For my original Research, I used myself as the test subject. I designed a specific schedule for myself to practice mindfulness which included: Daily Meditation and yoga, exercise, dietary change, regular journaling and much more. It is important to note that mindfulness won’t be very beneficial if it is not done consistently, so from the get go, it was important to have this schedule down to a tee. I have been practicing mindfulness consistently and frequently, I spent an avid amount of time figuring out a schedule for myself in which would benefit me most greatly.
I created different yoga practices, with specific poses based off what I most wanted to focus on that session. I found starting my day with yoga and meditation helped with my nausea, (something I personally have been struggling with for a long time) It allowed me to set an intention each day, and allowed me to be awake and functional 15 minutes after waking up, and as for practicing before bed, I found it easier to fall asleep each night, another personal struggle of mine.
I found within the first week of starting and ending the day with yoga and meditation that I was feeling uplifted and more energetic. As time went on I would add certain elements or increase the amount of time I was doing something for a more intense mindfulness schedule.
Over a course of 8 weeks, at the conclusion of each week I took two surveys (one is a patient health questionnaire screening for depression, the other for Generalized Anxiety Disorder) in which was provided to me by a medical professional and my interviewee (Dr. Ina Stephens) Here’s how those screening work:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
the GAD-7 score is calculated by assigning scores of 0, 1, 2, and 3, to the response categories of ‘not at all’, ‘several days’, ‘more than half the days’, and ‘nearly every day’, respectively, and adding together the scores for the seven questions.
Scores of 5, 10, and 15 are taken as the cut-off points for mild, moderate and severe anxiety, respectively. When used as a screening tool, further evaluation is recommended when the score is 10 or greater.
Using the threshold score of 10, the GAD-7 has a sensitivity of 89% and a specificity of 82% for GAD. It is moderately good at screening three other common anxiety disorders – panic disorder (sensitivity 74%, specificity 81%), social anxiety disorder (sensitivity 72%, specificity 80%) and post-traumatic stress disorder (sensitivity 66%, specificity 81%)**
Depression Severity: 0-4 none, 5-9 mild, 10-14 moderate, 15-19 moderately severe, 20-27 severe.**
Here are the links to both of the Surveys:
Patient Health: https://patient.info/doctor/patient-health-questionnaire-phq-9
My Results from The Screenings:
Screening from 10/16/20 (First):
Score for Anxiety: 15/21- severe anxiety
Score for mood: 17/ 27 -Moderate to severe depression
Screening from 10/23/20 :
Score for Anxiety: 11/21- moderate anxiety
Score for mood: 13/27 – moderate depression
Screening from 10/30/20:
Score for Anxiety: 7/21 – mild anxiety
Score for mood: 9/27 – mild depression
Screening from 11/6/20:
Score for Anxiety: 7/21 – mild anxiety
Score for mood: 7/27- mild depression
Screening from 11/13/20
Score for Anxiety: 6/ 21- mild anxiety
Score for mood: 8/27- mild depression
Screening from 11/20/20
Score for Anxiety: 4/21 -normal
Score for mood: 5/27 – mild depression
Screening from 11/27/20
Score for Anxiety: 4/21- normal
Score for mood: 7/27 – mild depression
Screening from 12/4/20
Score for Anxiety: 7/21- mild anxiety
Score for mood: 5/27- mild depression
Screening from 12/11/20 (Final Screening)
Score for Anxiety: 9/21- mild anxiety
Score for mood: 11/27- moderate depression
Based off the numbers in the screening, it should be concluded that practicing mindfulness over the course of 2 months did greatly impact my mental health in a positive way. I’m skeptical for there were moments they did waiver, but there are factors outside of just keeping up with a mindfulness schedule that attribute to ones mental health. In an ideal situation, I would’ve had three or more other participants taking these screenings after developing a mindfulness schedule that’s attuned to their own needs. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do so for I found my topic may be a little too personal to ask someone to participate in. Mental Health is something I’ve been struggling with for several years, which is why I found it so important to spend my time researching how to better ones mindset most efficiently and for long term benefits. While my results may be biased for it was only conducted on myself, but it does support the basis that mindfulness can impact one’s mental health in a positive sense.