Sunday November 19, 2017

Engaging in Meditation for 10 minutes a day can reduce Anxiety Disorders in Anxious Individuals: Study

The participants in a study conducted by Mengran Xu and colleagues engaged in something called mindful meditation

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A new study suggests meditation can reduce stress and anxiety. VOA

May 3, 2017: A new study has found engaging in a simple meditation exercise for 10 minutes a day can reduce symptoms in people with anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorders are marked by repetitive, anxious, often baseless thoughts and fears about the future. Canadian researchers say one in four people will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.

The worrying can become obsessive and prevent anxious individuals from focusing on work and other important activities.

But engaging in a simple daily meditation exercise for 10 minutes, according to researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario Canada, may help people keep their minds from wandering, improving their performance on tasks.

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The participants in a study conducted by Mengran Xu and colleagues engaged in something called mindful meditation.

Mindfulness is commonly defined as paying attention on purpose and staying in the present moment without judgment.

Xu is a clinical psychologist at Waterloo who led a study of people with symptoms of anxiety, published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition.

“We know that anxious people in general, if you ask them to stay on task, it is hard for them. Their minds tend to wander. They tend to worry. But those people who practice mindfulness didn’t. They were able to stay on task.”

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In the study, 82 people with anxiety were asked to perform a computer task that required concentration. They were periodically interrupted to gauge the volunteers’ ability to stay focused.

Half the group was then assigned to listen to an audio book and the other half to engage in a mindful, meditative activity, paying attention to their breathing, for approximately 10 minutes.

Then they were reassessed using the computer task.

Xu said there was a noticeable difference in performance between anxious people who did the simple meditation and those who did not.

“The anxious people who listened to the audio book, they performed much worse over time while the anxious people who practiced mindfulness meditation, they were able to in a way improve and maintain their performance on the task,” said Xu.

By increasing awareness of the present moment, researchers found a reduction in the frequency of repetitive, off-task thinking in people with anxiety disorders.

Xu said that wandering thoughts account for nearly half of a person’s stream of consciousness.

In people with anxiety disorder, the thoughts tend to occur over and over again, causing worry.

By learning to reign in repetitive thoughts with a simple, 10-minute mind exercise, the findings suggest those with an anxiety disorder may be able to improve their productivity and even safety, so their minds don’t wander while driving a car, for example. (VOA)

1 COMMENT

  1. Meditation and Mindfulness can be extremely beneficial for dealing with anxiety, depression, anger and many other emotions. I have been teaching and recommending meditation to my psychotherapy clients for decades. It is important to use a meditation method that is oriented towards dealing with these issues. There are a number of good ones at lightunlimitedpublishing dot com
    I like these because they were created by a top expert in the mind/body research, stress and depression fields who is also a psychotherapist. They seem to be the most effective for my clients.

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Is Your Child Avoiding Eye Contact? He May Be Anxious, Says New Study

According to the study, children pay more attention to potentially threatening information and situations.

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Children avoid eye contact when anxious
There is very little known about eye-gazing patterns in children. Pixabay
  • New research explores relationship between anxiety and a child’s response to fear
  • According to the study, anxious children tend to avoid eye contact when faced with difficulty

Riverside, August 18, 2017 : During a conversation, we often look at the eyes of a person for social cues- this helps us make sound judgments. Drawing on similar lines, a new research at University of California assessed the ‘eye-gazing’ patterns in children aged 9 to 14 and revealed that they give more attention to potentially threatening information, and that eye-contact in such situations is directly influenced by their anxiety levels.

According to a new research by Kalina Michalska, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, it has been revealed that anxious children tend to avoid making eye contact, which affects their experience and perception of fear. According to the study titled ‘Anxiety symptoms and children’s eye gaze during fear learning’ which has been published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, children are more likely to be afraid of people when they look into their eyes less frequently and for shorter spans, even when there may not be any reason to do so.

According to a report by ANI, Michalska believes that very little is known about the eye patterns in children. Observing someone’s eyes during a conversation helps us understand emotions the person is going through- whether the person is feeling sad, angry, fearful, or surprised. This in turn assists adults to make decisions about how to respond next. According to Michalska, understanding eye patterns in children “can help us learn more about the development of social learning.”

