Why self-care? Why now?
We are in a constant state of stress and overwhelm. Having no time for self-care has become the new normal. Our nervous system is chronically over-activated leading to inflammation, stress, anxiety, overwhelm, burnout, and chronic pain/disease. There has never been a better time to use self-care strategies to calm your nervous system. Our bodies are designed to heal. We just need to practice the mind-body strategies to return our environment to one that is conducive to healing.
95% of all illness and disease is caused by stress (Lipton, 1998). Mind-body solutions have been proven to reduce stress (e.g., Kabat-Zinn et al., 1992; Smernoff et al., 2019).
~ 20% of Americans have an anxiety disorder, and symptoms of anxiety are even more widespread (CDC, 2018). A meta-analysis of 1,140 participants in 39 studies found that mind-body techniques had a significant impact on reducing anxiety and mood symptoms (Hofmann et al., 2010).
A 2018 study by the CDC revealed that 50 million Americans (just under 20% of the age-adjusted adult population) suffered from chronic pain, which was defined as "pain on most days or every day in the past 6 months." Mind-body techniques help with pain management because they aid in the management of anxiety and the sensation of threat. These techniques stimulate the relaxation response. One study found that patients who were trained in mindfulness meditation for four days experienced a 57% reduction in pain unpleasantness and a 40% reduction in pain intensity (Evans et al., 2013).
44% of workers feel overwhelm and burnout at work (Gallup, 2018). Burnout/overwhelm lead to Type 2 Diabetes, GI issues, heart disease, and even death (PloS, 2017). Studies have shown that mind-body interventions reduced executives’ stress (by self-report and by cortisol blood markers), improved sleep, enhanced health, boosted job satisfaction, and improved relationships (Mulla et al., 2017; Wongtongkam et al., 2017).