What is it?
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is an evidence-based eight-week program that presents secular, mindfulness training to support people in managing stress, anxiety, depression and pain. Mindfulness works in reducing suffering or distress and increasing well-being by working with and investigating the present experience with non-judgmental acceptance, bringing awareness to the body sensations, internal mental states, thoughts, emotions, impulses and memories. The MBSR combines mindfulness practices, body awareness and psycho-education as tools to explore patterns in our thinking, feeling and behaviour.
The program was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in the late 1970s at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Though Mindfulness is associated with Buddhist teachings, the MBSR program itself is a secular instruction. Over the past couple of decades, mindfulness meditation has undergone rigorous scientific inspection, which continues to grow exponentially. This research has shown that as mindfulness attentional skills are developed, rumination and worry are significantly lowered, and emotional regulation is improved. Time and again, clinical controlled trials, the gold standard for scientific research, have advocated the beneficial effects of mindfulness for mental and physical health.