Monkey mind, the tendency for our thoughts to restlessly move around the way a monkey swings from branch to branch in a tree, is part of the human condition.
But those who suffer from clinical anxiety experience monkey mind with greater magnitude — all with a negative spin.
A new study offers the best evidence yet that mindfulness meditation can help.
The study compared how people with anxiety disorders reacted to learning about standard stress-management approaches, like exercise, nutrition, and sleep, versus learning the same plus being trained in meditation.
Both groups were given stress tests before and after their trainings.
Only the group who learned meditation experienced a drop in their stress response.
If you suffer from anxiety, be sure you’re in treatment with a health professional, and consider giving mindfulness meditation a shot.
Here’s a quick lesson to get you started: In a quiet space, sit comfortably and close your eyes, and start paying attention to your breathing.
Notice each breath as it rises and falls.
When thoughts or emotions come up (and we mean when, not if!), notice them without judging them and return your attention to your breathing.
Start with 10 minutes a day, or even 5, and build up from there to 30 minutes.
Of course, you don’t have to have an anxiety diagnosis to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness meditation.
Think of it as medicine for your monkey mind — and modern life!
Source: MINDFULNESS MEDITATION TRAINING LOWERS BIOMARKERS OF STRESS RESPONSE IN ANXIETY DISORDER