29 May 2024
Could Mindfulness Be the Answer to Cognitive Health Issues in Stockholm?
Expat Support Mental health

Could Mindfulness Be the Answer to Cognitive Health Issues in Stockholm?

A recent study of more than 1.36 million people with records in the Region Stockholm administrative healthcare database has found that documented chronic stress and depression increase the risk of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. The Swedish medical system has a novel diagnosis that can be used to document stress. The diagnosis, called chronic stress-induced exhaustion disorder or SED, is caused by over six months of intensive stress without adequate recovery. The good news is that there is a powerful, natural way to battle chronic stress and depression—mindfulness. This technique is a real buzzword in the health and wellness sector, with numerous studies showing that it is a powerful stress, anxiety, and depression buster. Researchers have found that mindfulness lowers stress hormone levels and helps to nip the fight or flight response in the bud. If you are visiting Stockholm or moving to the ‘the Venice of the North’, and you’re worried about your mindfulness practice going astray, fear not! As a health-loving city, Stockholm offers so many opportunities to hone your mindfulness practice that the only thing you’ll find challenging is making a choice!

Embrace the Art of Mindful Travel and Movement

Start your mindfulness journey by savouring the act of travel itself, and by being aware of how you as a traveller are affecting the city through your choices. One of the most important tenets of mindful travel is sustainability, and Stockholm offers you a wide array of chances to lower your carbon footprint while taking in all the city’s top sites. Trains and buses have been powered by 100% renewable energy since 2017, so know that by choosing Stockholm, you are doing your share to help the world achieve its Paris 15 goals. You can also exercise mindfulness if you’re moving permanently to Stockholm. This can be achieved by planning and organizing your move over a period of months (instead of rushing), practising meditation and breathing in the days leading up to your big move, and performing visualization exercises. Simply imagine yourself living in one of the world’s most sustainable cities. Imagine how comfortable and happy you will be in a home that is powered by renewable energy and made with sustainable materials that are beautiful and sturdy. 

Hone your Om

Meditation is big in Stockholm, such that you will find various studios where you can hone your ability to keep your mind in the present moment. The Kadampa Meditationscenter Stockholm, for instance, has been open for over 15 years, while other studios (including Stockholm Meditation and Urban OM) have all been open for over a decade. Give these centres a call and inquire about the different activities they offer, including meditation, modern Buddhism sessions, weekend courses, and longer retreats. The Kadampa Meditationscenter Stockholm, for instance, takes clients on country meditation retreats, where they can take a break from city life and connect more deeply with their inner selves. They take place in Roslagen, north of Stockholm. Roslagen comprises the coastal areas of the Uppland province in Sweden. It is made up of quaint island villages, pristine nature, and fascinating historical sites. 

Bathe Your Cares Away

Immersing yourself in water is a powerful way to calm the mind and bring it to “the here and now,” and Stockholm is home to a host of wonderful baths that will enable you to achieve this goal. Smack bang in the heart of Stockholm is Centralbadet, a tranquil spa with a Roman bath and sauna area. While you’re there, enjoy a Swedish massage, which will instantly relax and soothe you. Other popular baths include Sturebadet (ensconced within one of Stockholm’s most well-loved shopping centres) and Yasuragi, which pays homage to Japan with a stunning spa and a host of mindfulness activities, including yoga.

Into the Wild

One of the most powerful ways to achieve a state of mindfulness is by spending time in nature, with studies showing that doing so is a highly effective way to tackle stress. In Stockholm, an array of verdant paradises await you, including the Royal Djurgården National Park, the Berzelii Park, and Humlegården. These and many more parks are lush, well-tended, and home to interesting features, with many having picnic areas, hiking trails, and stunning water fountains.

Chronic stress is more than something that causes discomfort. It is also linked to depression and a heightened risk of dementia, which is why battling it proactively is key. If mindfulness is your goal, Stockholm is the perfect place to visit or move to. It is home to a host of natural areas, where you can disconnect from stress and practice breathing, medication, or even a bit of outdoor yoga. This city also has a wealth of baths, meditation studios, and companies offering special retreats to unwind and reconnect with yourself.

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