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Can Mindfulness and Meditation Help Individuals with Spina Bifida Cope with Anxiety and Depression? Dennis Carmody, BA Research Coordinator Duke University.

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Presentation on theme: "Can Mindfulness and Meditation Help Individuals with Spina Bifida Cope with Anxiety and Depression? Dennis Carmody, BA Research Coordinator Duke University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Can Mindfulness and Meditation Help Individuals with Spina Bifida Cope with Anxiety and Depression? Dennis Carmody, BA Research Coordinator Duke University School of Medicine

2 What is Mindfulness??  It is a quality that we all have. It is the ability to bring awareness to the present moment without judgment and with acceptance.  Mindfulness can be brought to almost any situation that you can think of:  Taking a shower  While eating a meal  Having conversation  Driving a car

3 Mindful Eating Example  When eating your next meal, try to do the following exercise:  Feel the food in your mouth as you chew  Feel all the textures  Taste all of the flavors  Feel it as it is going down your throat and into your stomach

4 Conditions that Mindfulness can Help Treat  Mindfulness has been shown to be effective in helping people cope with a variety of medical conditions, including:  Chronic Pain  Sleep Disturbance  High Blood Pressure  Anxiety and Depression (Discussed in detail on the next slide)

5 How can Mindfulness Help People Cope with Anxiety and Depression?  People with Spina Bifida have a higher than average incidence of anxiety and depression (Bellin et al. 2010). Since Mindfulness is the ability to bring awareness to the present moment, we can use this to observe negative thoughts and feelings, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, in the case of depression, or excessive worries about what tomorrow might bring, in the case of anxiety, and can you observe and allow these thoughts and feeling without judgment of the thoughts and feelings.

6 How Do we Increase Mindfulness?  Through MEDITATION!!!  What is Meditation? Meditation involves focused concentration to your internal and external environment, for example, breathing  Awareness of breathing is a core, fundamental practice in mindfulness meditation. It is paying attention to the process of breathing :  can you feel the cool air as it enters through your nostrils?  can you feel your chest and abdomen rising and falling, expanding and contracting?  Finally, can you feel the breath as it exits out of your mouth?

7 How Can I Find More About Mindfulness and Meditation?  Search for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs near you.  Books about mindfulness meditation  iTunes (search mindfulness/meditation)  Meditation temples near you


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