20 minutes of meditation is all that is required to reduce PTSD in older adults, says study

20 minutes of meditation is all that is required to reduce PTSD in older adults, says study

“Meditation is listening to the Divine within.” ― Edgar Cayce

There are numerous ways to cope with the unquiet mind, but none as easy and soothing as meditation. It brings an individual closer to his/her spiritual self. Most mental illnesses are associated with racing thoughts and chaotic thinking. A convoluted mind makes it difficult for someone to function to his/her full capacity. A recent study confirmed what we had known all along – listening to the inner voice can help overcome many mental health problems related to anxiety and stress, in particular, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to the study published in the Military Medicine Journal in December 2017, veterans who had participated in wars in Somalia, Vietnam, Iraq and the Gulf War found significant relief from their PTSD symptoms when they practiced Transcendental Meditation (TM) techniques twice for 20 minutes each day. TM is a form of meditation wherein, the individual disassociates himself or herself from the source of anxiety and stress by repeating certain mantras and yogic positions. According to the lead author, Robert Herron, the impact was such that within a month of practicing TM, four of the five war vets considered themselves completely cured. It was also noticed that vets who practiced TM twice a day reaped more benefits than those who practiced the therapy just once a day. Further commenting on the advantages of the therapy, Herron said, “Because it works on the neurophysiological level to reduce stress, it has a broader impact than cognitively-based therapies.”

The study also found TM to be effective for other mental disorders, such as anxiety, high blood pressure, insomnia and depression.

Cognitive therapies for mental illnesses

Cognitive therapies are a good way of treating mental health, substance abuse and comorbid disorders. These are highly effective in helping an individual cope with the disorder and in assisting them to get back on track with their life again. When combined with practices such as TM, cognitive therapy is known to enhance the efficacy of the treatment and improve the outcomes.

The essence of a talk therapy is a heartfelt conversation with a psychiatrist. Cognitive therapy is based on the premise that one can give meaningful direction to one’s life and stem the flow of negative thoughts simply by changing the way a person thinks about the environment and people. Primarily targeting people with an anxiety disorder or depression, the life-changing therapy is also used for other mental health problems such as:

Substance abuse: Apart from the standard detoxification and counselling sessions, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is highly effective for drawing the individual on to the path of sobriety. In addition, in case a person’s drug or alcohol abuse is the result of a prior traumatic incident, CBT helps in addressing that as well.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): CBT is highly effective for controlling OCD. With medication and therapy, one can control obsessive thoughts from ruling the mind and affecting day-to-day functioning.

Panic attacks and phobias: A person undergoing a panic attack has an aggravated response to environmental stimulus. As a result, he/she is unable to think clearly or act in a coordinated manner. A good CBT therapist can help a person identify the thought patterns responsible for the attack and how to counter it in the best possible way. In ase of a phobia, the therapist helps a person realize that the fear exists only in the mind and is not real.

Anorexia nervosa: Eating disorders are on the rise and many have a psychological underpinning. They can be the result of undue expectations in one’s childhood or environmental influence. CBT helps in addressing the underlying issue and letting the patient realize the reality of life.

Road to recovery

Mental disorders can be extremely debilitating for the sufferer and his/her family. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), this could result in trillion-dollar loss of productivity each year. Sadly, a majority of people with mental illness do not seek treatment.

If you or your loved one is suffering from any mental illness and looking to connect with reputed mental health treatment centers in California providing evidence-based treatment, Sovereign Mental Health Services can help. Our trained staff provides all the help and support to facilitate recovery and make your life better. Call our 24/7 helpline 866-973-7164 or chat online with one of the experts to know about our state-of-the-art treatment centers for mental health in California and other parts of the U.S.

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