Mindfulness-based stress reduction
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a cognitive and behavioral therapy program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn that uses a combination of meditation, "body scanning," and Yoga to help people become more mindful, reduce stress and to be more at ease, as well as promoting greater health. Controlled clinical research suggests it may have some beneficial effects. While MBSR has its roots in spiritual teachings, the program itself is secular.
MBSR has been described as "a group program that focuses upon the progressive acquisition of mindful awareness, of mindfulness". The MBSR program is an eight-week workshop taught by certified trainers that entails weekly group meetings, homework, and instruction in mindfulness meditation and simple yoga postures. As of early 2014, there were nearly 1,000 certified MBSR instructors in 30 countries.
According to Kabat-Zinn, the basis of MBSR is mindfulness, which he defined as "moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness."
Extent of practice
According to a 2014 article in Time magazine, mindfulness meditation has received wide popular acceptance. The curriculum started by Kabat-Zinn at University of Massachusetts Medical Center has produced nearly 1,000 certified MBSR instructors who are in nearly every state in the US and more than 30 countries. Corporations such as General Mills have made it available to their employees or set aside rooms for meditation. Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan published a book in 2012 titled A Mindful Nation and he has helped organize regular group meditation periods on Capitol Hill.
Evaluation of effectiveness
Mindfulness meditation has been the subject of increasing research interest: 52 papers were published in 2003, rising to 477 by 2012. Nearly 100 randomized controlled trials were published between 2005 and early 2014.
Some research has suggested that therapy incorporating mindfulness meditation might help people with anxiety, depression, and stress; however, the poor quality of the research casts doubt on these claims.
Mindfulness meditation is effective in reducing negative personality traits and improving attention and mindfulness.
MBSR can have a small beneficial effect helping with the depression and psychological distress associated with chronic illness.
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