Can Meditation Help?

Listening to a patient talk about her issues with food binging she told me “I had an ‘aha’ moment recently.” I nodded and she continued, “It’s OK to be uncomfortable.” Seeing that I wasn’t following her she elaborated, “I think our culture engenders a belief that whenever you are uncomfortable, that feeling must be fixed. The ‘aha’ is that simply is not true, but it took meditation for me to step back and recognize that fact.” As a consequence she is less likely to reach for food when she is uncomfortable with her life, something she has done for 45 years. Angry with her spouse? Eat a muffin. Didn’t get a promotion? Stop by McD’s on the way home. Meditation is giving her space, the ability to step back before she reaches for the chips.

While at Doctors 2.0 this summer, Ronan Kavanagh spoke with passion to me about a new app he was using: Headspace. This is an  app developed by Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk who is taking meditation to the masses. I would encourage my patients to take advantage of the Take10 series for free.Screenshot 2013-10-16 14.31.44

In this fast-paced world of a constant barrage of sensations, media hype, unrealistic expectations and overwhelming frustrations, taking 20 minutes out of the day to stop, step back and become mindful becomes paramount to surviving the everyday crises we become involved in. Ultimately, the training provides not just an oasis when you sit, but within the moments of crises themselves which can improve not only your own circumstance but those of the individuals who surround you.

If you have an Android or iPhone consider taking 10. Careful though, it may lead you to a lifetime of taking 20.

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