The Research

For the research, 82 children between the age group of 9 to 13 were shown images of two different women on a computer screen, four times each.

The computer screens were fitted with eye tracking devices that measured the point where the child focused his attention on the screen and for how long.

Later, one of the images was supplemented with loud screams and the other was not. At the end of the exercise, the children were shown both the faces again, with the absence of any sound or screams.

According to Michalska, the study aimed to know whether the child would spend more time looking at the eyes of the face that was paired with a scream than the face that was not paired with a scream, during the second phase.

For this, they examined the participants’ eye contact with the different faces on the computer screen in an attempt to determine “if children make more eye contact with someone who is associated with something bad or threatening,” she added. The experts also observed the relation between the children’s anxiety scores and the duration for which they made eye contact.

What Did The Research Conclude?

The study suggested that children pay more attention to potentially threatening information. This can be said as they paid more attention to the face when it was previously paired with something frightening.

The research found,

  • The children spent an increasing amount of time looking at the eyes of the face that was paired with loud screams. This suggests that they paid attention to potential threats in the absence of outward cues.
  • Children who were more anxious avoided eye-contact throughout the experiment. This shows that these children were afraid of the faces.
  • The more children avoided making an eye contact, the more they were afraid of the faces.

The research gathered that children paid increased attention in an attempt to learn more about the situation and to plan what to do next.

However, the research drew upon the understanding that a child avoiding eye contact may be suffering with anxiety, which in turn leads to an experience of greater fear.

Even though avoiding eye contact may reduce anxiety, the children indulging in this behavior can miss out on important information which may have further repercussions.


 

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Why Worry? These Techniques will Teach How to be Happy!

Learn how to stop worrying with these simple strategies

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How to stop worrying
Cluster of anxious thoughts. Pixabay

New Delhi, August 14, 2017: Worry is a story that we create inside and we use it to create fear. You tend to create fear of something which has to happen in the near future and by worrying, you deplete your strength and energy so much that by the time the situation arises, you would have made yourself already a weak person. What’s expected in such situations is to keep yourself strong so that you can face the situation and respond to the situation with an open mind.

Our every thought, every word and every action are our own creation. Circumstances come to us externally, but our responses are completely our choice. One must admit that there are some things in life which cannot be changed and problems will continue to persist, however, one must learn how to stop worrying.

How to Stop Worrying?

Worry is a delusion

You worry about things that ought to occur in the future. Worries are primarily the monsters you build in your head and are just in your head. It is a sheer misuse of your imagination. A single liberated thought devoid of tensions can make your day.

Incorporate mindfulness

The most efficient technique to stop worrying is to inculcate mindfulness, which involves nonjudgmental awareness of present thoughts and emotions. Make yourself consciously aware of the fact that worries are going to persist for an indefinite period of time but that should not take away your sanity. Also, have a deeper understanding of the fact that worries can never change the outcomes/end result, so deal with the situation rather wasting time and energy on ruminating.

Acceptance

Accepting worries help the person to move on and pass out the situation with ease. Those who are naturally more welcoming of their intrusive feelings are less obsessional, have lower levels of distress, and are less worried.

Gulping Sweets

Sweets are believed to enlighten the mood of the person. Devour your favorite sweets and forget about worries. Whenever a nerve racking thought occurs,  Go ahead and grab a chocolate bar.

Also Read: Planning to Set a Goal? Here’s What You Need to Know! 

Forest Therapy indulgence

Forest therapy promotes relaxation and reduces the activity of sympathetic nerves associated with “fight or flight” reactions to stress.

Pen down your worries

Penning down your own thought might be counterintuitive, but it’s almost similar to emptying the fears out of your mind. You tend to reevaluate that situation so that you’re less likely to worry about those situations.

Cooking is therapeutic

Cooking helps in combating stress and ease the stress levels. When you prepare a recipe, you only focus on one thing and by doing that you spend less time on worrying about issues that concern you.

