Different kinds of professions need different kinds of techniques to concentrate on the specific kind of field one is entitled to. In the field of medicine, mindfulness meditation and communication skills are needed strongly for concentration on the work and for both practitioners to develop the excellence of primary care. Communication is important for physicians to work harmoniously with each other so as to provide a sense of community and a time for them to develop personal growth. Awareness among doctors has been mounting up that being watchful and mindful or being fully present and conscientious to the moment advances the manner of how they connect with patients. In that way also, being aware alleviates the stresses of clinical practice.
Mindfulness is a special type of meditation that fundamentally involves focusing on your mind on the present. It is about being conscious of your thoughts and actions in the present, without judging yourself. It is necessary for doctors and patients to be completely acquainted of their intrapersonal ‘self’ for the fact that it has many advantages such as reducing stress and intentionally giving us an option to take control of our lives. It is significantly important for physicians and patients to devote at least a small portion of their time for simple development and personal awareness which is directly a part of the solution. Research shows that physicians or doctors who encounter mindfulness had lesser judgmental attitudes within their work and family environment. Studies always show that they gained better listening skills with their patients. Trainees who are initially involved in medical education can better sustain self-awareness programs while also advocating role models, not to mention physicians who demonstrate attentive practice in action.
Doctors need not to condemn themselves about the things they do but just to be aware exactly of the improvements they are about to make as a conscious option and not a ‘trip for guilt’. It also makes doctors respond positively to patients who are placed in the negative state. Enhancement of the effectiveness in focusing on the present assists professionals employ mindfulness towards their approach in their own practices. It enables physicians to consider upon any judgmental views of the patients so as to disregard it in favor of considering them to advocate better care. Being a doctor that is mindful encourages the bond between the patient and the ability to respond emphatically to patients’ parents.
The science of compassion has long been perceived as the source of real happiness. Compassion means consciousness and desire to ease pain or suffering. Compassion is the cure to distress and its dangerous effects. The outcomes of compassion are the total counterpart of distress. Benefits of compassion are most like be:
- Healthier brain and heart
- Enhance decision-making and memory
- Cooperation skills and better communication
- Healthy relationships with self and others
- Less depression, sleep deprivation, chronic pain and mood swings.
Compassion, contrary to other’s belief, is not in relation to helping other people. It is about yourself, how you can have a healthy and fulfilling life. Your life is linked with other people and a person with a compassionate heart is always willing to understand and help others.
The science of compassion is about evolving happiness – happiness in its highest form. It also helps you survive emotionally and be stress-resistant. People are destined to be interactive and compassionate individuals. For an individual purpose, compassion is used in daily lives.
One can practice compassion through meditation. Meditation is one way of showing compassion to yourself. Surrounding yourself with the people you love, doing stuffs that you like and enjoying your passions are all deeds of compassion. Compassion is not just in the heart of every person but can also be found on successful marriages, sports, families and friendships, business mergers and ventures, and other activities that involve relationships and dealings. Compassion is about action and determined decision-making.
Compassion is powerful and big and moves farther than its traditional meaning. In a dictionary, compassion is defined as sensitive consciousness of other peoples’ distress as well as the aspiration to lessen it. The importance of compassion is not easy to understand unless you are dealing with street children and beggars in your door.
One way of looking for happiness is by showing compassion to ones self. Compassion is about easing stress and a distress individual shows signs of despair, anger, sadness and fear and other undesirable emotions. If you have negative feelings, there is a high possibility that you will receive negative feedback from other people.
Everyday all we do is to think about our future and dreams, focusing on feeling good and other serious stuff that we forget how to slow down and take a break. Here are some things that we can learn from a dog and apply on our daily lives.
- Take breaks. Break time is not only a luxury for people with heavy workload but rather an important time for everyone whether with heavy workload or not. Dogs take a break every few hours and so humans should do it also.
- Stretch multiple times every day. Every time a dog wakes up from a sleep or from a long sitting, they do some stretching first before doing anything such as jumping and running. He makes sure that his body is relaxed and stretched before he goes back to activity.
- Eat with gusto. Even though dogs eat the same food over and over again several times a day, he always eats with gusto – enjoying every bite until food has been consumed and licking the plate all over. Dogs eat with pleasure and enthusiasm every time.
- Go outside. Dogs love to play outside because there is so much to see such as cars, trees, people, grass and other things that can be explore. There are so many adventures outside than just sitting indoors watching TV so better go out and enjoy.
- Do not let everyone find out your mood. A dog’s attitude never fails even if he is sleeping on a pricey mattress or a piece of wood. What matters are his basic needs like food, shelter and water then everything else is a bonus. Life is good for dogs.
