What have you heard about Mindfulness? Do you think that there is any sound basis for Mindfulness Science that has been tested rigorously or is it Woo Woo stuff that people only imagine doing any good in their lives?
If you don’t know about it, do you want to find out?
As a young doctor, Jon Kabat-Zinn had visited the East. He became convinced that some of the elements of Buddhism could be useful in treating his patients with chronic severe pain. He gradually developed skills that allowed him to create the MBSR program: Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He downplayed any direct connection between Buddhism and Mindfulness, focusing on the non-secular aspects of Buddha’s books.
MBSR is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, the eventual outcome of Kabat-Zinn’s efforts. This course has been available online for several years.
Since the 1970’s Mindfulness began popping up everywhere. It has been used in business (Google), hospitals, schools, etc.,
A large number of people say IT WORKS!
In offices, it can be done unobtrusively at your desk or while waiting in the queue, riding the bus (NEVER DRIVING).
His claims are based on the scientifically proven fact that Mindfulness can help ordinary people like you cope with stress, anxiety, pain, and illness, and also to discover wonderful insights the more you practice.
There are other brilliant teachers that I will share with you along the way to happiness.
Here is the man himself saying it better than anyone else. I was mesmerized the first time I heard him. It takes about 12 minutes.
IT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE!
The Present State of affairs
The Oxford Centre for Mindfulness has found that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) prevents depression inpatients who have experienced recurrent depression. For people who have experienced three or more previous episodes of depression, MBCT reduces the recurrence rate over 12 months by 40–50% compared with usual care. (Crane C et al, “The effects of the amount of home meditation practice in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy on relapse to depression in the Staying Well after Depression Trial”, Behaviour Research and Therapy, 2014).
MBCT is as effective at reducing recurrence as antidepressants (Williams et al, “Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy”) for preventing relapse in recurrent depression:
A recent online course in Mindfulness among nearly 300 people revealed these statistics:
A 58% reduction in anxiety levels
A 57% reduction in depression
A 40% reduction in stress
Other research has shown that Mindfulness can reduce stress in work-related rumination, chronic fatigue and improvements in sleep quality, especially for people in stressful jobs.
The areas in which Mindfulness is being trialed is growing:
Criminal Justice – Mindfulness practice within criminal justice settings is currently being developed around the country. In HMP Brixton a “Mind/Body Workout Group” was established to help individuals to develop their own mindfulness practice.
Pregnancy -“Effects of a mindfulness-based intervention during pregnancy on prenatal stress and mood: results of a pilot study”, Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 2008.
Workplace – The most famous example is Google. Other companies have adopted Mindfulness practice to improve concentration. Read the article from Mindful Magazine about how it is being a Google employee and how willing the workers were to take the course, an almost ‘I want what you have’ approach. Even cynics were impressed.
Here comes a long list of events that lower your Happiness levels. How do YOU handle them?
Death or a loss
Divorce (or loss)
Getting a new job (you’d think this could only be good)
Abuse (physical, mental)
Debilitating guilt and shame
Being criticised and repeatedly invalidated
Ruminative thinking (see Home and above)
Predisposition based on family history
Deficiency in Vitamin D (sunshine)
Deficiency in B complex
Deficiency in Omega 3 fatty acids
Deficiency in Iron
Deficiency in amino acid
Deficiency in Zinc
Deficiency in Foliate
Deficiency in Selenium
Deficiency in Magnesium
Deficiency in Iodine
It’s a Wonder that Anyone is Happy!!!!! BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF or you can’t fix it.
If any of these apply to you, then Mindfulness will help you to make it not matter just so much.
‘Current literature points towards the potential for mindfulness to affect the structure and neural patterns present in the brain. Scientists have seen these results last not only during mindfulness practice but also during the daily life of practitioners. The results of one study published in NeuroReport in 2005 show thicker cortical regions related to attention and sensory processing in long-term meditation practitioners compared to non-meditators. These findings also suggest that meditation practice may offset cortical thinning brought on by aging’
(Brief Summary of Mindfulness Research by Greg Flaxman and Lisa Flook, Ph.D.)
THAT’S FOR ME!
Until fairly recently no one believed the brain could change over time. Your brain did not develop through your life. The exciting news is that the brain has plasticity and can actually change. This fact was not known until very recently. And Mindfulness Meditation can change your brain and so can change your own behaviour. We are now squarely in the realms of Neuroscience.
DREAD OF THE SHOWER
I went on the Smithsonian site and I saw articles flashing past. One was entitled, “Why Mind Wandering Can Be So Miserable, According to Happiness Experts” by one of their staffers, Libby Copeland. She is gloomy and anxious at the prospect of a shower. It sounds silly but maybe you can think of something you are irrationally afraid of. Libby is ripe for some Mindfulness training.
The scientists say that we spend 47% of our waking hours mind-wandering. Nearly half! I know my mind drifts off even when I am watching a movie thriller. I also know I used to be much worse when I was working a primary school teacher. I hardly ever got jobs done to my satisfaction. Then the tendency is to beat yourself up about it.
You will be interested to know that we pay most attention (i.e., showing Mindfulness) during sex. We spent the most, 67%, in grooming behaviors.
WANDERING IS WHAT MINDS DO. (Take this to heart)