Meditation and Mindfulness

Mindfulness can reduce depressive symptoms, increased focus, and better moods. Some people with Parkinson’s use mindfulness and meditation to help manage their symptoms.

Mindfulness offers benefits for the mind. It is a state of active consciousness that helps us observe, acknowledge, and accept feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations without judgment. Mindfulness interventions have shown to boost cognitive agility and adaptive responses to stressful situations.

Meditation can be recognised as a type of mindfulness that reduces stress and promotes tranquility. Meditation can consist of sitting quietly while holding a peaceful thought, doing focused breathing techniques and mindful movement (yoga), listening to peaceful music, following a guided meditation, repeating a mantra, joining a meditation group, as well as other methods.

This opens the question, can mindfulness and meditation help people with Parkinson’s manage their condition?

Parkinson’s is known to cause motor symptoms such as changes in gait and dexterity, but it can also lead to non-motor symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and sleep problems. As mindfulness and meditation are used as relaxation techniques to help relieve stress, improve focus, combat depression and enhance sleep they can be used as tools to relieve these symptoms that can be commonly linked to Parkinson’s.

Scientific reports indicate a positive link between meditation and Parkinson’s, showing that it can be a complementary therapy to help people with Parkinson’s manage their symptoms.

Here are some simple tips for practicing meditation and becoming more mindful:

  1. Take 5 minutes in the morning to focus on your breathing
  2. Focus on the moment
  3. Join a yoga class
  4. Keep a daily journal
  5. Practice gratitude – what are you thankful for?
  6. Use a meditation video from YouTube, lie down, close your eyes, and listen
  7. Be conscious of your thoughts
  8. Try the Parkinson’s UK Mindfulness Toolkit

These are simple activities that do not take long, just a few minutes each day could help to improve general wellbeing.