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'Mindfulness' helps to reduce stress - Mental Health Foundation


The majority of Britons do nothing to combat stress, instead opting to live with it, thereby risking potential mental health problems, according to a study carried out by the Mental Health Foundation.

The survey discovered that although half of respondents admitted they felt stressed at least once a week - with one in five (21%) suffering from the condition every day - nearly two-thirds (63%) admitted they would not take any steps to deal with stress.

The study also revealed that 30% opted to spend time alone to combat stress, while 26% ate comfort food in order to cope.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, the best way to actively manage stress is to remain sociable and talk about problems, eat healthily and practise mindfulness - a combination of meditation, yoga and breathing techniques.

Dr Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the foundation, said: “The economic costs of unmanaged stress are huge and increasing - 11 million lost working days a year at the last count - while the personal costs for those who experience it, and their families and friends, is of equal concern.

“Unmanaged stress can additionally develop into mental health problems, such as depression, as well as increasing the risk of physical problems, such as heart disease.”

GP Dr Jonty Heaversedge said: “Stress is becoming increasingly common in these troubled economic times, and a problem I am seeing more and more amongst my patients.

“The clinical evidence for mindfulness as an effective method of stress reduction is compelling and, like eating well and taking regular exercise, it is a healthy way in which people can manage their stress so that it doesn’t end up taking over their lives or developing into a more serious mental illness.”

The research was not immediately available online.



Readers' comments (6)

  • the problem is who wants to sit around listening to other peoples' problems? the result is usually avoidance of those who admit they are 'weak' enough to have problems because others try and hide them and attempt to show their superiority by making out they cope with theirs and minimalising yours which is usally the end of the discussion. on the other hand there is nothing more soul-destroying than people sitting around discussing problems and this is what escalates into stress and depression! will these so called mental health charities and psychologists never learn and stop patronising people. it is not until they have experienced problems themselves that they can suggest how others should deal with them just like that Dr Goliwinkel... from the Priory who wrote the appalling demeaning and patronising article on how to cope at Christmas.

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  • so how do do this "Mindfulness"?

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  • I can try and understand here where you are coming from. At the end of the day different people have different coping strategies to deal with stress. Ofren enough people do not wish to disclose information, in the fear of being 'weak' as you said. It is up to the individual to discover what works and doesn't work for them. Healthcare professionals should carrythis out during assessments. On the other hand there is great evidence for the use of talking therapies. Yet again individual circumstances and preferrences need to be taken into consideration.

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  • mindfulness of whom?
    I suspect this aims at self-centredness!

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  • To the anonymous poster who wrote these comments -

    'there is nothing more soul-destroying than people sitting around discussing problems and this is what escalates into stress and depression!';

    'mindfulness of whom?
    I suspect this aims at self-centredness!'

    Please don't take this the wrong way but you are ignorant, and you really need to be aware of that.

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  • Rosie Ryan

    I think you mean anonymous posters with an 's'. Don't tar two commentators with the same brush and the second comment has nothing to do with ignorance, if you please. I am no more ignorant than you are for making such a false assumption!

    There is also a lot of truth in what the other commentator you mention says as well. try putting yourself in the shoes of others!

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