients suffering from depressive, anxiety, and/or stress disorders---also explores the effects of both techniques on mindful attention awareness.
Participants were divided into two groups: a mindfulness group, and a “treatment as usual” (TAU) group. After the 8-week randomized controlled trial, results show both groups significantly improved their mindful attention awareness. All psychiatric symptoms improved in both groups, and no significant difference between the two groups were found.
This means that both treatments are effective for those of us suffering from depressive, anxiety, and/or stress and adjustment disorders!
The cool thing about mindfulness therapy is we can cut costs and save on resources already limited in our crumbling healthcare system.
What’s more, you can learn the practices in the comfort of your own home.
- Aimee Hughes