Science or Woo Woo?
What have you heard about Mindfulness? Do you think that there is any sound basis for Mindfulness that has been tested scientifically or is it Woo Woo stuff that people only imagine it doing any good in their lives?
if you know something about it, I would love to hear your opinion.
If you don’t know about it, do you want to find out about the
practice that everyone is talking about?
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.,
It can be done unobtrusively at your desk or waiting in the supermarket line, 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 discover wonderful insights as well 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 SO MUCH 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 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.
The areas in which Mindfulness is being trialled 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 Silenium
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 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. Exciting news is that the brain has plasticity. And Mindfulness Meditation can change and so can your behaviours.We are now squarely in the realms of Neuroscience.
See you soon.
DREAD OF THE SHOWER
Hello fellow bloggers and Mindfulness peeps,
This situation is driving me bonkers. The revered Smithsonian magazine keeps sending me renewal forms when I have already paid. As it is we were getting two copies monthly after the balls-up they made the last time I dealt with them. I fear they will send three copies at a time. The doctors’ and dentists’ offices will be flooded with them. Does this happen to you?
shower the reason I am telling this is because 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 sound silly but maybe you can think of something you are irrationally afraid of. Libby is ripe for some Mindfulness training.
The article, written by a sceptic, concerns the times in our daily lives when we realise that the mind is trying, usually ineffectually, to deal with matters beyond our control. Some of your multitasking is easy (remember to post that birthday card for your sister) other problems seem to have no solution (if your mother needs a care package). Or a past thought might be,” I know she doesn’t like me because…”This is Unmindfulness. You cannot do anything about these things at the moment.
If you are driving your car, you will not remember any scenery or landmarks because you are never aware of your ‘present.’ You skipped past the buzzard hanging in the sky, the yellow gorse flowers persisting even in the coldest weather, the sign for the plowing contest next week and so on… This attention in the moment is Mindfulness.
Mindfulness helps us to notice things in the moment. Gorse flowers smell like coconut
Gorse flowers smell like coconut.
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 behaviours.
WANDERING IS WHAT MINDS DO. (Take this to heart)
So what about poor Libby? She knew that when she got in the shower, all her worst fears and worries would boil up. It had become a habit and so she hated showering. I think that is too bad because showers, except for baths, are the most calming, Mindfulness expressing things we can do for ourselves. I have to try out my disco spinning lights gadget my daughter gave me for Christmas. Promise you won’t put tealights around your bath!
Well, with anxious apprehension, Libby stepped into the shower. She kept her attention on her breathing and felt different.
“As she says, the trick is in recognizing the illusion—
“‘ah yes, there’s that ridiculous clown car of anxiety coming down the road again.
The saving grace, when I can manage to focus, is the present moment. ”