MBSR in Research: MRI Evidence to Support Mindfulness

In case you missed it in the last two blogs, here is the link to a FREE online Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course: https://palousemindfulness.com/

Two weeks ago we introduced you to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (or MBSR), a thoroughly researched mindfulness program that originated out of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Last week we showed you an example of MBSR in action and the benefits that it has provided for the Worcester Fire Department.

In our final post on MBSR, we’d like to provide you with some evidence-based research that may just convince you to overcome your preconceived notions and give meditation a try. After all, what do you have to lose?!

Functional MRI

Perhaps the most convincing research that has come out in support of meditation in recent years is the study of functional brain MRI’s in consistent meditators as well as before and after MRI’s of individuals who were taught to meditate. For a quick rundown, check out this TED Talk here:

In the Research

ARTICLE: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy reduces anxiety and improves mindfulness and emotion regulation in bipolar disorder correlated with increased activation in the medial pre-frontal cortex (regulatory area of the brain). Ives-Deliperi, V. L., Howells, F., Stein, D. J., Meintjes, E. M., & Horn, N. (2013). The effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in patients with bipolar disorder: a controlled functional MRI investigation. Journal of affective disorders150(3), 1152-1157.

ARTICLE: Functional MRI shows that mindfulness helps to regulate emotion at the neurobiological level. Lutz, J., Herwig, U., Opialla, S., Hittmeyer, A., Jäncke, L., Rufer, M., … & Brühl, A. B. (2013). Mindfulness and emotion regulation—an fMRI study. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience9(6), 776-785.

ARTICLE: MBSR has been shown to decrease stress and reduce rumination and anxiety when compared to a control group. Chiesa, A., & Serretti, A. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for stress management in healthy people: a review and meta-analysis. The journal of alternative and complementary medicine15(5), 593-600.

So those are just a few research articles that are showing promising outcomes from meditation. Our goal in writing this blog is to provide you with convincing evidence to give a new habit a try. 10-15 minutes a day to help you handle stress better in your day-to-day life. The best part? It’s for everyone. You don’t have to go green, learn yogi chants, or even eat Vegan to use mindfulness and calm your approach to life. If we’ve peaked your interest, check out the Palouse Mindfulness Course and give it a try for yourself. Take the time to learn several strategies and apply the one that resonates with you in your life. Best of luck in your journey!!

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