Reduce Perfectionism with Mindfulness

Reduce Perfectionism with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“The goal of mindfulness practices is to help you practice “awareness of the present moment without judgment.” The tricky part for us perfectionists is the “without judgment.” As perfectionists, we are conditioned to judge—ourselves and others, anything and everything. Letting go of the judgment is the biggest opportunity you have to release your perfectionist hat, and meditation is a great place to begin making peace with perfectionism.” – Melissa Eisler

 

It can be useful to constructively criticize yourself as long as you realize that you’re human and are not, and will not ever be, perfect. You can then use the self-criticism to try to improve, not become perfect, but a little better. But, when self-criticism becomes extreme it can lead to perfectionistic thinking where you are never happy with yourself. This can lead to great unhappiness and psychological distress.

Mindfulness has been thought to help prevent perfectionism from producing distress. In support of this mindfulness has been found to reduce self-criticism and to improve self-esteem and a healthy self-esteem is counter to perfectionism. It’s difficult to be happy with oneself and critical of yourself as less than ideal at the same time. So, mindfulness training should be an antidote to perfectionism.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Versus Pure Cognitive Behavioural Self-Help for Perfectionism: a Pilot Randomised Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5968046/ ), James and Rimes recruited college students who were perfectionistic and this perfectionism caused significant distress and impairment of everyday function. They were randomly assigned to an 8-week Cognitive Behavioral self-help for perfectionism program or an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) program.

 

MBCT consisted of 2-hour sessions once a week for 8 weeks and included home practice. MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting and walking meditation and body scan, and cognitive therapy to alter how the patient relates to the thought processes that often underlie and exacerbate psychological symptoms. They were measured before and after training and 10 weeks later for perfectionism, impairment caused by perfectionism, self-reported depression, anxiety and stress, self-compassion, rumination, unhelpful beliefs about emotions, mindfulness and decentering.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the Cognitive Behavioural self-help for perfectionism program the students who underwent the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) program had significantly greater decreases in perfectionism, unhelpful beliefs about emotions and rumination, and significantly higher levels of mindfulness, self-compassion and decentering. These differences were present both immediately after training and 10 weeks later. Mediation analysis revealed that the MBCT program produced greater self-compassion which, in turn, was associated with lower perfectionism.

 

These are interesting results and suggest that the mindfulness training component of MBCT is critical as MBCT had significantly greater effects than simply presenting the Cognitive Behavior components by themselves. They further suggest that the effectiveness of MBCT for perfectionism results from changes in self-compassion. This makes sense as understanding and accepting one’s own faults is incompatible with criticizing oneself for those faults. Finally, the results suggest that MBCT is a safe and effective treatment for students suffering from high levels of perfectionism that produce distress and impairment of everyday function.

 

So, reduce perfectionism with mindfulness.

 

“Mindfulness practice reveals how pervasive this pressure to be perfect is, and how I impose perfectionistic rules on myself. I’m happier when I give myself permission to be imperfect.” – Arnie Kozak

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

James, K., & Rimes, K. A. (2018). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Versus Pure Cognitive Behavioural Self-Help for Perfectionism: a Pilot Randomised Study. Mindfulness, 9(3), 801–814. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0817-8

 

Abstract

This pilot study compared mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) with a self-help guide based on cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for university students experiencing difficulties due to perfectionism. Participants were randomised to an MBCT intervention specifically tailored for perfectionism or pure CBT self-help. Questionnaires were completed at baseline, 8 weeks later (corresponding to the end of MBCT) and at 10-week follow-up. Post-intervention intention-to-treat (ITT) analyses identified that MBCT participants (n = 28) had significantly lower levels of perfectionism and stress than self-help participants (n = 32). There was significant MBCT superiority for changes in unhelpful beliefs about emotions, rumination, mindfulness, self-compassion and decentering. At 10-week follow-up, effects were maintained in the MBCT group, and analyses showed superior MBCT outcomes for perfectionism and daily impairment caused by perfectionism. Pre-post changes in self-compassion significantly mediated the group differences in pre-post changes in clinical perfectionism. Greater frequency of mindfulness practice was associated with larger improvements in self-compassion. MBCT is a promising intervention for perfectionist students, which may result in larger improvements than pure CBT self-help. The findings require replication with a larger sample.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5968046/

 

Improve Social Anxiety with Mindfulness

Improve Social Anxiety with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“for dealing with social anxiety, it is much more useful to practice mindful focus during conversations and other situations around people in which we are uncomfortable.” – Larry Cohen

 

It is a common human phenomenon that being in a social situation can be stressful and anxiety producing. Most people can deal with the anxiety and can become quite comfortable. But many do not cope well and the anxiety is overwhelming, causing the individual to withdraw. Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is characterized by a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and feeling embarrassed or humiliated by their actions. This fear may be so severe that it interferes with work, school, and other activities and may negatively affect the person’s ability to form relationships.

