In the journey of life, unexpected health or career crises can drastically affect our mental baseline, temporarily or even permanently. Understanding what mental baseline is, how it can be affected by disability, and the role of meditation in maintaining and potentially improving it is crucial. Let’s delve into these aspects.

1. Defining Mental Baseline

The mental baseline refers to the standard level of mental and emotional functioning that an individual typically operates at. It encompasses one’s usual mood, stress levels, and overall mental health. This baseline can fluctuate based on life experiences, stressors, and personal habits, but significant disruptions can cause more drastic shifts.

For a deeper understanding of the concept of mental baseline and how meditation can raise it, you can refer to our previous post on Mental Baseline: How Meditation Raises Your Mental Well-Being.

2. Disability Lowers Mental Baseline

Facing a health crisis, such as a sudden disability, can profoundly destabilize one’s mental baseline. For example, consider a scenario where a young, healthy individual undergoes a CT scan for mild abdominal pain and discovers a large kidney mass, likely cancer. This diagnosis can make one’s entire world fall apart. Even with a curable surgery option, supportive workplace, and disability insurance, the stress and uncertainty can significantly lower the mental baseline.

  • Temporary vs. Long-Term Disability: If the cancer is non-metastatic and treatable with surgery, the individual might face a short-term disability. However, metastatic cancer can lead to longer-term disability, with a more severe impact on mental health.
  • Emotional and Psychological Stress: The uncertainty, fear, and stress associated with a cancer diagnosis and treatment can lower one’s mental baseline. Recognizing and addressing these emotional responses is essential for overall well-being.

3. Effects of a Lower Mental Baseline

When the mental baseline is lowered, it can lead to several adverse effects, impacting various aspects of an individual’s life:

  • Lower Energy: A decreased mental baseline often results in fatigue and reduced physical and mental energy, making daily tasks more challenging.
  • Confusion and Lack of Clarity: Individuals may experience confusion and find it difficult to think clearly or concentrate, leading to poor decision-making.
  • Impaired Decision-Making: With impaired cognitive functions, making informed decisions becomes difficult, which can further complicate personal and professional life.
  • Need for Increased Support: Individuals with a lower mental baseline may require more support from family, friends, and healthcare providers to manage their daily lives and responsibilities effectively.

4. What Can Be Done to Help

To help maintain and possibly elevate the mental baseline during such challenging times, a multifaceted approach is necessary. Here are four key strategies:

  • The Treatment Plan:
    • A clear, comprehensive treatment plan provides a sense of direction and control. Knowing the steps ahead can alleviate some anxiety and help the individual focus on recovery.
    • Regular communication with healthcare providers and understanding the treatment process can also reduce uncertainty and fear.
  • Supportive Measures:
    • Transportation and Lodging: Practical support like transportation to medical appointments and lodging near treatment centers can reduce logistical stress.
    • Complementary Therapies: Services such as massage therapy, reiki, acupuncture, and nutritional support can enhance physical well-being and offer emotional comfort.
    • Counseling and Support Groups: Professional counseling and peer support groups can provide emotional and psychological support, helping individuals process their experiences and emotions.
  • Meditation Practices:
    • Meditation and mindfulness practices can be powerful tools to manage stress and maintain mental stability. Regular practice can help calm the mind, improve focus, and foster a sense of peace, even during challenging times.
    • Techniques like deep breathing, guided imagery, and mindfulness meditation can be incorporated into daily routines to support mental health.
    • For those looking to incorporate meditation into their daily routine, the Relax Infinity App is a valuable resource. It offers guided meditations, mindfulness exercises, and relaxation techniques designed to help users manage stress and improve their mental well-being.

5. Research and References

While the direct impact of meditation on cancer outcomes isn’t definitively proven, numerous studies suggest its benefits for mental health:

  • American Cancer Society: The organization acknowledges that mindfulness and meditation can help reduce anxiety, stress, and improve overall quality of life for cancer patients. According to a 2020 article, mindfulness-based interventions can significantly improve psychological and physical symptoms, aiding in the overall treatment process.
  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH): The NCCIH states that meditation can help manage symptoms of anxiety, depression, and pain, which are common among those facing serious health challenges. Their 2019 research review highlights that meditation can provide moderate relief from symptoms related to stress and enhance emotional well-being.

Additionally, various anecdotal accounts and smaller studies indicate that patients who incorporate meditation into their routine often report better mental resilience and emotional well-being.

6. Innovation and Research is Needed in the Role of Meditation

While there is promising evidence about the benefits of meditation, more rigorous and extensive research is needed to fully understand its role in health outcomes, particularly for severe conditions like cancer. Innovation in this area could include:

  • Clinical Trials: Conducting large-scale clinical trials to study the effects of meditation on specific health outcomes.
  • Integrative Health Programs: Developing integrative health programs that include meditation as a standard component of treatment for chronic illnesses.
  • Technological Advances: Utilizing technology, such as meditation apps and virtual reality, to make meditation more accessible and tailored to individual needs.

7. Additional Considerations

In addition to the above strategies, here are a few other measures that could support maintaining or improving the mental baseline:

  • Physical Activity: Gentle exercise, as advised by healthcare professionals, can boost mood and energy levels.
  • Healthy Diet: Proper nutrition supports overall health and can improve mood and energy.
  • Social Connections: Maintaining strong social connections with family and friends provides emotional support and reduces feelings of isolation.
  • Professional Guidance: Regular consultations with healthcare providers, including mental health professionals, can ensure that both physical and mental health needs are addressed.


Understanding and maintaining our mental baseline is essential, especially when faced with crises like sudden disabilities. While these situations can significantly lower our mental baseline, incorporating meditation practices offers a powerful tool to manage stress and maintain emotional stability.

Further research and innovation in this field could unlock even greater benefits, potentially transforming the way we approach mental health and wellness in the face of life’s challenges. By acknowledging the profound impact of these situations and proactively addressing them with comprehensive strategies, we can support individuals in navigating their journeys with resilience and grace.

For more guidance on incorporating meditation into your daily life, consider using resources like the Relax Infinity App to help manage stress and improve overall mental well-being.

Stay tuned for Part 3, where we will explore how habits and addictions can lower the mental baseline and discuss strategies for recovery and support.


  • Krishna Bhatta


    Relax Inc.

    Krishna Bhatta, MD, FRCS is an author, surgeon and an inventor, currently working as a Urologist ( former chief of urology) at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine.  Dr. Bhatta began his life in a small Indian village, attended Patna Medical College in India, continued his education in the UK, and then completed his research & medical training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School.

    Dr. Bhatta is equal parts practical and spiritual. His lectures, writings, podcasts, songs, and video talks on Gita, Krishna, and other spiritual topics are based on his personal journey and experiences, as well as a lifetime of exploring spiritual texts, giving him a unique understanding and perspective.

    He is founder CEO of a wellness and meditation app - Relax Infinity (formerly Relaxx) which strives to be the wellness destination of the world. It connects Patanjali's science of consciousness with Einstein's art of swimming in silence.  Wellness is an infinite journey and a life long pursuit.