Learning Mindfulness techniques can be one of the best gifts you give yourself. Mindfulness can greatly reduces stress, overwhelm, and anxiety. And it also increases happiness. Our Registered Counsellor Nancy Kearnan shares some history and evidence about the effectiveness of Mindfulness in Part 3 of her series of articles.
Mindfulness: Part 3
The History and Efficacy of Mindfulness
The concept of mindfulness as a therapeutic intervention has been around since the early 1980’s when Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn developed it. Zinn’s focus was in reducing stress and helping to address chronic pain.
Zindel Segal, John Teasdale, and Mark Williams developed Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy in the early 1990’s. MBCT, as this method is called, has been clinically reviewed many times and proved to be effective for the treatment and prevention of recurrent depression.2
It is important to note that being mindful of things in our lives (appreciating the small things, enhancing joy in everyday moments) and mindfulness practice are different. Being mindful is a good quality to have, however, it does not achieve the same results of mindfulness meditation or practice. That is, mindfulness practice is engaging in formal, purposeful and regular mindfulness exercises and meditation.
Mindfulness practice can actually change our brains. By intentionally going into the state of mindfulness on a regular basis, we can change how our brain reacts to stress and negative emotions and, if done enough, this can change our brains long-term. In fact, researcher Gaelle Desbordes found that she was able to identify these brain changes on MRIs.3
This means that mindfulness helps improve each moment but can also enhance our brains’ ability to deal with a variety of challenges.
Research has found that that benefits associated with mindfulness meditation training include: reduction in symptoms of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, and addictions, immune function improvement, fewer brain declines due to aging and stress, improvement of mental clarity and focus, improvements in heart heath, a possible slowing down of cellular aging, and improvements in self-confidence, leadership skills, and the quality of your sleep.
Bottom line: it works, give it a try!
This is great stuff, Nancy! Practicing Mindfulness is an easy and effective way to improve our quality of life.
Nancy would love to work with you.
She works with Adults, Kids 2 yrs & older and Youth 13+.
Nancy is a Registered Counsellor who is extremely experienced.
She does excellent work with:
– Grief and Loss
– Self Confidence
– Self Esteem
– Mental Health (Bipolar, OCD)
– Self harm
– Suicide Ideation
Cheers to more mindfulness, less stress and more happiness,