Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
What is Mindfulness?
Studies in both medicine and neuroscience are showing that mindfulness is an essential life skill that can have profound effects on both physical and mental health. Mindfulness is an innate capacity that is developed with regular practice. It is concerned with embodied awareness, cultivation of clarity, emotional balance and compassion; these can all be refined and developed through the intentional cultivation of attention.
Mindfulness Meditation in Mainstream Healthcare*
- The National Institute of Health (NHS) in the U.S. alone funded more than 150 research projects on mindfulness alone between 2005-2010;
- NHS in the U.K. mandated a therapy based on Mindfulness nationwide;
- Based on ancient Buddhist meditation practices, it has now filtered into healthcare systems across North America, in health psychology, cognitive therapy, neuroscience, medicine, law and business;
- It is now estimated that there are hundreds of millions of practitioners around the world.
In adults, Mindfulness training has been shown to positively influence regions of the brain having to do with emotion regulation, impulse control, decision making, learning and memory. Under intense stress these capacities are impeded.
With regular practice of Mindfulness meditation, studies have shown that participants experience a higher resistance to anxiety and depression as practitioners learn to experience negative thoughts as observable mental content rather than ‘self’. They develop a greater capacity to learn and concentrate even in states of deep sleep, as well as sharper acuity and more developed cognitive functioning.