Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Care Partners
Discover the connection between mindfulness and reduced stress levels in care partners. Learn about the effects of chronic stress on the body and how to manage stress through mindfulness techniques. Take our stress tests and access our guided imagery CD for caregiver relief.
Mindfulness based stress reduction for care partners.. is vital to avoiding burnout and major medical conditions. Your body is meant to protect you from the threats that may come your way. In the beginning of time, it was to help an individual get away fro the tiger or bear.
There are no longer threats of predators or aggressors in today’s world. However, today’s lifestyle is not free from stress. Today’s family care partner, experiences constant stress. This stress is from trying to meet many demands. Many are the primary caregiver. They have little to no support from other family members. They often are trying to manage 2 households. And work outside the home.
As a caregiver/care partner… when you start to feel anxious or threatened…a tiny part your brain, the hypothalamus… starts a chemical and nerve response in motion. A message is sent to the adrenal glands. They are located above the kidneys, to release cortisol and adrenaline.
Adrenaline increases your heart rate and blood pressure. It increases your energy to respond to the threat. Cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone”, increases the blood sugar levels in your body. It also decreases other systems in your body that are not essential when you are in the “fight or flight” mode.
When a person is under constant stress, these hormones are in the body all the time. Chronic stress or long term stress actually decreases your body’s immune system. It affects the digestive system, your thought process and motivation levels.
Some signs and symptoms of chronic stress are:
Difficulty with sleeping
That is why it is so important that caregivers /care partners learn… stress management skills.
How Chronic Stress Affects the Brain
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How Chronic Stress Harms the Body
First, do you know your stress levels?
Take one of our three tests to determine your level:
Mindfulness Based Stress Management
The good news is there is a solution to managing stress and improving your health.
A recent research study is drawing a clear connection between… mindfulness and reduced stress.
This new study was published in the Journal of Psychology. It reveals an association between a person practicing increased mindfulness… and the lowered levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. “This is the first study to reveal a direct relationship between resting cortisol and ratings on any type of mindfulness scale,” researcher analyst, Tonya Jacobs, a postdoctoral analyst} at the University of California, Davis Center for Mind and Brain, said in a statement.
For the study… 57 individuals were monitored for three months. They stayed in a mindfulness meditation retreat.
They were taught:
- Mindful breathing
- Observation skills
- And cultivation of “positive” psychological mindsets like compassion.
At the beginning and end of the retreat, the participants also had their cortisol levels measured with a saliva test, and their mindfulness levels rated on a scale, which Jacobs explained in the statement “We were able to measure the participants tendency to let go of distressing thoughts and address various sensory domains, everyday tasks and the current contents of their minds.”.
Researchers noted that… the participants mindfulness scores on the scale were higher at the end of the retreat … than at the beginning. They found an association between boosts in mindfulness and decreases in cortisol levels.
It’s important to keep in mind that this study did not utilize a control group… to monitor the cortisol levels in an other group. Scientists kept in mind that future research should include a larger group of participants … and a study designed that includes a control team, as well.
CareGiver Relief has created a Guided Imagery CD specifically, for you the caregiver – get it here