Health

Happiness - Mind over matter

Want to melt away stress? Follow five simple steps to mindful meditation

MBSR is good medicine

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction has been proven to ease certain medical conditions:
• Cancer patients using a version of MBSR experienced 65 per cent fewer mood disturbances, according to a study by the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary.
• A MBSR-based therapy program prevented depression relapse—without antidepressants—in 66 per cent of participants, according to a study conducted by Canadian and British scientists.
• MBSR can be effective in the treatment of pain, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, eating and anxiety disorders and other ailments exacerbated by stress.

Resources

Find out more about MBSR or find a practitioner near you:

READ Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness (Random House) by Jon Kabat-Zinn
LISTEN Jon Kabat-Zinn’s meditation tapes and CDs are available at www.mindfulness tapes.com
LOG ON
www.umassmed.edu/cfm provides research links. For contacts in Canada, click on Other MBSR Programs.

3-minute meditation

Whenever you find yourself under pressure, take a couple of minutes to do the following centering exercise, created by Zindel Segal, head of the cognitive behaviour therapy unit at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, and his colleagues.

MIN 1 Awareness Focus your mind on the present moment by adopting a straight, regal posture. Close your eyes and ask yourself what thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations you’re experiencing. Accept those feelings, even if some are unwanted.
MIN 2 Gathering Gradually refocus on your breathing. Pay attention to every breath in and out.
MIN 3 Expanding Keeping your eyes closed, become aware of your body as a whole. Expand your awareness to your posture and facial expression.

Now open your eyes. You’ll feel more calm as you go about your day. Try this meditation when you need stress relief.