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Mr. Bray is a 70 year old man who works full-time and is in good overall health. He lives with his wife and has one grown child who lives a few hours from him. Mr. Brays only chronic health condition is high blood pressure which has been controlled with anti-hypertensive medication. He has always been physically active and enjoys going to the gym 4-5 times a week for aerobic exercise, strength training, and yoga. For the past several months, Mr. Bray has experienced significant stress due to changes at work and his mothers illness. Mr. Bray feels anxious and stressed. His doctor is concerned about the stress Mr. Bray is experiencing.
Q) Using what you learned about the mind-body connection and the stress response, discuss stress-related physiological changes that Mr. Bray may be experiencing. What might be the health impact of chronic stress for Mr. Bray?
The brain in which controls the mind is the main connection to all parts of the body. Therefore Mr. Bray stressors are due to his mental state of thoughts, emotions, beliefs, attitudes and images concerning the changes in his workplace in addition to his mothers illness. Despite his physical activities and being physically fit, his thoughts will consciously or unconsciously trigger emotions that will have either a positive or negative effect on his overall health.
The fact of being stressed activates the sympatric nervous systems which automatically raises the blood pressure, tightens or constricts blood vessels in addition to increasing his heart rate. Due to the stress factors of work and being worried, is the reason of feeling anxious and stressed. If he doesnt get his emotional feelings under control, he will be at risk of having a heart attack, stroke or weight increase by experiencing emotional eating. NIH/NCCIH (2018).
When someone experiences a stressful event, the amygdala, an area of the brain that contributes to emotional processing, sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus. This area of the brain functions like a command center, communicating with the rest of the body through the nervous system so that the person has the energy to fight or flee. Harvard Health Publishing (2019). Understanding the stress response.
Q) How might meditation and/or hypnosis help Mr. Bray deactivate the stress response? In other words, how might this approach work psychologically and physiologically to help him relax?
Mind-body approaches are those which use the mind to positively affect the body in some way, usually through calming the sympathetic nervous system and activating the calming, parasympathetic nervous system. (Majeski, 2020). For his psychologically use, he should practice stress management and mental/emotional health exercises NIH/NCCIH (2018). In addition the use of mindfulness meditation and Hypnosis. For his physiologically I would suggest yoga, Tai Chi and qi-gong, the benefits which will promote wellness, good sleep, and mental balance all in which will help to alleviate and relive the stressors.
Q) Try a brief mindfulness meditation exercise (unless medically or otherwise contraindicated) by going to https://www.uclahealth.org/marc/mindful-meditations. Select any one of these free guided meditations. Describe how your experience with the guided meditation exercise. Did you notice any changes in your body and/or mind? If so, describe these. Was your experience of the meditation exercise consistent with what youve learned about mindfulness meditation? How or how not?
I personally like the breathing exercises, because it gives you control of inhaling and exhaling. It allows you to manage how much and how little you chose to take in. Moreover it helps you to focus on the flow coming in and going out which has a calming effect.
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