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Mindfulness / Stress Reduction

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The practice of mindfulness has been defined as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

It also can be described as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, without judgment.

The psychological process of mindfulness originally developed through the Eastern practice of Buddhism and meditation. And, since the late 1970’s, it has increasingly made its way into the culture and institutions of Western society and is now taught in schools in every American state and in 30 other countries. It has even been incorporated in psychological therapies such as the popular and effective Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT). Likewise, it is being used as a popular and effective tool in hospitals, medical schools, addictions treatment programs, chronic pain clinics, cancer wards, research centers and numerous corporations who offer meditation rooms for employees.

Much research has been done on the benefits of mindfulness practice, showing a strong correlation with well-being, perceived health, and reduction in stress.

Studies have found that mindfulness interventions are effective in reducing symptoms of rumination and worry associated with depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research shows that mindfulness improves emotional and attention regulation, as well as body awareness. It is recognized as fostering clear thinking and openheartedness, and has been found to influence positive functional and structural brain changes.