Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn established the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) method in 1979.
Although it was first designed to alleviate stress, it has since expanded to treat a wide range of health problems. Anxiety, depression, skin problems, pain, immunological disorders, hypertension, and diabetes are only a few of them. It uses mindfulness meditation to help those suffering from physical, psychosomatic, and psychological illnesses.
MBSR is an alternative therapy option for patients in over 200 medical centers worldwide. It is a 2.5-hour-per-week, 8-week course with a one-day retreat. Participants undergo rigorous mindfulness meditation instruction that includes easy stretches and postures. Although there is little study on MBSR, the findings suggest that it improves the condition of patients with chronic illnesses and helps them manage a wide range of clinical difficulties.
Table of Contents
Knowing how to Deal With Stress
“Stress is a fact of life,” everyone agreed.
One–third of those polled said they were stressed out to the point of exhaustion, and nearly 17% said they were stressed out on 15 or more days every month. Whether we’re young or old, big or small, lofty thinkers or practical doers, we all deal with stress regularly. This inescapable human experience affects even the most experienced meditator and the yogi who radiates tranquility. It’s unavoidable and comes with a slew of unpleasant and distracting symptoms. Stress isn’t just a mood or a mental condition; it penetrates every element of your life if you don’t treat it.
Stress Signs and Symptoms
* Low energy;
* Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea;
* Aches, pains, and tense muscles;
* Chest pain and rapid heartbeat;
* Frequent colds and infections;
* Loss of sexual desire and ability, according to WebMD.
Stress can have a significant impact on your emotions and the general mood in addition to these physical symptoms.
A few of the mental or emotional signs of rising stress are listed :
* Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts;
* Difficulty learning new information;
* Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion;
* Difficulty making decisions;
* Feeling overburdened or overwhelmed;
* Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts;
* Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness;
* Lack of interest in appearance, punctuality;
* Nervous habits, fidgeting, feet tapping;
* Increased frustration, irritability, leg
Stress may spread its hungry tentacles into every nook and crevice of your daily life, as these signs demonstrate. This appears to be quite bleak, but don’t despair just yet. Instead of throwing up our hands and waiting to be consumed whole, we can shift our perspective and face the problem head-on, contributing to our growth and development instead of throwing up our hands and waiting to be swallowed whole.
What Exactly Is MBSR?
Though created for stress management, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) therapy is now being utilized to treat several conditions, including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, cancer, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, skin, and immunological problems.MBSR is a stress-reduction technique that is adaptable and customized. There are two essential components to it: mindfulness meditation and yoga.
Mindfulness is practiced in the way that best suits the individual, rather than following a script or acting out painstakingly stated processes (Center for Mindfulness, 2017). While MBSR differs from person to person in practice, it is founded on the same principles.
The Following Are Direct Quotes from the Center for Mindfulness’s Website
1. Making the experience a challenge rather than a chore, turning mindfully observing one’s life into an adventure in living rather than just another thing one “has” to do to stay healthy;
2. An emphasis on the importance of individual effort and motivation, as well as regular, disciplined meditation, practice in its various forms, whether or not one “feels” like practicing on a given day;
3. The immediate lifestyle change required to begin a formal mindfulness practice, which necessitates a significant time commitment (at least 45 minutes per day, six days a week in the clinic);
The significance of actively bringing each instant into awareness during practice, so stepping out of clock time and into the present moment;
1. An educational, rather than therapeutic, approach that employs relatively large “classes” of participants in a time-limited course structure to provide a community of learning and practice, as well as a “critical mass” to aid in the cultivation of ongoing motivation, support, and feelings of acceptance and belonging;
2. A medically diverse environment in which people with a wide range of medical conditions attend classes together without being separated by diagnosis, conditions, or intervention specializations.
3. This approach has the benefit of focusing on what people have in common rather than what is unique about their disease (what is “right” with them rather than what is “wrong”), which is left to the attention of other members of the health care team and specialized support groups for specific patient groups, where appropriate (Center for Mindfulness, 2017).
What Does it Entail?
The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program is an eight-week program that includes mindfulness meditation and yoga instruction. Participants usually get together once a week. Individuals who practice mindfulness meditation develop a deeper awareness of the present moment. Participants in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction hope to lessen their overall arousal and emotional reactivity while also gaining a more profound sense of calm by strengthening their mindfulness.
Individuals dealing with the following health ailments or concerns are believed to benefit from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction:
- Chronic Pain
- High Blood Pressure
- Sleep Issues
Here are some of the potential health benefits of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, as evidenced by scientific studies
According to a 2010 study, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction may help reduce pain and increase psychological well-being in chronic pain disorders. Researchers discovered that participants with arthritis improved the most in health-related quality of life after receiving Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, whereas those with chronic headache/migraine improved the least.