 

Anxiety disorders have generally been treated with drugs. But, there are considerable side effects and these drugs are often abused. There are a number of psychological therapies for anxiety. But, about 45% of the patients treated do not respond to the therapy. So, there is a need to develop alternative treatments. Recently, it has been found that mindfulness training can be effective for anxiety disorders including Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was developed to treat depression but has been found to also be effective for other mood disorders. MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting and walking meditation and body scan, and cognitive therapy to alter how the patient relates to the thought processes that often underlie and exacerbate mood disorders. MBCT has been found to help relieve anxiety and to be effective for social anxiety.

 

In today’s Research News article “A Pilot Study of the Effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy on Positive Affect and Social Anxiety Symptoms.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00866/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_662896_69_Psycho_20180605_arts_A ), Strege and colleagues recruited adults with social anxiety disorder or generalized anxiety disorder and provided them with an 8-week program of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Training occurred once a week for 2 hours with daily work at home. Participants completed measurements before and after treatment ofr social anxiety, positive and negative emotions, worry, and mindfulness.

 

They found that, as has been previously reported, after MBCT training there was a significant reduction in social anxiety symptoms. The amount of reduction in social anxiety symptoms was predicted by the amount of increase in positive emotions following MBCT training but not by the reduction in negative emotions. Also, the amount of increase in positive emotions following MBCT was associated with the amount of increase in mindfulness.

 

These are interesting results whose interpretation has to be tempered with the recognition that there wasn’t a control comparison condition. So, these results must be viewed as preliminary pilot findings that suggest that a more highly controlled randomized trial should be performed. Nevertheless, these results suggest that MBCT training improves positive feelings and this in turn produces improvements in social anxiety. This suggests that elevating mood, rather than eliminating sour mood, is the crucial change produced by MBCT.  In addition, it appears that the increased positive emotions are a product of increased mindfulness. All of this results in a tentative hypothesis that MBCT training increases mindfulness that, in turn, improves positive feelings and this then produces improvements in social anxiety.

 

So, improve social anxiety with mindfulness.

 

“Using mindfulness, we can begin to notice what happens in the body when anxiety is present and develop strategies to empower clients to “signal safety” to their nervous system.” – Jeena Cho

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Strege MV, Swain D, Bochicchio L, Valdespino A and Richey JA (2018) A Pilot Study of the Effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy on Positive Affect and Social Anxiety Symptoms. Front. Psychol. 9:866. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00866

 

Abstract

Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is efficacious in reducing residual depressive symptoms and preventing future depressive episodes (Kuyken et al., 2016). One potential treatment effect of MBCT may be improvement of positive affect (PA), due to improved awareness of daily positive events (Geschwind et al., 2011). Considering social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by diminished PA (Brown et al., 1998Kashdan, 2007), we sought to determine whether MBCT would reduce social anxiety symptoms, and whether this reduction would be associated with improvement of PA deficits. Adults (N = 22) who met criteria for varied anxiety disorders participated in a small, open-label trial of an 8-week manualized MBCT intervention. Most participants presented with either a diagnosis (primary, secondary, or tertiary) of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) (N = 15) and/or SAD (N = 14) prior to treatment, with eight individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for both GAD and SAD. We hypothesized participants would demonstrate improvements in social anxiety symptoms, which would be predicted by improvements in PA, not reductions in negative affect (NA). Results of several hierarchical linear regression analyses (completed in both full and disorder-specific samples) indicated that improvements in PA but not reductions in NA predicted social anxiety improvement. This effect was not observed for symptoms of worry, which were instead predicted by decreased NA for individuals diagnosed with GAD and both decreased NA and increased PA in the entire sample. Results suggest that MBCT may be efficacious in mitigating social anxiety symptoms, and this therapeutic effect may be linked to improvements in PA. However, further work is necessary considering the small, heterogeneous sample, uncontrolled study design, and exploratory nature of the study.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00866/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_662896_69_Psycho_20180605_arts_A

 

Improve Mental Health with Mindfulness

Improve Mental Health with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“While mindfulness will not solve all of our problems, it is a powerful tool with great potential to help us all transform our relationship with our problems when it is not possible, or desirable, to eliminate them.” – Elana Miller

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to be effective in improving physical and psychological health and particularly with the physical and psychological reactions to stress. Techniques such as Mindfulness Training, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) as well as Yoga practice and Tai Chi or Qigong practice have been demonstrated to be effective. This has led to an increasing adoption of these mindfulness techniques for the physical and psychological health and well-being of both healthy and ill individuals.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Psychiatry.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5870875/ ), Shapero and colleagues review and summarize the published research literature on the application of mindfulness techniques to the treatment of mental illnesses.

