Essay on Single-system design. Meditation to decrease anxiety. - 1926 Words

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Single-system design. Meditation to decrease anxiety.

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Text Preview AbstractThe paper summarizes a single-system design aimed at improving the participant's score on the Clinical Assessment of Anxiety through the intervention of meditative breathing. A baseline of three weeks was measured followed by four weeks of treatment phase. During the treatment phase, the participant completed meditative breathing exercise three times daily for five days each week. The participant completed the Clinical Assessment of Anxiety each Friday of the treatment phase. The results indicated improvement in the scores, however the participant's score never got below the clinical cutting score of 30.

Meditative Breathing for the Treatment of AnxietyThe purpose of this paper is to present the findings from an experiment that examined the effectiveness of meditative breathing on the participant's clinical level of anxiety.

AnxietyMood and anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric disorders noted in the clinical setting. About 5% of U.S. adults experience generalized anxiety disorder at some point during their lifetime, and about 3% have it in any given year (Toneatto & Nguyen, 2007). Some ways anxiety manifests in persons who suffer from it are gastrointestinal symptoms, sleep disturbances, changes in eating patterns, muscle aches and pains, increased irritability, shortness of breath, and difficulty concentrating (Zinn et al., 1992). Another common symptom of anxiety is racing thoughts, which often stems from difficulty concentrating. A person with a clinically high level of anxiety may not be able to maintain focus on a present task due to his or her fleeting thoughts of future responsibilities needing attention.

Studies have shown that there is a genetic component in persons who are diagnosed with anxiety disorders; however, research also strongly suggests that a person's environment, particularly a consistently stressful one, can influence his or her anxiety level in a negative way (Zinn et al., 1992).

With the increased frequency anxiety is being diagnosed, treatments for the disorder are also being researched and implemented among those experiencing anxiety. Some common forms of treatment for anxiety disorder include cognitive behavior therapy, exposure therapy, medication therapy, exercise, journaling, stress-reduction techniques, hypnosis, and meditation (Annesi, 2005).

Over the past several years, meditation has received increased attention from researchers focusing on alternatives to medication for persons with anxiety.

Meditative BreathingOver the past 20 years, meditation has established a place among common forms of treatment for a wide array of physical and psychological health problems. Meditation has been found to be effective with chronic pain, quality of life, stress reduction, and anxiety disorders (Murphy, 2006). Zinn, et al. noted in one study that meditation is effective in reducing anxiety symptoms, and maintain the reduction. The author further noted that due to the nature of the study it suggested strong generalizability to nonstudy participants (1992).

Meditation is similar to other anxiety reduction techniques in that it teaches people to relax, decrease intrusive thoughts and/or obsessive thinking, and enhance focus and performance. The ultimate goal of meditation leads towards participants having a relaxed, focused state of mind that allows them to then interact with the world in an efficient and calm manner (Murphy, 2006). With the newfound calmness, the person can then refocus his or her energy on the present rather than what may or may not happen in the future and/or any obsessive thoughts they are having; thus meditation is often helpful in reducing racing and/or obsessive thoughts that interfere with the completion of present-moment tasks (Murphy, 2006).

The literature to substantiate continues to increase as researchers and patients alike seeks alternative to medication for treating anxiety.

Meditation is especially useful in then clinical... Show More

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