I've written about the benefit of mindfulness exercises several times before, and I'll say it again - mindfulness exercises make a difference. You don't have to practice mindfulness (e.g. yoga, meditation) to be okay or to address your anxiety, but it sure does help.
A new study conducted at a Colorado-based health consortium (group of facilities), and published in the Permanente Journal, has shown mindfulness-based therapies helped patients with chronic pain, chronic illness, and stress-related problems. A total of 38 patients took part in the 8-week wellness-based treatment program. Results were measured in terms of patient-reported levels of pain, depression, anxiety, workplace productivity, and health services utilization (how often they went to the doctors). Study results indicated that patient well-being was improved during the program, but also up to 18 months after all mindfulness therapies were completed.
Based on my own experiences and conversations with my clients, my sense is that mindfulness exercises work while we are doing them, but they also do a lot of good throughout the rest of the day, week, month, and apparently year. Those exercises help us relax and to put our minds and our thoughts back on track. I know I waited too long to try mindfulness. If you are on the fence about trying yoga or meditation, I urge you to give it a chance. There is more and more evidence everyday of the power of mindfulness to improve our lives.