 

They report that the most commonly used mindfulness technique for the treatment of mental illness is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) particularly for the treatment of major depressive disorder. MBCT has been shown to be as effective as antidepressant drugs in relieving the symptoms of depression and preventing depression reoccurrence and relapse. In addition, it appears to be effective as either a supplement to or a replacement for these drugs.

 

Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have also been found to improve mood and relieve anxiety in patients suffering from anxiety and mood disorders and treat the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and eating disorders. They have also been found to reduce drug cravings and use as well as reduce substance abuse relapse after treatment.

 

They further report that the research suggests that Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) produce these benefits by focusing on the present moment in a non-reactive and non-judgmental way and improving emotion regulation and thereby decreasing negative thought patterns, emotional reactivity, rumination, and worry, and increasing self-compassion. In the cognitive realm, MBIs appear to produce a different relationship with the thoughts of the individuals by noticing them and developing different ways of relating and reacting to them.

 

One way that MBIs appear to have their effects is by altering the nervous system in a process known as neuroplasticity. These include changes to eight brain regions, including areas associated with meta-awareness (frontopolar cortex), exteroceptive and interoceptive body awareness (sensory cortices and insula), memory consolidation and reconsolidation (hippocampus), self and emotion regulation (anterior and mid cingulate; orbitofrontal cortex), and intra- and interhemispheric communication (superior longitudinal fasciculus; corpus callosum).

 

These are striking findings that strongly suggest that Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are safe and very effective treatments for a wide array of psychiatric disorders. They appear to work by altering thought processes, emotion regulation, and focus on the present moment. They appear to alter the brain to produce these benefits. This suggests that MBIs should be widely prescribed to relieve the symptoms and suffering produced by mental illness.

 

So, improve mental health with Mindfulness.

 

“Mindfulness and the traditional way psychiatry is practiced are really more divergent than anything else. Psychiatry is about removing emotional pain, whereas mindfulness teaches us the value of being present with our pain. It was through the practice of mindfulness that I started to learn this new perspective and started to relate to my own pain differently. Instead of running away from it, I was taught to welcome it; to befriend it and thus convert it into a source for my own emotional and spiritual growth.” – Russel Razzaque

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Shapero, B. G., Greenberg, J., Pedrelli, P., de Jong, M., & Desbordes, G. (2018). Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Psychiatry. Focus (American Psychiatric Publishing), 16(1), 32–39. http://doi.org/10.1176/appi.focus.20170039

 

Abstract

Mindfulness meditation has a longstanding history in eastern practices that has received considerable public interest in recent decades. Indeed, the science, practice, and implementation of Mindfulness Based Interventions (MBIs) have dramatically increased in recent years. At its base, mindfulness is a natural human state in which an individual experiences and attends to the present moment. Interventions have been developed to train individuals how to incorporate this practice into daily life. The current article will discuss the concept of mindfulness and describe its implementation in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. We further identify for whom MBIs have been shown to be efficacious and provide an up-to-date summary of how these interventions work. This includes research support for the cognitive, psychological, and neural mechanisms that lead to psychiatric improvements. This review provides a basis for incorporating these interventions into treatment.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5870875/

 

Improve Psychological and Physical Health in End Stage Renal Disease with Mindfulness

Improve Psychological and Physical Health in End Stage Renal Disease with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Meditation could be a valuable, low-cost, nonpharmacologic intervention for reducing blood pressure and adrenaline levels in patients with chronic kidney disease” –  Kurtis Pivert

 

End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is a serious and all too common medical problem that results from a total and permanent failure of the kidneys. As a result, the body retains fluid and harmful wastes build up. Treatment, usually dialysis, is required to replace the work of the failed kidneys. Kidney dialysis uses a machine to filter harmful wastes, salt, and excess fluid from your blood. This restores the blood to a normal, healthy balance. Without dialysis or a kidney transplant the ESRD patient cannot survive It is estimated that ESRD occurs in more than 650,000 patients per year in the United States and is increasing by 5% per year. Those who live with ESRD are 1% of the U.S. Medicare population but account for 7% of the Medicare budget. Worldwide there are an estimated 2 million ESRD patients.

