Mental health interventions are often scientifically proven interventions that help those diagnosed with a psychological disorder, those who want to improve their emotional health, and those who wish to improve their overall mental wellness. While some mental health interventions will be led by a psychological professional, others, such as breathing techniques and meditation, can be done at home. For example, breathing techniques and meditation have been used to help individuals manage their stress.
To help control emotional health, some people may seek out mental health interventions. Because these interventions can treat individuals’ depression, anxiety, stress, and more, people who want to improve their well-being may seek these methods.
Many psychological, mental health interventions are like counseling interventions and involve evidence-based techniques. Examples of psychological interventions include cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and dual diagnosis treatment.
Mental health interventions may promote social well-being by helping individuals find ways to cope with their psychological issues. Additionally, mental health professionals may incorporate group therapy techniques to help those who struggle with mental health issues.
TYPES OF WELL-BEING INTERVENTIONS
Wellbeing interventions vary in their delivery and techniques but may include breathing techniques, mindfulness, self-awareness, and stress reduction.
Breathing exercises may be used to help an individual reduce stress and manage mental health symptoms. As you will learn in the sections below, breathing rate may impact your emotions and feelings.
MINDFULNESS-BASED STRESS REDUCTION
Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a type of therapeutic invention that focuses on teaching clients how to increase their use of mindfulness through yoga sessions and meditation. It can help an individual cope with stress and learn how to incorporate mindfulness into their daily activities.
FOUNDATIONS OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Mindfulness and mental health interventions generally include components of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is an individual’s ability to recognize, understand, interpret, and manage their own emotions and the emotions of others. Major tenants of emotional intelligence theory include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.
WHAT CAN MENTAL HEALTH INTERVENTIONS HELP WITH?
Stress relief techniques, breathing techniques, and other mental health interventions can help with various mental health issues. In many cases, mental health interventions aid any of the following issues:
- Stress responses
- Emotion regulation
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
HOW IS BREATHING ASSOCIATED WITH DIFFERENT EMOTIONS?
Breathing techniques are essential for meditation practices and may also promote relaxing techniques and improve mental wellness.
RHYTHM OF BREATH
Breathing rates create electrical activity in the brain, impacting emotions, memory recall, and even behavior. As such, the rate at which we breathe is related to various responses. For example, we may breathe faster during a stimulating situation (such as a fear response). Meditation and breathing techniques may be combined to help focus your breathing on calming your body.
PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM (PNS)
Because emotions typically involve physiological changes in the body, it should not be a surprise that breathing also impacts emotions. For example, some studies have shown that anxiety and fear are associated with more rapid breathing because the body is more aroused. The parasympathetic nervous system is also responsible for our fight, flight, or freeze response.
That said, it also impacts our breathing. When meditating, we use breathing techniques to slow down our fear or anxious responses. Moreover, we use these techniques to center ourselves and calm our body’s reactions. It may aid in bringing about the more relaxed or calm feelings associated with meditation.
HOW CAN MEDITATION AID IN MENTAL HEALTH?
The benefits of meditation are outlined in numerous studies. The American Psychological Association reported that more than 200 studies involved mindfulness practices among healthy people. Most of these studies found that mindfulness-based therapies effectively reduced stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms.
Furthermore, the meditation benefits do not stop at anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that mindfulness can also treat those who experience depression, chronic pain, smoking, and substance use issues. While the most promising research has involved using mindfulness-based interventions for individuals with depression, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may even help improve physical health, reduce pain and fatigue, and even boost immune systems.
It is clear from this literature that meditation and other health interventions can improve mental and physical symptoms. Even more than simply stating what mental health interventions can do for our body, it is essential to understand exactly how they improve our mind’s health.
Many people have heard of a “runner’s high” where someone exercising experiences an improved mood. However, research has shown that runners are not the only individuals to experience improved mood change. Meditation also influences hormone changes and improves mood in a similar way that runners experience runner’s high.
BENEFICIAL BRAINWAVE PATTERNS
When meditating, brain waves change, and these brain waves may improve mental distress. Not only are meditation brain waves associated with a feeling of wakefulness, feeling relaxed, and improved attention, but those who meditate also see improved concentration and attentional thinking.
Many people have heard that dopamine is a neurotransmitter that improves your mood and makes you feel happy and relaxed. Meditation can increase your brain’s dopamine production. Additionally, increased levels of serotonin may also play a role in your improved mood when you meditate.
Mindfulness, meditation, and breathing techniques reduce stress. When an individual is stressed, they may experience increased levels of the stress hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol can have adverse effects, including increasing inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines. Additionally, stress may impact sleep, influence depression and anxiety symptoms, increase blood pressure, increase fatigue, and promote brain fog.
For that reason, many people enjoy meditation for its stress relief benefits. In an eight-week study of an intervention that used mindfulness meditation, researchers noticed that the inflammation caused by the participants’ stress decreased. Thus, it showed that meditation might help to combat the stress response.
MINDFULNESS-BASED INTERVENTIONS (MBI)
Mindfulness-based interventions have quickly become one of the most popular ways to help individuals manage their stress. Not only is mindfulness one of the most popular techniques for meditation, but it can be done at nearly anytime during the day and by anyone who wants to give mindfulness meditation a try.
MINDFULNESS-BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY (MBCT)
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is an intervention that generally involves group classes that meet weekly. As part of this treatment, participants also complete daily mindfulness exercises. The typical mindfulness-based cognitive therapy program lasts about eight weeks and aims to teach clients how to use this method through yoga and meditation.
Additionally, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy also includes a cognitive-behavioral therapy component. Because it uses CBT, it is commonly used to help treat those who suffer from depression or other severe disorders. In fact, MBCT can significantly reduce the rate of relapse over those who have previous episodes of major depression.
MINDFULNESS INFORMED INTERVENTIONS
In the above sections, we have seen that mindfulness-based interventions are generally programs that include formal meditation practices. However, mindfulness-informed interventions can also incorporate mindful practices and meditation as part of the more extensive treatment program.
DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY (DBT)
Originally used to treat borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavior therapy has been adjusted to treat various other emotional and mood disorders. Mindfulness is an essential skill within the DBT approach.
Even though DBT does not have formal mindfulness meditation within its interventions, it teaches these skills by showing clients the difference between the emotional mind and the logical mind. By teaching clients how to focus on observing, describing, participating, and learning to be non-judgmental and mindful, those who participate in DBT learn to be more aware of their experiences and more accepting.
ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT)
By incorporating mindfulness strategies and acceptance to increase mental flexibility, ACT hopes to increase an individual’s ability to remain in the moment and reflect on the present. This type of therapy focuses less on the past and more on the present, meaning that individuals participating in acceptance and commitment therapy work to accept their present circumstances and begin to heal.
The information presented on this page is a general overview and is offered here as a resource. At Ampelis Health, each client meets with our medical team to determine treatment protocols based on individual circumstances.
If you would like to learn more about Ampelis Health or have additional questions, feel free to call.
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