Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Stress Is Killing Us
Today’s #therapythursday article was inspired by an email headline that screams for something like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. The email came from The Commonwealth Fund, with the stark subject: U.S. Has Highest Suicide Rate Among Wealthy Nations, Despite High Health Spending. Authors Roosa Tikkanen and Melinda K. Abrams show that the US leads other wealthy nations in the number of suicides per 100,000. They also point out that the US has the highest rate of chronic illnesses, usually a result of Lifestyle choices and stress.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was developed in the 1970’s by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center to help participants deal with stress. Its Center For Mindfulness is still a leading provider of MBSR as well as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT ) that serves those prone to depression relapse.
Like modern Lifestyle thugs stress, anxiety, fear, depression, pain, self-doubt, negative thinking are around every corner. Walking unprepared into one will rob you of something. Mindfulness exercises like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction are your training for self defense.
The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Approach
MBSR is set up as an eight-week workshop for groups. The workshops can be through hospitals, centers, corporations and other institutions. Certified instructors lead these workshops to facilitate the techniques and promote discussion. The instructors introduce participants to basic meditation, body scanning and simple yoga poses. The group discussions of what the participants experienced help share and reinforce the exercises.
We Need Complementary Therapies Like MBSR
The data are overwhelming. We can no longer ignore the fact that the US spends more in its sick care model and gets less. Medical professionals cannot be held accountable for all the Social Determinants of Health that chip away at our collective wellbeing daily. Medical professionals practice medicine. Our modern lifestyles need more than pills and medical procedures to cope. We need complementary therapies like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to augment or even reduce clinical visits.
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