I like that there is an explanation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems in the one you recommended. I think this is important for people to understand the system and why it works. I'm glad you mentioned this. As I see it, this article is describing focused attention meditation FA-meditation and open monitoring OM-meditation meditation see: Lutz et al. OM-meditation involves monitoring the content of experience thoughts from moment to moment, without getting involved in them.
FA meditation helps OM meditation. According to experts on meditation, after a lot of practice, this focusing on the present moment becomes an effortless process. I'm retired now but back when I was still a full-time employee, at one point in my career I suddenly found myself with a new boss who seemed to hate me. I found myself growing more and more worried, upset and anxious each work day. It was hard to even drag myself into work and focus on doing my job well.
That scared the crap out of me, so I went to see my regular GP doctor. He said my blood pressure was through the roof, in stroke territory. He put me on a blood-pressure lowering medication which was also an anti-anxiety medication. After a few days I found that I was able to sleep well again, and I felt calmer, which restored my ability to focus. I focused on getting myself the hell out of that department; I found a way to transfer into an entirely different part of the division. In my new job, with a boss who was glad to have me, I felt so relieved and relaxed that I asked my doctor if I still needed the med.
With his permission and supervision I tapered off of it gradually; my blood pressure remained in a healthy range and stable, so Problemo solved. There is nothing wrong with medication. Its very helpful in a lot of acute anxiety cases, like mine. I have friends with bipolar disorder who do very well on their mood-stabilizing meds. I do not understand the anti-psychiatry movement and their phobic horror about taking medication. And I strongly resent the efforts of the anti-psychiatry movement to shame people who do well on their psychotropic medication; so shame on you, anti-psychiatry movement, instead!
Psychiatric drugs are only as effective as placebos see the two links below. If these medicines work for people, then that is fine, but there is no science behind them — drug companies come up with them on a trial and error basis, and they can also harm the brain in the long run. And I can list dozens of articles confirming the efficacy of blood-pressure lowering drugs in cases of acute anxiety like I had.
And the efficacy of mood-stabilizing meds for those with bipolar disorder. There is nothing wrong with taking medication if your doctor prescribes it, but the weird cult of Scientology that promotes the anti-psychiatry movement would rather you believe that evil alien ghosts are causing your anxiety, depression or psychosis. My physician felt that I was in imminent danger of having a stroke, so I'm glad he gave me a medication that expanded my blood vessels which lowered my blood pressure and saved my life.
I think it's unconscionably irresponsible to tell people to not listen to their doctors or tell people to stop taking their life-saving prescription meds; last I heard it's illegal to give medical advice when you're not an M. It's criminally irresponsible to dispense medical advice without a license, so I wish Psychology Today would cease and desist publishing articles and commentary by those who do so.
Everyone: listen to your doctor, not to weird cultists, when your health and your life are at stake. I am a scientist and I like to think critically.
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It is ultimately scientific research that informs the practice of doctors as well. I am not sure why you associate this article or even mindfulness with the anti-psychiatry movement! Perhaps you should know that mindfulness is an extremely well researched psychological intervention. With time, you may even discover that your boss actually likes you.
So, please do not underestimate these powerful techniques. Thank you for providing brilliant examples of why I do not follow the anti-psychiatry movement, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Scientology. You're saying that I brought my misfortune on myself. Or, tpu're saying that I "let" her upset me. If I had just meditated, I could have ignored the bullying and I would not have needed medication to save my life.
It's all my fault.
That's the intolerant and smug mindset I can't stand; it seeks to blame people for the bad things that happen to them: the "just get over it" philosophy. So, children born ill or deformed or born to abusive parents, natural disasters, bad luck, being born into poverty or into a low caste You deserve it. You brought it on yourself for having been "bad" in a former life.
You probably blame kids who get molested and raped by their relatives, too. They should just meditate and get over it. How dare you try to shame people for needing medical help and seeking to get well via traditional medicine? How dare you suggest that doctors including psychiatrists are evil and medication doesn't work?