Scientists analyzed ten research on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for a 2009 paper and discovered that the program could reduce stress levels in healthy persons.MBSR was also found to lower anxiety and promote empathy in participants.
More Restful Sleep
According to a paper released in 2007, several studies suggest that MBSR may help minimize some factors (such as worrying) that contribute to sleep disorders. The paper’s authors found insufficient evidence of MBSR’s capacity to significantly enhance sleep quality and duration in their analysis of seven studies on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and sleep disturbance.
Preventing Relapse in Depression
According to research, mindfulness techniques may also help reduce the recurrence of depressive symptoms. This mindfulness-based technique can help people avoid acquiring negative ideas and attitudes since it focuses on changing harmful thought patterns. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy was just as beneficial as antidepressants in avoiding depression relapse in one trial.
Reduction of Bias
Another advantage of mindfulness-based treatments is that they frequently assist people in overcoming previously held associations, such as discriminatory beliefs. According to implicit association tests, mindfulness techniques positively influenced lowering the age and racial prejudices in one study.
Improvements in Cognition
Mindfulness-based techniques may also provide cognitive benefits, according to research. According to one study, four meditation training sessions improved verbal fluency, mood, visual coding, and working memory. Improvements in visual-spatial processing and executive function were also noted.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is worth a shot.
If you’re interested in learning Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, look for programs offered by certified health experts at a university medical center, hospital, or clinic. If you’re considering using it to treat a health problem, talk to your primary care practitioner first. Self-treating an illness and delaying or avoiding proper care might have catastrophic implications.
Stress Reduction Through Yoga and Mindfulness
Yoga is a great technique to cultivate mindfulness and alleviate stress. Yoga has been proved in several studies to be beneficial to people from all areas of life. A study of mental health professionals, for example, found that practicing yoga lowered work-related stress and improved their ability to adapt and respond to stress (Lin, Huang, Shiu, & Yeh, 2015). Yoga can also assist school personnel in relaxing, feeling more at ease, being more joyful, and reducing cognitive and physical stress (Nosaka & Okamura, 2015). Yoga can also help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yoga has been shown to help veterans with their PTSD symptoms and sleep quality (Staples, Hamilton, & Uddo, 2013). When female veterans engaged in a 12-session yoga program, they showed a reduction in PTSD-related symptoms and drug misuse behavior (Reddy, Dick, Gerber, & Mitchell, 2014). Yoga can be beneficial to youngsters as well.
According to one study, a 10-week yoga session reduced cortisol in second-graders (Butzer et al., 2015). It also helped students in second and third grades have fewer behavioral issues. Another study found that yoga can help children cope with academic stress (Venkataramana, Poomalil, & Shobhasree, 2008).
Seven foundational attitudes are integral to the practice of mindfulness for the aim of stress reduction, according to Kabat-Zinn:
* Non-judgment: act as if you’re an impartial witness;
* A beginner’s mind: a mindset that is eager to experience everything as if it were the first time;
* Patience: a sort of knowledge that allows us to give ourselves space and time to have our experiences;
* Self-belief: believing in yourself and respecting your expertise and experience.
* Non-striving: an attitude that encourages the practitioner to simply be rather than aiming to get somewhere or do something specific.
* Acceptance: viewing things as they are in each moment, rather than as you wish they were or as the worst interpretation could suggest; in other words, taking things as they come.
* Letting go: consciously relinquishing control and allowing us to participate in our surroundings completely.
MBSR and meditation
Meditation isn’t like hitting a button that instantly makes you feel better, and it may, however, be the closest thing to it. We take responsibility for our mental states and learn to change our reactions to our events to achieve more positive outcomes when we meditate (Wildmind, 2007).
Meditation helps us become more aware of our thought patterns, emotions, and stress responses when we practice it regularly. We can change undesirable habits or processes once we become aware of them.
How to Practice Meditation for Stress Reduction?
Now we’ll look at how to practice meditation for stress reduction.
• Pose for Meditation
When you first start meditating, the first thing on your mind is figuring out how to arrange your body. You want to be comfortable, but you also want to make sure your posture promotes a positive mindset. Meditation can be done in various positions, including sitting, standing, crouching, kneeling, and almost any other position, which is less important than the fundamentals.
Refer to the following list to ensure that your posture is favorable to effective meditation
* Your spine should be erect, following its natural propensity to be slightly hollowed;
* Your lower spine should not be slumped, nor should it have an exaggerated hollow;
* Your spine should be relaxed;
* Your shoulders should be relaxed and slightly rolled back and down;
* Your hands should be supported, either resting on a cushion or your lap so that your arms are relaxed;
* Your head should be balanced evenly, with your chin slightly tucked in;
* Your back of your neck should be relaxed, long, and open;
* Your face should be relaxed, with your brow (Wildmind, 2007).