11 In Anxiety/ Self-care

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction – The Health Benefits

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction - The Health Benefits

I promised to share with you some of the health benefits associated with the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) program I recently attended.

I recently completed an eight-week MBSR program where those who attended were provided with tools and training in order to enhance our own health and well-being through developing an awareness of the connection between the mind and body to reduce reactions to stressful situations and respond with a greater sense of awareness and presence. The program involved 8 x 2 1/2 – 3 hour weekly workshops as well as daily home practice – mindful meditation and hatha yoga.

The MBSR has been around since 1979. Pioneered by Jon Kabat-Zinn (Ph.D.) in 1979 at the School of Medicine, University of Massachusetts, scientific research has shown that:

“Since its inception in 1979, MBSR has shown benefit in alleviating symptoms of a broad array of conditions from anxiety disorders to diabetes (Gregg et al., 2007, Ma and Teasdale, 2004, Grossman et al., 2007, Pradhan et al., 2007, Speca et al., 2000 and Kabat-Zinn et al., 1998).”

It’s been quite amazing, aside from getting me through an incredibly CRAZZZZY period (read about that here)!

Anxiety management – day to day

My anxiety is so much more manageable these days. I’ve given a few short speeches, and afterwards realised that I hadn’t suffered from anxiety at all! Previously, I would be a sweaty, shaky, nauseous mess with the constant urge to pee, followed by a couple of days of wipe out afterwards…

Learning useful techniques

I have learnt some very useful techniques to handle those times when my anxiety does peek or I feel a panic attack coming on. Everything from mindfulness meditation, eating and walking, through to hath a yoga stretching, breathing (because breathing is always good!) and centring myself.

Life changing

The MBSR has helped me come to some very big conclusions in my life, and thus I have made some very big decisions, the biggest being to  quit my job and leave my project management career of 12 years. I should really be freaking out right about now, yes? But I’m not. I’m working hard to take it all in my stride by focussing on the present moment, rather than what has happened, or what might happen. So I can definitely attest to the MBSR helping me through the high-levels of stress I have experienced before I quit, and after.

Feeling unblocked

I’m so much clearer, generally. I am having less of a problem with what I call ‘brain fog’, and generally, I am having so many more ideas and feel so much more creative! Now that’s what I call a win!

Sensing inner peace

I feel so much more at peace – more than I have felt for a long time, or forever…

Experiencing revelations

I have had a series of revelations or epiphanies…some of the main ones revolving around a series of bad things that happened to me when I as a kid.  This has been huge, and it was difficult to work through at the time, so I also saw my psychologist, but now that I have, the anxiety that my body was hanging onto has been released. The whole fight or flight response has eased. It’s still there, but 36 years of stuff doesn’t vanish overnight.

There are probably many other benefits I’ve experienced, but these are the main ones that immediately jump to mind. All in all, they can be wrapped up into an overall improvement in my wellbeing.

The point now is to keep moving forward and to continue building on the foundation that has been laid. That means practice – a daily practice, and a focus on what is good for me FIRST rather than last.

It also means living more in the present moment, rather than the past or future – something that is a challenge with so many plans to be made!

Want to know more?

A Welcome Mindfulness Retreat

The Miracle of Mindfulness

  • Muriel
    June 8, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Congrats, Janine, it seems to me that you have made some major achievements!

  • My Year of Living Vulnerably | Life Change, Reflections from a Redhead
    December 30, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    […] Read more about the benefits of mindfulness I discovered […]

  • What to do when you have an anxiety attack
    March 7, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    […] A Mindful Path to Health […]

  • Never deny your struggles as they are an important part of your story - Reflections from a Redhead - Janine Ripper
    April 10, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    […] Mindfulness has helped me manage my anxiety. It has helped me break the fight or flight response my body had become so accustomed to. It has also helped me to release the shame I had been carrying around – the shame associated with having a mental illness. I can proudly say that I am no longer ashamed. I am no longer ashamed of having had depression ‪and am no longer ashamed of who I am. I am proud of what I have come through as it has made me the person I am today! […]

  • A Guide To Overcoming Anxiety During A Panic Attack - The Body Department
    May 17, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    […] Anxiety tip: If you’re are experiencing a lot of problems with anxiety, check out a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program near you. If you are in Perth, Western Australia, I highly recommend the MBSR program run by Mind and Movement. It’s worth it—I can honestly say it changed my life! […]

  • 37 Reasons Why I'm Celebrating Turning 37
    June 14, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    […] real shift, which has seriously been triggered from my mindfulness practice, and from attending an 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). The whole ‘I am enough‘ realisation, and looking at myself and others without judgment […]

  • 10 Ways to Find Happiness - Reflections from a Redhead
    June 22, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    […] sense of peace. Personally, I found great value and saw many health benefits after attending an 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR). I found completing the MBSR helped me realise how greatly stress was impacting my […]

  • The 99 things I love most in the world - Reflections from a Redhead
    June 26, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    […] Mindfulness. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again. Life changer. […]

  • I was stuck at a crossroads - What I learned after my 3rd car accident
    July 12, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    […] a pity party for myself I enrolled in a mindfulness program to work on my mindlessness problem. This forced me to dig deep and do a hell of a lot […]

  • 10 Tips to Help You Manage Your Stress
    July 18, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    […] a hell of a lot easier said than done. Living in the now actually takes a lot of practice. Discovering mindfulness and making it part of your day helps a lot. There is growing scientific evidence that shows there […]

  • Don't sweat the small stuff & other life lessons
    August 1, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    […] a public blog for 4 1/2 years…(earlier if you are really wise and learned and stuff!). Unless you tune into mindfulness – THAT I highly recommend! […]

  • %d bloggers like this: