Move over cryptic crosswords and Sudoku, and make way for the ultimate mental workout. It’s called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR for short. Recent neuroscience research shows that novices using the method – developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the 1970s – can get results in just eight weeks.
Brain-changing results, that is.
A 2010 study found that non-meditators who had eight weeks of MBSR training were more likely than a control group to access the brain region that provides a bodily sense of the “here and now” as opposed to the region associated with worry.
In other research published in January, brain scans of MBSR participants with no previous meditation experience … Read more »
Sit down. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath. Observe your thoughts objectively as if you were a scientist.
There, you’ve achieved it: mindfulness, a heightened awareness and acceptance of the present moment without judgment.
As simple as it seems, mindfulness, with its origins in the 2,500-year-old Buddhist practices of meditation and yoga, has become the latest buzzword in wellness, as study after study confirms its power to relieve anxiety and improve mood when combined with Western therapies.
Last month University of Toronto researchers reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which mixes mindfulness meditation with cognitive behavioral therapy, is as effective as antidepressants for preventing relapses in depression.
Dr. Zindel … Read more »
“I turned to someone and said, ‘This is the beginning of the end,’ ” recalls Dr. Segal, who heads the cognitive behaviour therapy clinic at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
The book, which purports to explain how a calm mind can help a person achieve financial security, is a sign that the concept of mindfulness is making a leap into mass popularity. But that doesn’t mean people actually understand it, he says.
Mindfulness is a technique for slowing down and examining one’s … Read more »
There is solid evidence that mindfulness therapy, which combines elements of Buddhism and yoga, can relieve anxiety and improve mood.
Of all fields of medicine, psychology seems especially prone to fads. Freudian dream analysis, recovered memory therapy, eye movement desensitization for trauma — lots of once-hot psychological theories and treatments eventually fizzled.
Now along comes mindfulness therapy, a meditation-based treatment with foundations in Buddhism and yoga that’s taking off in private practices and university psychology departments across the country.
“Mindfulness has become a buzzword, especially with younger therapists,” said Stefan Hofmann, a professor of psychology at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.
Mindfulness therapy encourages patients to focus on their breathing and their … Read more »
The boss loves your work. Your spouse thinks you’re sexy. The kids—and even the cat—shower you with affection. But then there’s the Voice, the nagging presence in your head that tells you you’re a homely, heartless slacker.
Even people who appear supremely fit, highly successful and hyper-organized are sometimes riddled with debilitating doubts, fears and self-criticisms.
“Most people are struggling with difficult thoughts and feelings. But the show we put on for others says ‘I’ve got it handled,'” says Steven C. Hayes, a professor of psychology at University of Nevada-Reno. In reality, however, “there’s a big difference between what’s on the outside and what’s on the inside.”
Cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to help patients conquer their … Read more »
Mindfulness therapy — in the form known as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)– demonstrates greater efficacy than antidepressant medications for the prevention of a depression relapse, according to new data.
MBCT combines the use of tried-and-true cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques with greater focus on self-awareness and self-reflection.
In the current study, the researchers describe how they implemented mindfulness-based therapy: “This is accomplished through daily homework exercises featuring (1) guided (taped) awareness exercises directed at increasing moment-by-moment nonjudgmental awareness of bodily sensations, thoughts, and feelings; (2) accepting difficulties with a stance of self-compassion; and (3) developing an ‘action plan’ composed of strategies for responding to early warning signs of relapse/recurrence.”
Researchers led by Zindel Segal, Ph.D., of … Read more »
Meditating daily and being mindful of life events that make you happy or sad may be as effective as taking medication to prevent a relapse of depression, a new study suggests.
By undergoing what is called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, people can learn how to meditate and pay attention to emotional triggers, said study researcher Zindel V. Segal, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada.
“When you do that, you gain better control over cognitive emotions that can trigger relapse without you being aware of it,” Segal told MyHealthNewsDaily.
Antidepressants provide chemicals that impact brain regions involved in depression. Research shows that only about 40 percent of people in remission for depression adhere … Read more »