Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a healing approach that combines meditation and yoga. Developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in the 1970s, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction aims to address the unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors thought to increase stress and undermine your health.
What It Involves
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is an eight-week program that involves training in mindfulness meditation and yoga. Participants generally meet once weekly.
In mindfulness meditation, individuals strive to cultivate a greater awareness of the present moment. By increasing their mindfulness, participants in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction aim to reduce their overall arousal and emotional reactivity and to gain a deeper sense of calm.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is said to benefit individuals dealing with the following health conditions or problems:
- Chronic pain
- High blood pressure
- Sleep problems
Here’s a look at Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction’s potential health benefits, as tested in scientific studies:
1) Pain Relief
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction may help relieve pain and improve psychological well-being in people dealing with chronic pain conditions, according to a study published in 2010. Researchers found that study members with arthritis showed the greatest improvement in health-related quality of life after undergoing Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, while participants with chronic headache/migraine had the smallest improvement.
2) Stress Management
For a report published in 2009, scientists sized up ten studies on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and found that the program is able to reduce stress levels in healthy people. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction also appeared to reduce anxiety and increase empathy.
3) Better Sleep
Some studies suggest that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction may help reduce certain factors (such as worrying) that contribute to sleep problems, according to a report published in 2007. However, in their analysis of seven studies on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and sleep disturbance, the report’s authors found insufficient evidence of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction’s ability to significantly improve sleep quality and duration.
Trying Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
If you’re considering the use of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, make sure to pursue training at a university medical center, hospital, or clinic, where classes are taught by qualified health professionals. If you’re thinking about using it for a health condition, make sure to consult your primary care provider first. It’s important to note that self-treating a condition and delaying or avoiding standard care may have serious consequences.