Stressed at work? Transcendental meditation may help

People who practice meditation often hail it as a fix for anything from anxiety to physical pain. Indeed, some studies suggest that it may improve our sense of well-being. Now, new research finds that one type of meditation — transcendental meditation — can relieve stress and boost emotional intelligence.

The practice of meditation does appear to bring many benefits, and recent studies have supported this idea.

For instance, meditators are less likely to experience cognitive decline, and practicing mindfulness techniques seems to reduce chronic pain.

Full story at Medical News Today

Sexual Assault And Harassment May Have Lasting Health Repercussions For Women

The trauma of sexual assault or harassment is not only hard to forget; it may also leave lasting effects on a woman’s health. This finding of a study published Wednesday adds support to a growing body of evidence suggesting the link.

In the study of roughly 300 middle-aged women, an experience of sexual assault was associated with anxiety, depression and poor sleep. A history of workplace sexual harassment was also associated with poor sleep and with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

“These are experiences that [a woman] could have had long ago … and it can have this long arm of influence throughout a woman’s life,” says Rebecca Thurston, lead author of the study, and a research psychologist and director of the Women’s Behavioral Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh.

Full story at npr.org

Can a heart treatment lower depression and anxiety?

Many people who have atrial fibrillation experience symptoms of mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Do particular treatments for this condition help resolve such symptoms? A new study suggests they might.

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is a common condition characterized by an irregular heart rhythm.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2.7–6.1 millionpeople in the United States have A-fib.

Studies show that about a third of people with this heart condition also have symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Full story at Medical News Today

Back pain linked to mental health problems and risky behaviors in teenagers

A new study in the Journal of Public Health indicates that adolescents who experience back pain more frequently are also more likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and report problems like anxiety and depression.

During adolescence, the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain (pain arising from the bones, joints or muscles) in general, and back pain in particular rises steeply. Although often dismissed as trivial and fleeting, adolescent back pain is responsible for substantial health care use, school absence, and interference with day-to-day activities in some children.

The aim of this study was to determine whether adolescents who experience back pain more often were also more likely to report other health risk indicators, such as alcohol use, smoking, school absenteeism, and depression or anxiety.

Full story at Science Daily

Anxiety in the West: Is it on the rise?

According to some observers, anxiety is now snowballing in the United States. So, in this Spotlight, we ask whether anxiety truly is becoming more prevalent in the West and, if so, what may be causing it.

For many, anxiety is an ever-present uninvited guest; in our circle of friends, among family members, and in communities at large.

It seems to be rampaging through society like a noncontagious cognitive plague, forming a low-level hum that hides in the corners of our collective minds.

In August 2018, Barnes & Noble — who are the largest book retailer in the United States — announced a huge surge in the sales of books about anxiety; a 25 percent jump on June 2017. “[W]e may be living in an anxious nation,” one press release dryly notes.

Full story at Medical News Today