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Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is an eight-week evidence-based program that offers secular, intensive mindfulness training to assist people with stress, anxiety, depression and pain. Developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979 by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn, MBSR uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, yoga, and exploration of patterns of behavior, thinking, feeling and action. Mindfulness is defined as the awareness that arises by paying attention, on purpose, in the moment, non-judgmentally. By investigating the present experience, including body sensations, internal mental states, thoughts, emotions, impulses and memories, we can learn to reduce suffering or distress and to increase well-being. Mindfulness meditation is a method by which attention skills are cultivated, emotional regulation is developed, as well as rumination and worry are significantly reduced. During the past decades, mindfulness meditation has been the subject of more controlled clinical research, which suggests its potential beneficial effects for mental health, as well as physical health. While MBSR has its roots in spiritual teachings, the program itself is secular.

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