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

Demand For Veteran Counseling Puts Stress On The Counselors

Combat veterans from the Vietnam-era through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan often turn to Vet Center counselors for help with post-traumatic stress or depression. And some of these counselors are themselves feeling stress – in part, they say, because of what they’re calling unrealistic productivity requirements.

Ted Blickwedel, 63, is a Marine Corps veteran living in Smithfield, R.I. And recently, when he was working as a clinical social worker at his local Vet Center in nearby Warwick, he began to think about suicide.

“I didn’t sit around and ruminate about how I’m going to go about taking my own life or anything,” he says, “but nonetheless, it was just this sense that I didn’t want to be here anymore.”

Full story at NPR.org

Growing up with animals could make you more resilient as an adult

A rural upbringing with lots of contact with animals might ensure immune system and mental resilience to stress more effectively than a pet-free city upbringing.

This was the conclusion of new research that was led by the University of Ulm in Germany and is now published in the journal PNAS.

This study is by no means the first to propose that growing up in urban settings lacking in microbe diversity can undermine physical health.

In that respect, it adds to the growing evidence in support of the theories that developed from the “hygiene hypothesis.”

Full story at Medical News Today

Conversion disorder: What you need to know

Conversion disorder is when a person experiences temporary physical symptoms, such as blindness or paralysis, that do not have a physical cause.

While the exact cause of conversion disorder is unknown, researchers believe it occurs in response to stressful situations or trauma.

In this article, learn about the common symptoms and treatment, as well as when to see a doctor.

Full story at Medical News Today

Addiction Issues Magnified During Hurricanes

Authorities planning for natural disasters such as hurricanes must prepare for its effect on people struggling with drugs or alcohol, experts tell the Associated Press. The stress of hurricanes leads to an increased danger of relapse and overdose.

Before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, a needle exchange program in Miami distributed extra syringes, while patients at methadone clinics picked up advance medication. Florida, in cooperation with the federal government, allowed methadone clinics to provide up to five days of medication ahead of the hurricane.

Full story at drugfree.org