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Soul awakening through meditation

Anxiety disorders are due to the repetitive, anxious, often baseless thoughts and worries about the future. However, practicing meditation awakens the soul and brings the mind to zero thoughts, which is imperative for the mind wanderers.

Keep the hands busy

Keeping your hands busy can help keep your mind off of worries.  Keeping your hands and mind working conflicts with storing and encoding visual images, which explains why worry beads and knitting calm us down.

Rational thinking

People tend to worry about things they have no control over. It doesn’t change the situation anyways. It is better to stay practical in such situations and so that you are able to respond to the situation open mindedly.


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

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Exclusive: The need to Build Emotional Intelligence in Children

Tracking and cultivating a child’s emotional and social strengths helps in building a strong foundation for future

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depression and anxiety issues in Children
Chief Psychologist Sadia Saeed Raval of Inner Space.
  • It is observed that a positive environment around the kid helps them manage personal feelings better
  • Reducing dependency helps the child decide and learn through trial/error method
  • Mindfulness and meditation is the key, says Sadia Saeed Raval, the chief psychologist at Inner Space

New Delhi, July 26, 2017: Ever since its inception, emotional intelligence is considered as a spectral key to success. Even though the concept has recently gained popularity, traditionally there have been contradictory opinions on it and it is commonly misconstrued, discarded or highly favored. But to truly capture the ideology behind “emotional intelligence” and to be able to incorporate it in our personal lives, we need to understand what it means.

Reporter Nivedita Motwani of NewsGram got in touch with Chief Psychologist at Inner Space Therapy, a counseling and psychotherapy center to discuss the importance of emotional intelligence in children.

While depression and anxiety issues are being more commonly diagnosed in the adults and the youth across the globe, a larger cause of concern is the alarming rate at which these issues are increasing amongst children. In a WHO report, it was observed that almost 5 crore people are being diagnosed with depression in India and an alarming rate of that fraction was from the age slab of 15-29 years.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to make emotions work for you, rather than against you. Click To Tweet

Depression and anxiety related issues are rising in the kids in recent times, be it because of cut-throat competitions or bullying. Kids are becomings emotionally vulnerable and more prone to such disorders. Building their emotional graph at an early stage has become very necessary in recent times. It is often observed that kids with a higher emotional intelligence grow up to be well rounded human being and contribute more positively to the environment as opposed to the ones who are not very responsive to emotional and social activities.

ALSO READ: ‘How Can I Build Emotional Intelligence?’ Try These 7 Essential Techniques

The Importance of a Positive Environment: There are several reasons affecting the child’s temperament – it can be inborn or conditioned culturally or caused by disabilities. Most of the behavior is modeled by adults, active influences, and the environment around them; the positive environment is manifested in the child’s temperament and reactive abilities. It is integrated in the manner in which they manage their personal feelings as they grow and begin to actively participate in social exchanges.

Reducing Dependency is the Key: Often parents make their kids highly dependent on them and limit their experiences by controlling their reactions. Kids when taught to decide for them, begin to learn through trial/error method and grow emotionally. They learn through mistakes and tiny milestones, and when an experience like – learning to socially indulge, comes from within; they lack social awkwardness and grow up to be confident individuals. While parents may find it difficult to transfer such responsibility to their kids, as they might consider their children to be gullible and naive and might feel the need to protect them. But the only way they can protect them is by not inducing the need for dependency and by gradually teaching their kids to tackle situations on their own.

Recovery through Mindful Indulgences: When NewsGram asked Sadia Saeed Raval, Chief Psychologist at Inner Space Therapy, a counseling and psychotherapy Center that how the kids in therapy are treated and what engagement methods she uses to make kids comfortable? She said, ‘Child counseling primarily involves ‘play therapy’ in addition to the commonly used talk therapy. Children, owing to their still developing language and communication skills often cannot express themselves verbally. They can relate to symbols better, such as are found in stories, picture books, puppets, and drawings. This also makes therapy enjoyable for children.’

She further explained that at Inner Space they follow the 3 steps sessions, i.e. – through self-expression, identifying the root of behavior, and thereafter, modifying behavior.

– reported by Nivedita Motwani of NewsGram. Twitter @Mind_Makeup


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