Unit 5 Project Sarah Blacketer Kaplan University HW420-01
IntroductionBenefits of Mental Fitness: Definitions and ExamplesResearch Article #1: A longitudinal study of job strain and ambulatoryblood pressure: Results from a three-year follow-upResearch Article #2: Positive Therapeutic Effects of IntercessoryPrayer in a Coronary Care Unit PopulationResearch Article #3: Effects of stress management training and dietarychanges in treating ischemic heart diseaseExercise Activity Practice #1: Cognitive Behavioral ConditioningExercise Activity Practice #2: RelaxationSummaryReference
Benefits of Mental FitnessMental fitness can also be construed as a person’s emotionaland mental state, as well as their ability to handle variousstressors in their daily lives. In addition, the term mentalfitness can be applied to a branch of medicine that deals withthe maintenance and accomplishment of psychological well-being. The many benefits associated with mental fitnessinclude: Increased positive emotions Increased productivity Increase mental focus Reduced anxiety Reduced risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease
Research Article #1 In 1998, Dr. Peter Schnall wanted to observe the effectsof stress on midlevel business managers who were overloadedwith work. Dr. Schnall found that those who viewed their “jobstrain” as challenging were able to better cope with the stressand less likely to suffer from hypertension and cardiovascularproblems than their counterparts who felt overwhelmed within ahopeless situation (Dacher, 2006). The significance of this studyclearly demonstrates how stress can severely affect one’s health.
Research Article #2In 1986, then cardiologist Dr. Randolph Byrd conducted the studyPositive Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer in a Coronary Care UnitPopulation to determine how prayer affects the medical outcome ofpatients admitted to the CCU at San Francisco General Hospital over aperiod of ten months (Byrd, 1988), In all 393 patients participated in the study and were randomly placed into two groups—192 patients in the intercessory prayer group and 201 patients in the control group. While hospitalized, the first group received intercessory prayer by participating Christians praying outside the hospital; the control group did not. The IP group subsequently had a significantly lower severity score based on the hospital course after entry. The control patients required ventilatory assistance, antibiotics, and diuretics more frequently than patients in the intercessory prayer group.
Research Article #3In 1977 and 1983, Drs. Ornish and Brown conducted a studiesto determine the if making changes to the diet and lifestyle ofhypertensive patients reversed severe illnesses. The studiesfocused upon a combination of making changes to the subject’sdiet and lifestyle, as well as stress management. In each ofthese studies, the individuals who adhered to Drs. Ornish andBrown’s lifestyle program made significant improvement whilethose who did not actually got worse (Ornish, 2005).
Exercise Activity Practice #1Cognitive Behavioral ConditioningOne tool that can provide significant benefit to the individuallooking to improve their mental well-being is through cognitivebehavioral conditioning. Cognitive behavioral conditioningforces the individual to reassess their reaction to a particular lifeevent. The ultimate goal is to reduce the individual’s stressreaction in the hope that they may better cope with similarevents that may occur in the future.The following slide provides an example of effective cognitivebehavioral conditioning.
Exercise Activity Practice #1Cognitive Behavioral Conditioning can be carried out bycompleting a thought record.
Exercise Activity Practice #2RelaxationVarious forms of relaxation techniques can help the individual togain control of many of their physical systems such as reducingarousal in their nervous system and calming tension in theirmuscles. One technique that may be beneficial is to utilizeguided imagery or to focus on a particular sound, such as whiteor pink noise.
Exercise Activity Practice #2This relaxation exercise was adapted from MindTools.com (2012),Complete your relaxation by following these steps: Sit quietly and comfortably. Close your eyes. Start by relaxing the muscles of your feet and work up your body relaxing muscles. Focus your attention on your breathing. Breathe in deeply and then let your breath out. Count your breaths, and say the number of the breath as you let it out (this gives you something to do with your mind, helping you to avoid distraction).Do this for ten or twenty minutes.
SummaryResearch has demonstrated the benefits of mental fitness.The physiological effects of stress upon the individual canbe reduced via the power of prayer.Proper stress management, and changes to the individual’sdiet and lifestyle can reverse the adverse effects of heartdisease.
ReferenceByrd, R. C. (1988, July). Positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer in a coronary care unit population. Southern Medical Journal, 81(7), 826-829. Retrieved from http://www.iwriteiam.nl/D960916-prayer.htmlDacher, E. S. (2006). Integral Health: The Path to Human Flourishing. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health.Greenberger, D. & Padesky, C. A. (1995). Thought record [Image]. In Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think. Retrieved from http://www.nicolemccance.com/images/Thought_Record.pdfMindTools.com (2012). The “Relaxation Response.” Physical Techniques: Deep Breathing, Progressive Muscular Relaxation & The Relaxation Response. Mind Tools Ltd. Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/stress/RelaxationTechniques/PhysicalTechniques.htmOrnish, D. (2005). Opening your heart: Anatomically, emotionally, and spiritually. In M. Schlitz, T. Amorok & M. S. Micozzi (Eds.), Consciousness & Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind-Body Medicine (pp. 304-311). New York, NY: Elsevier Inc.