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What is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction?

Cheerful woman in lotus pose meditate in green park

As a nation, we are under more stress and pressure than ever, whether this is with work, family life or friends. Some of the symptoms that come along with stress can be anger, anxiety, loss of sleep and even not wanting to eat. Short bursts of pressure can help us rise to challenges and realise adrenaline. Long term pressure, however, can cause significant stress and impact physical and mental health. MBSR (Mindfulness-based stress reduction) aims to help manage lengthy stages of stress, which can help with poor psychological and physical health.

Happy and relaxed women sitting in a sunset feeling calm and joyful


What Is MBSR?

Mindfulness-based stress reduction mixes meditation, yoga and mind-body workouts to aid individuals to learn how to handle stress. It helps to give people more clarity in their lives and what is happening around them. After doing meditation, yoga and mind-body exercises, people have reported that they feel more engaged at work, more energised, less anxious and sleep a lot better. 

What does mindfulness actually mean?

Mindfulness is the human ability to be fully present and aware of our surroundings, noticing in detail where we are and what we are doing. It means not being overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Although mindfulness is something that we all naturally possess, it is more accessible to us when we repeat it daily. Every time you bring realisation to what you’re directly experiencing through your senses or to your state of mind via your views and feelings, you are being mindful. There is research showing that when you train your brain to be aware, you are modifying the physical construction of your mind.

Mindfulness is accessible to us in every single situation, whether it’s through meditations or mindful practices like taking time to pause and breathe before rushing to do something.

 

Cheerful woman in lotus pose meditate in green park

 

What exactly is meditation?

Meditation is exploring. Not to a particular destination. Just in your head. Your head will become free of worries and thoughts, and you will be completely undistracted. When meditating, you’re enabling yourself to venture into your working mind. Mindfulness meditation allows us to suspend all judgements that we have and then unleash our natural curiosity about the working brain and gives you time to think.

Is there a right or wrong way to meditate?

Often people trick themselves into thinking that they are meditating in a ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ way. They do this because their minds are so busy, and they end up getting lost in thoughts without even noticing it. The truth is there isn’t a right or wrong way to meditate; it depends on what you feel is right for your mind and body. You can meditate whenever you want, maybe while commuting to work or while you are in bed – meditation is all about breathing and relaxation.

No matter how you go about your life, it is inevitable that you will meet some bumps along the way of stress and tension. In the fast-paced world we live in and the busy lives we lead it is more important than ever to learn the best ways to relax and have time to calm your mind. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch on 01733 639 040 or send us a message via our online contact form. We will be in touch as soon as possible.

About the Author Matt

Matt is a trained and licenced Mindfulness teacher and Stress and Anxiety Reduction Counsellor operating in and around the Peterborough area. After overcoming his own stress and anxiety he's found his purpose teaching others to do the same.

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