Mindful Medicine for your Anxiety

Can you remember the last time you intentionally took a few hours off, or the full day off, to stay in bed or be a couch potato? Did you feel guilty, inadequate, ashamed, etc for taking this time for yourself? Or are you finding you need more "down" time due to feelings of stress/anxiety BUT tell yourself to hide those feelings and move on?

Living with feelings of shame and guilt, or dealing with the challenges of anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues can impact all aspects of your life, including your family and peer relationships, work, and physical health.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness Based Therapies are 'Mindful Medicine' therapies and can help you learn to identify negative thought cycles, and live with more balance, thus less stress. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as, “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally”. We can all do this, but it takes practice...every day of our lives.

Mindful Medicine strategies can help both parents and children! 

As children grow, they learn to follow routines, rules and expectations including how to do chores at home, and core subjects at school. While these are crucial for developing knowledge for adulthood, children do not learn enough about how to cope with everyday stressors and challenges. Learning mindfulness at a young age will set a foundation for healthy habits later in life.

As a parent, bringing up children comes with many, many rewards and challenges. Connecting to our children can become even more enriching if we bring positive thought and mindful practice into our parenting. However, we need to begin with nurturing ourselves.

The stigma connected to mental health continues to stop many of us from seeking the help we need. But if approximately 25% of all Canadians are living with some form of mental health disorder, isn't it time we start paying attention to our mental health as well?

If you are living with anxiety, depression, parenting challenges, chronic pain, or other health problems, contact Caversham Booksellers for books, CD's, DVD's etc. to learn more about CBT and Mindful Practice. Or, call me for a free 15 minute consultation.

Alyson Pancer, BSW, MSW, RSW, Clinical Social Worker/CBT and Mindfulness Based Therapist, ContinuumWellness.ca, alyson.pancer@gmail.com,  416-913-3080 ext. 302

This post was written by Alyson Pancer, BSW, MSW, RSW.