Anxiety Relief with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a mix of mindfulness meditation and simple yoga poses. It has been proven to help people reduce stress and tension, manage chronic pain, and increase feelings of self-worth and self-esteem.

Because MBSR addresses physical tension plus the stress caused by an over-active mind, it can be a tremendous help to those who suffer from anxiety.

Yoga relaxes muscles and joints, releasing built-up tension. Learning to maintain a quieter mind via mindfulness keeps people from stirring up the stress and anxiety caused by worry or negative rumination.

Learning MBSR

MBSR is usually presented through eight-week training programs that are based on the model created by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Groups meet weekly to learn the practice of mindfulness with sitting and walking meditations and other body awareness exercises. Typically, the yoga poses are basic body stretches from the hatha yoga tradition.

The practice of MBSR is not diagnosis-specific; it is meant to help with a wide range of psychological and physical issues. The training may include instruction on effective life skills (e.g., communication) to help people reduce their overall amount of stress. By learning to effectively get our personal needs met, life naturally becomes more manageable.

MBSR can help with:

  • Stress, anxiety, and worry
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Grief or loss issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Chronic pain or illness

You could say that MBSR will help you develop a new relationship between yourself and the challenges you face in life. It gives you the tools and strengths that you have always had but did not know how to use. It quiets self-criticism and creates a larger sense of compassion and patience for others as well. It becomes clear that there is more right with you than wrong.

Many people who teach MBSR classes are licensed therapists, but being a therapist is not a teaching requirement. However, certification for MBSR trainers is offered. Before you sign up for a class, find out the instructor's qualifications.

Photo: Pixabay

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