The Intersection of Mindfulness and Psychology

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Meditation and psychology are intertwining as experts in the fields realize the benefits of a symbiotic relationship. <a title=”Whole Life Times” href=”http://commongroundmag.com/2008/11/yogatherapy0811.html” target=”_blank”>Joelle Hann reports for <i>Whole Life Times</i>
</a> that many psychologists have begun to incorporate yoga and mindfulness into their therapies, and some yoga instructors are studying up on psychology to create “yoga psychotherapy” for their clients.</p>
<p>”Integrating yoga-based methods into psychotherapeutic work presents inherent challenges,” Hann writes. Part of the problem lies in a strict taboo against physical contact in traditional psychotherapy, a standard born out of concern about abuse from therapists. There are, however, many yoga-based therapies that don’t involve any touching. For example, some psychologists have found that controlled breathing and meditative exercises can go a long way toward psychological healing.</p>
<p>Many of these mindfulness-based therapies have hard science to back them up. “Mindfulness reduces stress, boosts immune functioning, reduces chronic pain, lowers blood pressure, and helps patients cope with cancer,” <a title=”Jay Dixit writes for <I>Psychology Today</I>” href=”http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-20081027-000001.xml” target=”_blank”>Jay Dixit writes for <i>Psychology Today</i>
</a>.  The article offers six tips on how people can incorporate mindfulness into daily lives.</p>
<p>The mindfulness exercises have also been used to help children in war-torn countries. In the <a title=”September-October issue of <I>Utne Reader</I>” href=”https://www.utne.com/2008-09-01/spirituality/the-most-beautiful-thing-ive-seen-in-kabul.aspx” target=”_blank”>September-October issue of <i>Utne Reader</i>
</a>, Aaron Huey wrote about a yoga class in the Allahoddin Orphanage in Kabul, Afghanistan. Huey writes that yoga helps the children “move away from painful thoughts to ones that give them strength. In a place so full of suffering, the comfort this simple routine provides is immeasurable.”</p>
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