Mindfulness-based stress reduction

Developed by bio-medical scientist Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction follows the typical mindset prescribed by Zen Buddhist philosophy which is that of paying moment to moment attention without judging.

The idea here is that worries fall away when mindfulness is achieved in the present moment. There are a number of meditation techniques that are taught in courses designed to bring mindfulness to the way one walks, sits, lies and conducts other everyday activities as well as muscle relaxation techniques.

Practitioners aim to observe their feelings, thoughts and experiences with detachment and redirect their focus to the here and now. One then owns the moment, no matter what circumstance one finds him/herself in whether they are perceived good or bad doesn’t matter, and thus experiences of anxiety, depression and stress believed to be triggered by thoughts of past or projected ‘possible’ future events are greatly reduced.

The main concept of MBSR can best be summarized by the metaphor that the mind is a guesthouse where all thoughts and feelings are invited as welcomed guests. We know they only stay for a while until they leave again and we accept whatever they bring to us without aversion, rejection or hatred but we are also perfectly clear that we are not attached to any of those thoughts and feelings.

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