Mindfulness: What is it, and does it really work?

Mindfulness: What is it, and does it really work?

By: Lauren Hernandez

In this busy, technology filled day and age, it is difficult for people to remove themselves from the stress of work and money, family and friends, and to disconnect from the 24/7 social frenzy that is social media. Now more than ever it is imperative that people begin to step back from their phones and computer screens to take care of their mental health and general wellbeing. One fairly new and unique way is mindfulness meditation.

What is mindfulness you may ask? Mindfulness is a process in which you have full and total awareness of the present moment. It has been proven that mindfulness reduces feelings of anxiety and depression and improves one’s mental health.

Here are some simple tips to begin practicing mindfulness on your own:

  • Bring your attention to your breathing. Feel your breath filling your lungs and the warm exhale of air leaving your body.
  • Notice changes in your posture and maintain awareness of current bodily sensations
  • Allow yourself to disconnect from all forms of technology
  • Take time to listen and to observe what is happening around you
  • If you get distracted bring your attention back to your natural breathing patterns

If you feel as though you may need help practicing mindfulness or have questions about the way you are feeling, contact a mental health professional such as a psychologist who can offer some guidance.


If you or someone you know is seeking guidance in practicing mindfulness, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .




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Hypochondria: Somatic Symptom Disorder

Alice Cordero

A condition once called Hypochondria now falls under the name Somatic Symptom Disorder. Somatic Symptom Disorder is characterized as extreme focus on physical symptoms. When one places extreme focus on physical symptoms – such as fatigue and pain- the individual usually experiences emotional distress and problems functioning in their daily lives.

Those diagnosed with somatic symptom or hypochondriasis disorder often consider the worst case scenarios about their symptoms, which often leads the individual to frequently seek medical care. The individual’s health concerns become such a crucial focus in their life that they in fact become disabled.

Symptoms of somatic symptom disorder may include:

  • Sensations in a specific area ( whether that be shortness of breath or pain) or more general sensations, like weakness and fatigue
  • Excessive thoughts, feelings, behaviors and worrying
  • Checking the body repeatedly for any sort of abnormalities

When one is diagnosed with somatic symptom disorder it is important to keep a positive outlook, because stress and negativity pave the way for the development of symptoms. Those with a history of substance abuse and high levels of sensitivity to pain are commonly seen with this condition.  Anxiety, depression, and OCD are conditions that are often diagnosed as accompanying somatic symptom disorder.

For somatic symptom disorder treatment normally involves cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness- based therapy, and medication such as antidepressants. With the proper treatment research has revealed that recovery is possible using the proper strategies to eliminate as much pain as possible.

If you or a loved one appears to be suffering from Somatic Symptom Disorder (Hypochondriasis), the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit us at http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/