Does mindfulness based stress reduction work?
Quieting your mind in general and being more focused on what you are doing at any time, makes you more affective in the world with less effort, which reduces stress.
In our modern 24/7 world with mobile phones connected to the internet, we have many distractions and demands, so quieting and focusing your mind is an antidote to all this stimulation.
Quieting the sort of thoughts and feelings that create:
has a powerful effect of reducing stress by putting out the flames that fan it.
This is very self empowering as you feel more self control.
Being in control of yourself and your life reduces stress. Whereas feeling overwhelmed and out of control increases stress and all the negative thoughts that go with it.
We all have stress in our lives, some more than others. For some it’s good stress and others it’s destructive and unhealthy. Some causes of stress we can change to reduce or eliminate it, others we can’t change.
Either way, by gaining more control of your thinking, you are in a much better position to change things in your life and accept the things you can’t change. It’s all about how resilient to the stresses of life you can be.
Mindfulness Quick Links:
Mindfulness and stress management plays a major role in developing strong resilience. The other important process, which works hand-in-glove, is deep relaxation or meditation.
There are two types of mindfulness based stress reduction techniques.
Being present and focused on what you are doing in normal daily life and mindfulness meditation.
I call being present in daily life simple mindfulness, as it’s a natural thing to do and much easier than mindfulness meditation.You can read more about simple mindfulness here.
As a powerful stress reducing support for simple mindfulness, I can’t emphasise enough the importance of high quality deep relaxation or meditation. I mean lying down so your body is as comfortable as possible and systematically relaxing mind and body.
This type of deep relaxation switches on a natural stress antidote mechanism in your body called the parasympathetic system. It helps to:
- calm your mind and body,
- drain away built up stress,
- refresh and revitalise,
- improve sleep,
- strengthen concentration.
The positive effects of deep relaxation support your simple mindfulness practice and make it easier, so you feel more benefit. The positive effects of mindfulness in turn support your ability to deeply relax increasing the effects.
This is a powerful feedback loop that will drain away stress, leaving you feeling more confident and in control with more energy and motivation.
When you have developed some skill in both of these practices and your stress levels are down, you could then look at trying mindfulness meditation.