Anxiety and stress are set to grow in our everyday life thanks to the increasing violence on our streets, especially amongst children, failing economy, rising fuel and food prices, most concerning the real possibility of USA, UK and Israel dragging the rest of the world into yet another war, this time with Iran.
Anxiety increasing with such looming uncertainties whilst, our day-to-day existence has started to feel under pressure consequently increasing our stress levels .
Anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), are generally chronic and recurrent. Treatment of such disorder usually means that the patients are prescribed anxiolytics, either benzodiazepines or non-benzodiazepines.
Although Benzodiazepines are prescribed for short-term relief of severe and disabling anxiety, however, long term uses include treatment for severe anxiety and psychosis. After continious usage past two weeks, there is a risk of withdrawal symptoms and rebound syndrome in addition to problem of the accumulation of drug metabolites and adverse effects.
Meditation techniques such as awareness of breath, listening to breathing, repeating a mantra or syllable, detaching from thought processes, have all been shown to bring about a state of self-awareness and inner calmness. Meditation techniques have been developed among Taoists, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners throughout history.
Due to the remarkable effects of meditation on ones psychology and just as important their physical health, meditation has been recently classified as a technique that induces a set of integrated physiological changes, termed “relaxation response” and is now an accepted and effective complementary treatment for a whole range of psychosomatic disorders, ranging from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, psoriasis to cancer and epilepsy .
Study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research (2007) suggests that “in regard to the reduction of anxiety symptoms and hostility in patients with anxiety disorders, meditation-based stress management programs produce results better than those of education-based stress management programs”.
Ref: Sang Hyuk Leea, Seung Chan Ahnb, Yu Jin Leea, Tae Kyu Choia, Ki Hwan Yooka, Shin Young Suha. Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress management program as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy in patients with anxiety disorder, Journal of Psychosomatic Research 62 (2007) 189– 195