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About Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the calm but vibrant attention we place on something when we are fully present and aware. Mindfulness practice involves learning this type of attention, and discovering its effects on the mind-and-body. Mindfulness practices include simple and accessible meditative exercises for dealing with stress, difficultly, depression or chronic pain, and for building resilience, energy and empowerment.

Where does Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) come from?

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn (b.1944) in the 1980s and 90s in the University of Massachusetts Medical School (of which he is now Professor of Medicine Emeritus). Working with patients suffering chronic pain and stress-related illnesses, his studies show the effects on the brain, emotions and immune system of practising moment-to-moment awareness. Kabat-Zinn drew his approach from mindfulness practices rooted in Buddhist meditation techniques: exercises well-known in eastern systems as a basis for study, enhanced energy, positive emotion, and insight.

How Mindfulness Works

Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by events around, as well as by our emotional responses to what is happening. Mindfulness teaches us how to bring attention to what happens inside us, so we can respond creatively to what is going on outside us. Mindfulness is a natural way of being which is focused and aware, without tension or stress; so the practice of mindfulness is one which helps us regain this balanced state. Mindfulness happens naturally whenever we are happy and absorbed, and brings a sense of lightness, ease and freedom, which we can apply to whatever we do, whether at home or at work.

Who is Mindfulness for?

While Mindfulness was initially researched and taught to those suffering long-term physical pain or chronic depression, it is now practised and taught in a wide variety of settings: healthcare, business and personal development.

What are the benefits?

Mindfulness is highly effective for:

  • Developing inner resources to increase energy, good health and wellbeing
  • Calming inner activity, which allows greater flexibility and resourcefulness in our outer actions
  • Helping to cope with and move beyond stress, anxiety, pain and illness

 

Mindfulness will increase your ability to:

  • Accept and trust your own experience
  • Develop concentration and focus
  • Discover more choices in the moment
  • Move away from old habits
  • Feel empowered to develop new approaches
  • Increase calm and serene responses at times of stress
  • Learn non-judgemental approaches
  • Deal with destructive inner critical voices
  • Reduce stress-related problems and disorders
  • Adapt well to change and transition
  • Increase health and well-being
  • Enhance quality of life and work

Useful Links

Please see the links on our Resources page for further information.