Mindfulness-based stress reduction, or MBSR, is an approach to treating symptoms of various mental health issues without psychopharmaceuticals or invasive treatment. It allows for a holistic, complementary tool that’s commonly used alongside other types of mental health treatments in order to stimulate further healing and symptom relief. Essentially, the goal of MBSR sessions is to provoke feelings of mindfulness, which is basically the skill of remaining in the present moment. Mindfulness is used in mental health treatment to alleviate stress and worry about the past and future so that individuals can better focus on their present healing journey and treatment.
MBSR is growing in popularity due to its effectiveness in helping to reduce debilitating symptoms of mental health patients. And, because it offers a number of helpful benefits for those who utilize it. But, what can one expect from using this type of approach? Furthermore, what are the benefits you can expect from using MBSR on your own mental health recovery journey?
What Are MBSR Sessions Like?
MBSR sessions occur on an outpatient basis typically once a week for a period of 8 weeks time. Traditionally, sessions last about 2 or three hours each session. During the time spent in an MBSR session, individuals can expect to be guided by a mental health specialist. And, introduced to various mindfulness techniques that can help to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and even chronic pain. MBSR uses mindfulness in order to help individuals practice living in the present moment which can help to promote feelings of calmness and a better sense of emotional control. Sessions are group-based, so they are conducted in a group environment and are usually led by one counselor.
Practices Used During MBSR Sessions
There are a number of mindfulness techniques that may be introduced during MBSR sessions including:
Journal Writing: One of the ways to promote mindfulness is to journal about what a person is grateful for in their life. This can help to remind oneself about the things in life that are going right and what they appreciate. Thus, providing a more positive, hopeful perspective.
Meditation: When most people think of mindfulness, they think of meditation. Meditation is a great mindfulness practice because it allows a person to sit and focus on the present moment and ward off any outside distractions. During meditation, individuals focus on specific feelings, breathing, and areas of the body. This way, they can direct their thoughts on what they can control in the here and now.
Yoga: Along with meditation, yoga is one of the most popular tools that evokes mindfulness. Yoga is a type of stretching exercise that is slow-paced and helps a person to focus on what’s happening in the current moment. It also helps a person to relax and stimulate a calming and peaceful state.
Breathing: Practicing breathing techniques is another way to provoke mindfulness. Deep breathing exercises can help the body and mind to relax. And, help a person to focus on what they’re currently feeling and release negative tension and thoughts that can relate to anxiety and stress.
The Many Benefits of MBSR
The benefits of MBSR can vary from person to person, depending on each individual and their mental health goals, needs, and expectations. However, MBSR is shown to provide a number of benefits including:
- reduced chronic pain
- reduction in severity and duration of migraines
- improved quality of life
- reduced stress
- improved organ/bodily system functioning
- reduced anxiety and depression
- reduced suicidal thoughts and idealization
- reduction in destructive thoughts and beliefs
- improved memory and concentration
Using Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at Synchrony
Synchrony Behavioral Health is an outpatient mental health treatment facility that believes that people living with mental health issues should have access to treatments that go beyond traditional therapy and treatment. That’s why we offer MBSR as a complementary tool for people who want to access this kind of help. Find out more about our mental health treatment services and facility on our website.