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Stress management and empowerment in challenging times – MBSR

When it comes to integrating alternative methods into conventional medicine, Jon Kabat Zinn is the king of mindfulness. As early as at the end of the 1970s, the American physician developed a programme at the Medical Center of the University of Massachusetts that is now more than 40 years later practised in clinics around the world under the name Mindfulness-based stress reduction – MBSR for short. The effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction has long been scientifically undisputed and, as Jon Kabat Zinn notes in his book “Mediation is not what you think”, it is now an established element of “good medicine”. MBSR aims at reaching the state of mindfulness – therefore it’s called “mindfulness based” – which can be achieved through meditation, yoga and body scan. Terms that are familiar from wellness magazines, retreat offers, podcasts and talk shows, but nevertheless need some clarification in the context of MBSR.

The aim of MBSR is to integrate this much-mentioned mindfulness into everyday life. However, this does not mean being attentive to others or gentle manners with colleagues, friends and family. Rather, mindfulness is a synonym for “awareness”. It refers to a state of being in the present moment without judgement. It is “the ability to recognise what is happening as it is happening. “* Without judgement and without interference. Accepting yourself as you are without judgement, allows you to develop your full potential for healing and transformation. Automated processes, this includes judgement of situations, experiences, fates, illnesses, etc., can be interrupted, which in turn creates the opportunity to reduce stress and to take decisions more easily. What sounds complicated and to a certain extent vague is a method that enables users to relieve their own suffering, especially in stressful situations, but also in times of pain, uncertainty or emotional challenges. This gives MBSR practitioners the possibility and also the power to determine their own well-being.

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