Examining & Overcoming Anxiety

My research topic will be on tackling anxiety through self-help, and also reviewing the positive and negative effects of it. Being someone who struggles with social anxiety, I found that meditating over the past two weeks had helped me work through one of my fears– presenting (although I still have to continue to test this out). I’m still doing nightly meditations to see what other areas of myself I can improve on. However I do recognize that many people with anxiety cannot find the peace they are truly seeking. I’m hoping to explore how mindfulness/ meditation may be beneficial or harmful to one’s mental health, and how to actually help those that don’t find a away to completely remove, or at least slightly lessen, their anxiety.

I found a couple of articles that I’m hoping to incorporate pieces of in this research project. The first article titled “The Role of Self-help in the Treatment of Mild Anxiety Disorders in Young People: An Evidence-based Review”, introduces what anxiety is and discusses different types of self-help interventions that may be helpful in reducing anxiety. This article also includes different case studies that back their findings. 

The second article titled “How to Meditate with Anxiety” does just as its name suggests. Here you’ll find tips on how to fully dive into meditation. It also introduces Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which is similar to another topic (MSBR- Mindfulness-based stress reduction) we briefly read about and discussed for class through the 3 mindfulness articles. 

The third article titled “How Does Meditation Reduce Anxiety at a Neural Level?”, examines how meditation affects your brain, specifically “which areas of the brain are activated and which are deactivated during meditation-related anxiety relief”. A study was also developed in order to back their findings. Another similar article I found that also looks at how your brain waves change before and after meditation is titled “The Many Benefits of Meditation for Anxiety, How It Helps”. 

The next two articles explore the negative effects meditation could have on those who suffer from anxiety. The article titled “7 Surprising Ways Meditating Could Be Hurting You” just gives brief reasons and descriptions as to how people can be negatively impacted, which will help me further my findings as I do more research on these specific issues.

The last article titled “Meditation Might Not Be a Good Fit for Everyone—Here’s Why” talks about a woman named Eva who suffers from severe anxiety and didn’t find the meditation app she downloaded to be useful for her at all. The app actually ended up worsening how she normally felt, which is not uncommon for those who consistently suppress their feelings or those who suffer from intrusive thoughts. Learning how to meditate can be too overwhelming since you have to face your issue head on. But this article also includes how someone like Eva, may be able to slowly work up to meditation or any other mindfulness technique.

Sources:

Bergland, Christopher. “How Does Meditation Reduce Anxiety at a Neural Level?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 7 June 2013, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201306/how-does-meditation-reduce-anxiety-neural-level.

Greenwood, Chelsea. “7 Surprising Ways Meditating Could Be Hurting You.” Insider, Insider, 21 Mar. 2018, www.insider.com/why-meditation-can-be-bad-2018-3#1-it-may-prompt-negative-thinking-1.

“The Many Benefits of Meditation for Anxiety, How It Helps.” The Ultimate Guide To Mastering Anxiety, EOC Institute, eocinstitute.org/meditation/8-reasons-meditation-best-natural-anxiety-relief-technique/?9826714z3y5.

Rickwood, Debra, and Sally Bradford. “The Role of Self-Help in the Treatment of Mild Anxiety Disorders in Young People: an Evidence-Based Review.” Psychology Research and Behavior Management, Dove Medical Press, 27 Feb. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3304342/.

Ries, Julia. “Meditation Might Not Be a Good Fit for Everyone-Here’s Why.” Well+Good, Well+Good, 5 Dec. 2019, www.wellandgood.com/meditation-side-effects/.

Staff, Mindful. “How to Meditate with Anxiety.” Mindful, Mindful, 16 May 2020, www.mindful.org/mindfulness-meditation-anxiety/.

 

 

5 thoughts on “Examining & Overcoming Anxiety”

  1. I love the idea you are using personal accounts and case studies to broaden your view on the topic. I would do another personal account to contrast the negative personal account so you have one on each side other than your own positive experience.

  2. I think you chose a great topic to research, and the articles that you found seems to very informative and educational for your topic. I also found those articles to be some excellent sources for your topic.

  3. I think this is such an important topic as so many people deal with anxiety in different forms. The usual go to is medication, seeing more hollistic self help approaches really makes me happy because I feel like maybe those approaches could actually help heal the mind and nerves.

  4. Crystal, first, I’m so happy to hear that you found the daily meditation practice useful for you, and that you are continuing to incorporate it into your life! I also appreciate, as others have noted, that you are sharing your personal experiences in this area and bringing that investment into your research (this “personal narrative” is, after all, a key part of the self-help genre!). Connecting self-help, anxiety, and meditation will make for an interesting project, though it is still a fairly large focus. What you don’t want to do is simply repeat the work we have already done with the Meditation Assignment, or to end up with is a list of pros & cons (sorry Anil!), simply stating positive & negative effects of meditation. You want to take a more holistic approach, considering the deep (and often complicated) relationship between anxiety and meditation, and also that ways that the self-help industry informs this relationship. Looking forward to seeing this project develop!

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