Going the distance

Yoga, mindfulness and other tools can aid recovery

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. January 30, 2013

Need more help?

If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
  • Call your physician, health provider or clergy
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

A wise person once said that life is a series of losses. Some losses can be devastating, such as the loss of a child, but devastation can also come from the loss of a dream or the loss of health.

I've also been told that the only way to get over something is to go through it. As much as we try — and I've been guilty of this myself — there are no shortcuts. There are no detours if we hope to heal.

However, there are tools can help us cope better with loss and stress. One such technique is mindfulness. This means total absorption in in the moment, eliminating distractions. Think of it like driving. You must keep your focus on the road in front of you, with an occasional glance in the rearview mirror.

Yoga is another helpful practice. It is relatively low-impact and accessible to most people. (Of course, if you are new to yoga it's important to seek the guidance of a certified teacher.) And numerous books and CDs are available about coping with adversity and managing stress. At the end of the day, it comes down to learning to cultivate focus and tune out distractions.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

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Jan. 30, 2013