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You're wrong in a dangerous way, because your "medical opinion" can really hurt people. If I had taken your advice to "just meditate" I would probably be dead now. Not every thing works for every person. We each have to find what works best for us. If meditation works for you, fine. That's great.
If medication works for me and countless others, then that's fine too. I'm not telling you that you shouldn't meditate, so please do me the courtesy of not telling me to ignore my doctor's medical advice. Stop trying to give medical advice, and stop blaming people for causing bad things to happen to them. I do not blame people for engaging in physical activity, eating healthy foods, and making other healthy choices.
Just like that, I do not blame people who take care of their mental wellbeing by meditating. Judging from the amount of anger you seem to be holding, I really think you can benefit a great deal by calming your mind — well, as you say, that is my opinion I suppose! You know, meditation and mindfulness is not and never should be touted as a cure for mental illness. I was taught and also learned through my own experience that meditation is not meant to cure mental illness. It's meant for people who either don't have a mental illness or have learned to successfully handle it with medication, therapy, etc.
I'm zen Buddhist and my teacher encourages people who need it to seek therapy or take medication. You cannot meditate if you are having a panic attack or in the middle of a depressive episode! I think meditation and mindfulness can be powerful tools, AFTER you take any needed medication, or do therapy. Sometimes if your mental illness isn't too bad its a mild case you can maybe meditate while you are in treatment for it, though it would be difficult.
However, in severe cases, its probably best to meditate after you've managed to get anxiety, depression, etc under control. I've known people with anxiety that meditation has helped tremendously, but its no cure all and just one tool. On the thing of karma- I think you have the understanding of Buddhist karma wrong.
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The Christian-Judeo religions are very very much into blaming. You did something wrong, sinned you deserve what you get kind of thing. Thats not the case with Buddhism- its not a punishment by a person or entity. There is no blame. It is not your fault because of some past life thing.
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In the Christian tradition, when someone sins, its because they are intentionally disobeying God and so they get punished for it. In Buddhism, karma literally means cause and effect. If I'm running with scissors as a child, because I really don't know any better Then I trip and fall, and hurt myself Or is it more so the parents fault, because they weren't there to teach me differently?
Or maybe its nobodys fault. You didn't know. The parents didnt know you were doing it. Why does it have to even be someone's fault? It doesnt. Its just lack of knowing that causes suffering. Sometimes not even your own lack of knowing, but others. In Buddhism, we say evil comes from ignorance- from not knowing that you and I are not really that different.
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This not knowing leads to lack of empathy, and it leads to people getting hurt. If a child is raped, whose fault is it? Not the Childs. People might say "its her karma" but that isn't quite right, because karma doesn't exist in a vaccum. I don't think its the child's fault that she is being raped!
I think its the bystanders fault, or the parents who do nothing. Why was she born to that family? Maybe her "karma" was to be born to an Italian American family, and it had nothing to do with her being raped, there's that possibility too. A Buddhist who truly understands karma would never say "its your fault, deal with your karma" and move on.
They would say, hey,my karma and your karma are intricately connected. I am you and you are me. We are interdependent. So, if I don't help you, then I am hurting myself.
Let go of worry, fear or self-reliance. Inhale: Rely on God to fill you by His Spirit. Receive His hope, confidence, forgiveness and power to make better choices. What hit home for you in this article? What's the next step you feel God is asking you to take? One of our online mentors would love to hear about it and journey with you. All fields are required unless otherwise indicated. We ask for gender and age to assign you the appropriate mentor. Worry never gets us anything but grief! Search Site Menu. Close Mobile Menu You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.
Close Search Search Site. Immortality is health; this life is a long sickness. Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation. Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds?
Lay first the foundation of humility. All things proclaim Him, all things speak.
Their beauty is the voice by which they announce God, by which they sing, "It is you who made me beautiful, not me myself but you. Only to those whose hearts are crushed do you draw close.
- Hymn: O Lord, breathe Thy Spirit on me?
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You will not let yourself be found by the proud, nor even by those who in their inquisitive skill count stars or grains of sand, or measure the expanses of heaven, or trace the paths of the planets. For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again. Lo, I love you, but if my love is too mean, let me love more passionately.