Basics of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is, perhaps, one of the major contributions to evidence-based mindfulness therapies. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s development of this model of intervention was both timely and exquisite. In clinical care of psychological
and physical problems, these skills and practices are of utmost importance for improving (according to the most recent meta-analytic reviews in 2014 and 2016)
depression, anxiety/stress, chronic pain and emotional regulation – so important in various addictions and improvement in physical illnesses. Below I will list the most basic components to the MBSR model of practice.
- Clear understandings of mindfulness in theory and in everyday life;
- Mindfulness and mind-body interactions;
- Selected breathing practices;
- Mindfulness meditation;
- Mindfulness walking;
- Haha yoga practices;
- Body scan practices;
- Extensive home practice of skills;
- Mindful eating practices (may be included);
- Loving kindness meditation (may be included);
- Compassion and self-compassion practices (may be included);
- Modifications of RAIN (recognize, allow, investigate, dis-identify) may be included;
- Cognitive aspects of the mindfulness-based path to practice (especially mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) may be included; and,
- Spiritual experience in the mindfulness-based path may be included, especially in more advanced Buddhist path practices.
Research has consistently supported MBSR (as noted above) for improved outcomes in various physical and psychological problems. Once people become involved in regular home practice (or group practice with a sangha), improvement are generally maintained. You may want to search for “MBSR research support.” I will not document the numerous studies here. The single most important variable in success is regular daily practice of core skills (mindfulness, meditation, yoga, etc.). Ideally, such practice would range from at least 20 minutes to an hour each day.
For more information refer to Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990, 2009). Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. New York: Delta Trade Paperbacks. See also Kabat-Zinn, J. (2005). Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness. New York: Hyperion.
By Anthony R. Quintiliani, PhD., LADC
From the Eleanor R. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont
Author of Mindful Happiness