A friend has been riding the roller-coaster of a viral infection for three weeks. Knock-out fever, skin rashes, nerve pain, severe fatigue — and the uncertainty of lab tests, medications, and repeat visits to the clinic. Being of a high-achieving and multi-tasking nature, my friend surprised me with, “I need to slow down. Perhaps learn to meditate?” Music to my ears.
Mindful (ha!) of not wishing to spook her with my believer’s enthusiasm and knowing that she trusts science more than heresay, I send her (and all other sceptics) the following.
A review of 52 exemplars of empirical and theoretical work concluded that “Both basic and clinical research indicate that cultivating a more mindful way of being is associated with less emotional distress, more positive states of mind, and better quality of life. In addition, mindfulness practice can influence the brain, the autonomic nervous system, stress hormones, the immune system, and health behaviors, including eating, sleeping and substance use, in salutary ways.”