A glass half full

February 24, 2011

The key to dealing with some of the challenges life throws at us - including pain, suffering, illness, grief and loss - is to truly appreciate the positive aspects of our life, and not simply focus on the negative. It is important to acknowledge the setbacks, but equal attention and value need to be given to what is going well. This lesson in living, based on the teachings of Buddha, is given by Karen Hilsberg, from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health in California in the US, in an article published online in Springer's journal, Mindfulness.

Her moving, personal account describes how mindfulness - or a special kind of awareness that is attentive and warmly engaged with each moment of life - helped her cope with her husband's cancer, and the impact of his illness and death on both herself and her young family. The rigorous practice of mindfulness through daily meditation, weekly Buddhist group (sangha) meetings, and daily deep relaxation helped Hilsberg to be honest and objective about what was happening in her life.

Mindfulness taught her some valuable coping strategies and lessons in living, helping her to put things into perspective and stay grounded in the present. She learned to ask for help from others; she was no longer alone due to the moral and ethical support she received. However seemingly unbearable her experiences were, they would not last.

Karen Hilsberg concludes: "The practice of mindfulness, the teachings and the sangha have encouraged me to continually use the realities of my own life experiences to find peace in the present moment. I have learned for myself that peace does not come from outside conditions, but that my true serenity can only come from within me. And life goes on and on - we are alive and breathing, and this is a miracle."
-end-
Reference 1. Hilsberg KR (2011). Lessons in living. Mindfulness. DOI 10.1007/s12671-011-0051-8

The full-text article is available to journalists on request.

Springer

Related Mental Health Articles from Brightsurf:

Mental health strained by disaster
A new study found that suicide rates increase during all types of disasters -- including severe storms, floods, hurricanes and ice storms -- with the largest overall increase occurring two years after a disaster.

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

World Mental Health Day -- CACTUS releases report of largest researcher mental health survey
On the occasion of 'World Mental Health Day' 2020, CACTUS, a global scientific communications company, has released a global survey on mental health, wellbeing and fulfilment in academia.

Mental illness, mental health care use among police officers
A survey study of Texas police officers examines how common mental illness and mental health care use are in a large urban department.

COVID-19 outbreak and mental health
The use of online platforms to guide effective consumption of information, facilitate social support and continue mental health care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic is discussed in this Viewpoint.

COVID-19 may have consequences for mental health
The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be adversely affecting mental health among hospitalised patients, the healthcare professionals treating them and the general population.

Mental health outcomes among health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and insomnia among health care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported in this observational study.

Mental ill health 'substantial health concern' among police, finds international study
Mental health issues among police officers are a 'substantial health concern,' with around 1 in 4 potentially drinking at hazardous levels and around 1 in 7 meeting the criteria for post traumatic stress disorder and depression, finds a pooled data analysis of the available international evidence, published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Examining health insurance nondiscrimination policies with mental health among gender minority individuals
A large private health insurance database was used to examine the association between between health insurance nondiscrimination policies and mental health outcomes for gender minority individuals.

Mental health care for adolescents
Researchers examined changes over time in the kinds of mental health problems for which adolescents in the United States received care and where they got that care in this survey study with findings that should be interpreted within the context of several limitations including self-reported information.

Read More: Mental Health News and Mental Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.