Psychological Distress is an all too common experience for many individuals. In fact, it is estimated that upwards of 70 percent of all visits to primary care providers are related in some way to psychological stress. The most common forms of psychological stress, depression and anxiety, are becoming so ubiquitous that many people consider these states of being to be “normal.”
Most common forms of psychological stress are depression and anxiety
Psychological stability is a crucial component to physical and mental health. It is also a key factor in brain integration and mental acuity. Additionally, the psychological health of individuals is a prime determinant of an organization’s effectiveness.
Study looked at a sector of the population that is particularly affected by psychological distress
A recent study looked at a sector of the population that is particularly affected by psychological distress, government employees.1 It is well accepted that workers within government agencies and organizations have a high degree of dissatisfaction with their jobs, which is visibly apparent to individuals who have to interact with them. In turn, this may be a factor in the overall inefficiency of many government offices.
Study tested EEG brain integration and positive affects in Transcendental mediation (TM) program
The study tested whether a simple mind-body technique, the Transcendental meditation (TM) program could increase EEG brain integration and positive affect, and decrease psychological distress in government employees.
Ninety-six central office administrators and staff members at the San Francisco Unified School District were assigned to either immediately start a TM program or were assigned to a wait-list control group. At baseline and four-months after the program, participants completed an online version of the Profile of Mood States questionnaire (POMS). Also, participants had their EEG recorded at baseline and at four-months post-test in order to calculate Brain Integration Scale (BIS) score.
The results showed that individuals who participated in the TM program had significant decreases in anxiety, anger, depression, fatigue, and confusion, and significant increases in vigor. These participants also had significantly increased BIS scores, indicating higher mental functioning then at the beginning of the study. The compliance with meditation practice during the study was very high – 93%.
Conclusion of this study
My conclusion of this study data is that if more research is needed to be done in this area, perhaps larger portions of the government could be enrolled in these studies.
- Travis F, Valosek L, Konrad A, et al. Effect of meditation on psychological distress and brain functioning: A randomized controlled study. Brain Cogn. 2018;125:100-105.
Razi Berry is the founder and publisher of the journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review that has been in print since 2005 and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath. She is the host of The Natural Cancer Prevention Summit and The Heart Revolution-Heal, Empower and Follow Your Heart, and the popular 10 week Sugar Free Summer program. From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia through naturopathic medicine, Razi has lived the mind/body healing paradigm. Her projects uniquely capture the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease. Follow Razi on Facebook at Razi Berry and join us at Love is Medicine to explore the convergence of love and health.