Tackling anxiety: it's high time for a re-think

Wednesday 22 May, 2013

If, as reported in The Guardian the other day, 1 in 20 people - other estimates say up to 25% - suffer from 'clinical' anxiety, it's high time for new approaches, and to end our pharmaceutical industry-led obsession with dishing out tablets.


Breaking the devastating cycle of obsessive worry takes dedication and hard work, tempered with a gentle approach - anxiety and depression are usually deeply embedded in the nervous system, mind and body and won't disappear overnight.


But by recognising, gently acknowledging and working with thought patterns ('samskaras') that are causing us suffering, the worry cycle can be broken. The resulting changes in perspective and mood can be life-transforming.


Mindfulness meditation-based approaches - such as the 8-week MBCT course - are recognised as a highly effective alternative/complement to anti-depressants; as is yoga.


Buddhists and yogis have known this for thousands of years, and it's wonderful to see Western Science now waking up to the fact that there is another way.


Exciting times for neuroscience, and for these ancient practices that we're so lucky to have available.


For highly recommended reading on this subject, refer to Bo Forbes' Yoga for Emotional Balance and The Mindful Way Through Depression by Professor Mark Williams.


Lucia Cockcroft, editor



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