Mindfulness Meditation

Post 21 of 45

I’ve written before on this blog about my long struggle with panic attacks and anxiety. Every now and then, my brain chemistry gets screwy, and the highly unpleasant experience of major anxiety/panic returns for a time. I’ve recently been suffering through one of these periods, and, as usual, I’ve found significant relief from meditation.

In the past, I’ve tried various methods of meditation, but recently, through the magic of the internet (and particularly YouTube), I’ve been focusing on mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness has become a hot topic in medical circles over the past few years. The discipline was probably given its biggest boost in the West by the wonderful Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, who combined his Western education in science (Ph.D. in molecular biology) with his Eastern practice of Buddhist meditation to found the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn’s first stress reduction workshop began there over 30 years ago; since then his mindfulness program has since spread to health centers all over the country (indeed, all over the world).

The practice of mindfulness has been shown in many scientific studies to help people learn to cope with the stress in their lives. Since coping with stress generally improves health outcomes (not to mention making people happier and more content), the impact of mindfulness can be broad. I’m still in the early stages of learning about mindfulness, but it is already helping me feel more calm, more joyful, and more likely to regard the various events in my life (yes, even panic attacks) as adventures rather than tribulations.

There are some links on Youtube to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s videos, although one of my favorites has been taken down. Check it out, though, by searching on his name and on  “mindfulness” for the current videos. Enjoy!


This article was written by Linda


Alicia TaylorApril 4, 2013 at 10:37 amReply

I, too, suffer from severe panic attacks and am practically unable to get into a vehicle, much less drive anywhere. I have tried mindfulness meditation, but for some reason, it doesn’t work for me. Neither do any other things I have tried including medication, herbal remedies, dietary changes, 20 years of therapy… I wear headphones, with music turned up and sit in the back seat when I get in a car. That used to help, but lately, even that solution is elusive. I am glad you are finding some peace. I am glad that you have found something that works for you. Anxiety attacks are horrible. Perhaps, I shall revisit meditation.

LindaApril 4, 2013 at 7:17 pmReply

Thanks very much for your comments, Alicia. I understand where you’re coming from, since my own struggle with anxiety has gone on for many years. I have found the SSRI medications to be very helpful in stopping the mind from getting into those nasty “what if” circles of thought that only seem to make matters worse. Of course, for many people they have side effects, so it’s a trade-off. I know some people are having a good deal of success with cognitive behavioral therapy, too. I think we have to mobilize as many methods as possible to deal with this, especially when it gets really bad. All my best to you…may you find peace soon!