Mindfulness and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is a widely researched practice that was founded at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He defines mindfulness as:
“moment-to-moment, non-judgemental awareness.”
Mindfulness is scientifically proven to improve physical, emotional, cognitive and social functioning. Mindfulness-based approaches have been tested for a range of health problems, including, anxiety disorder, mood disorder, substance abuse disorder, eating disorders, chronic pain, ADHD, insomnia, and coping with medical conditions. Mindfulness practice has been shown to effect changes in grey matter concentrations in the brain regions that regulate emotion, self-referential processing and learning and memory processes. MBSR has been associated with improvement in the immune system which may explain the correlation between stress reduction and increased quality of life.
Mindfulness-based psychotherapy helps clients break free from habitual patterns of thinking and behaving in order to allow more choice and freedom in how they look at and respond to situations. It allows clients to shift out of an automatic and reactive response to life and its stressors to one that allows more flexibility, freedom and choice. It also brings a sense of relief or calm and thus has been extensively used and effective in helping individuals manage stress (Mindfulness Based Stressed Reduction). Mindfulness also provides an opportunity and means to restore an inner sense of balance for clients and to enhance overall wellbeing.
Mindfulness has been shown to be effective in the treatment of stress, anxiety, depression and managing pain. Other benefits of mindfulness include:
· Improvement in ability to manage stress and the stress response
· Increased insight
· Enhances self-awareness
· Improved ability to be more present
· Increased concentration/attention
· Improvement in patience
· Increases one’s ability to recognize and deal with depression, stress and anxiety symptoms
· Reduces chances of relapsing into depression, anxiety, stress response
· Greater sense of wellbeing
· Improved health