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Mindfulness can help with lockdown stress

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By Fiona Reid
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Mindfulness can help with lockdown stress

PRACTISING mindfulness could help us all manage the stress of lockdown.

That’s the advice of researcher Ben Parkinson, from Glasgow Caledonian University.

He found that online mindfulness resources help stroke survivors and their families cope with anxiety and depression – and now he believes they could be a useful tool for everyone during the current lockdown.

Ben said: “There is growing evidence to suggest mindfulness can help people manage stress, anxiety, and depression. Our research explored the use of online mindfulness resources for people affected by strokes and found some stroke survivors and their partners experienced reduced anxiety and improved mood when learning together.

“Mindfulness is a tool that we could all tap into now to help us and our families cope with the complex challenges of self-isolation and deal with additional strains such as health and financial worries. Using online mindfulness is a good way to improve mood and our research shows learning with a partner can be particularly helpful.”

Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment and experiencing what is happening in a non-judgemental and accepting way.

Learning it involves regular meditation practice, which can be studied through exercises such as sitting, walking and breathing meditation and mindful movement.

Ben said: “These meditation practises are versatile, don’t involve any specialist equipment, and can be completed at home during lockdown.

“Our research focused on stroke survivors and their partners practising mindfulness together but mindfulness approaches are used widely in health, education, and workplace settings. One of the great things about mindfulness is its flexibility and the fact it can be practised anywhere – perfect for our current situation.

“Once you have learned the basic principles, you can start using it throughout the day or when you’re feeling particularly stressed. You can practise mindfulness when you’re out for your daily walk, sitting around stuck at home, or even just eating a meal.”

He recommends the following sites:

www.mindfulnessscotland.org.uk

www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk/mildmoderate/MindfulnessDownloads.asp www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/mindfulness/mindfulness-exercises-tips/

www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/

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