- Seek unexpected time for fun. Everything that a dog is doing is a fun time for him. He always seeks adventure and fun in little things like ball, carpet, pen, etc.
- Whatever the size of the dog is, he has great confidence. Small dogs do not mind if they are small or not. In fact, they do not know they are small – or ugly. What is important for them is they exist where they belong.
- Don’t judge by looks. Dogs do not judge other dogs even if they differ in size, color, breed, hair, etc. Behaviour and body language is their way of knowing people.
- Meet your neighbours. Dogs are social animals and they love going outside because they enjoy meeting other dogs and people as well.
- Consume all the marrow out of life. Dogs eat their bone thoroughly by licking and licking every part of it until all the marrow has been taken. People should practice this in life – take all the good stuff and enjoy every moment of it.
Healthy eating can reduce stress. Some minor life stressors are a part of life like a car that won’t start when you’re already late, fast approaching final examination, a sick baby, etc. we get stress when things like this happen and sometimes our body helps us deal with the problem. Stress is inevitable but when it becomes chronic, it may greatly affect our body. The normal response of our body to stress is that it makes us more alert and ready but stress may affect your immune system as a more serious response. A healthy immune system can be achieved with a nutritious diet which can help us defend ourselves from illness especially after a stressful event.
Stress can also cause depression and fatigue which means that stress may cause you to eat unhealthily such as eating junk foods, and other comfort foods to alleviate depression. This can lead you to take too much sweet, salt and fat as well as caffeine which can affect sleeping patterns. Comfort food can stimulate the brain that makes us feel good and want to eat more. Vicious cycle of too much eating can lead to overweight.
Some ways to manage stress through good nutrition:
- Eat a balance meal. A balanced meal includes protein – such as lean meat, egg whites, pultry, dairy products, soy products and fish. Protein helps you keep mentally alert and satisfies hunger. Whole grains and fruits and vegetables are also important in each meal.
- Don’t skip meals and eat regularly. Stress people sometimes skip meals which may cause the energy level to suffer and pigging out when you already feel like eating. Try to eat small amounts of food during the day to avoid skipping meals.
- Do not use food to reduce stress. A cup of tea and a brisk walk may help. If you have the urge to eat, hard crunchy food can alleviate stress because it exercises the jaw. Baby carrots, soy nuts and almonds are good crunchy foods.
- Avoid caffeine. This may only disrupt your sleep. Decaffeinated coffee can help if caffeine stays you up at night.
- Make eating time a pleasant time – separate your stressors such as work during meal time.
Physical relaxation techniques help you handle the effects of flight and fight response in your body and lessen muscle tension. This should be done if your mind is already not performing clearly and efficiently especially if under pressure. Some techniques for physical relaxation include deep breathing, progressive muscular relaxation and relaxation response.
Deep breathing is the simplest method of relaxation but is very effective. Deep breathing is a main element of almost all relaxation techniques ranging from yoga to Zen meditation and also to calm someone down. It can work together with other relaxation techniques such like progressive muscular relaxation, meditation and relaxation imagery in reducing stress. It is very simple, all you need to do is take several deep breaths and relax while breathing and that’s it! Deep breathing activities is a way to relax, thus, when done frequently, can provide relief from symptoms of stress that may result in high blood pressure, depression, stomach problems, headaches, anxiety and many more; deep breathing cures stuttering, anxiety disorders, and hyperventilation. A regular deep breathing is therapeutic and can be a way of life if done regularly.
Progressive Muscular Relaxation is useful to relax the body when muscles are tense. The plan is to tense your muscles until they are contracted tightly. Keep it in an extremely tight condition for a while and then loose the tight muscles normally. Continue relaxing your muscles even more to feel more relaxed as possible. It is good to tense the muscles first than to relax it immediately so that you would be able to feel the relaxing feeling better than doing it right away. An example of doing this practice is by tightening your clenched fist for a while. Loosen your hand after the severe tightness and then relax it even more to get the feeling of deep relaxation in your hands. Aside from the hands, progressive muscular relaxation can also be done on face, arms, chest, abdomen, and legs. This technique has also been proven effective for hypertension, insomnia, and ulcers.
The relaxation response is derived from the name of a book. It was released on 1968 at Harvard University by Dr. Herbert Benson. He made several experiments from different common meditation techniques ad he recognized that the various techniques can really control the flight or fight response and can reduce stress. Immediate responses include slowed heartbeat, deep relaxation, increased skin resistance and reduced oxygen consumption.