 

End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is frequently accompanied by a number of other serious diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Making matters worse is the fact that ESRD patients often experience psychological distress including depression. It is possible that mindfulness training may be helpful as it has been found be helpful for patients with kidney disease and help relieve depression.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effectiveness of group cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness in end-stage renal disease hemodialysis patients.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5875579/ ), Sohn and colleagues conducted and uncontrolled pilot study to investigate the effectiveness of group based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that includes mindfulness training for improving the psychological health or 7 patients with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) undergoing dialysis and suffering from depression.

 

The therapy included muscle relaxation, meditation, and cognitive therapy to uncover automatic thinking regarding their emotions and was conducted once a week for 12 weeks. The participants were measured before, at 8 weeks and after treatment for the biochemical variables of albumin, serum creatinine, calcium/phosphorus, and interdialytic weight gain and for the psychological variables of quality of life, anxiety, depression, perceived stress. They found that compared to baseline the participants had significant increases in quality of life, and significant decreases in albumin, serum creatinine, anxiety, depression, perceived stress.

 

Hence, after Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with mindfulness training the patients psychological and physical states were greatly improved. These are intriguing results that must be interpreted cautiously as this was an uncontrolled pilot study with just 7 patients. But, the findings clearly justify conducting a large randomized controlled trial with an active control condition. These patients suffer greatly and identifying a safe and effective therapy to relieve their psychological distress and improve their physical well-being is sorely needed.

 

So, improve psychological and physical health in end stage renal disease with mindfulness.

 

“Not only did mindfulness meditation decrease the anxiety related to dialysis, many patients also used this technique to assist relaxation and improve sleep at home.” – Raymond Chang

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sohn, B. K., Oh, Y. K., Choi, J.-S., Song, J., Lim, A., Lee, J. P., … Lim, C. S. (2018). Effectiveness of group cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness in end-stage renal disease hemodialysis patients. Kidney Research and Clinical Practice, 37(1), 77–84. http://doi.org/10.23876/j.krcp.2018.37.1.77

 

Abstract

Background

Many patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) undergoing hemodialysis (HD) experience depression. Depression influences patient quality of life (QOL), dialysis compliance, and medical comorbidity. We developed and applied a group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program including mindfulness meditation for ESRD patients undergoing HD, and measured changes in QOL, mood, anxiety, perceived stress, and biochemical markers.

Methods

We conducted group CBT over a 12-week period with seven ESRD patients undergoing HD and suffering from depression. QOL, mood, anxiety, and perceived stress were measured at baseline and at weeks 8 and 12 using the World Health Organization Quality of Life scale, abbreviated version (WHOQOL-BREF), the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II), the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Biochemical markers were measured at baseline and after 12 weeks. The Temperament and Character Inventory was performed to assess patient characteristics before starting group CBT.

Results

The seven patients showed significant improvement in QOL, mood, anxiety, and perceived stress after 12 weeks of group CBT. WHOQOL-BREF and the self-rating scales, BDI-II and BAI, showed continuous improvement across the 12-week period. HAM-D scores showed significant improvement by week 8; PSS showed significant improvement after week 8. Serum creatinine levels also improved significantly following the 12 week period.

Conclusion

In this pilot study, a CBT program which included mindfulness meditation enhanced overall mental health and biochemical marker levels in ESRD patients undergoing HD.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5875579/

 

Reduce Health Symptoms of Burnout with Yoga and Mindfulness

Reduce Health Symptoms of Burnout with Yoga and Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Teachers who practice yoga say it has given them an outlet for the daily stresses and frustrations of teaching. It also equips them with strategies to stay calm during chaotic moments and helps them understand and reflect on both their mindset and that of their students.” – Madeline Will

 

Stress is epidemic in the western workplace with almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. In high stress occupations burnout is all too prevalent. It frequently results from emotional exhaustion. Burnout is the fatigue, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, sleep disruption, and professional inefficacy that comes with work-related stress. Sleep disruption is an important consequence of the stress.  This exhaustion produces a loss of enthusiasm, empathy, and compassion. Regardless of the reasons for burnout or its immediate presenting consequences, it is a threat to the workplace. From a business standpoint, it reduces employee efficiency and productivity and increases costs. From the worker perspective, it makes the workplace a stressful, unhappy place, promoting physical and psychological problems that can become so severe as to result in sick leave. Hence, preventing burnout in the workplace is important.

 

Mindfulness techniques, including meditation, yoga, and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) are gaining increasing attention for the treatment of the symptoms of stress and burnout. They have been demonstrated to be helpful in reducing the psychological and physiological responses to stress and for treating and preventing burnout in a number of work environments. It is not known, however, which of the myriad of mindfulness training techniques is best for the treatment of burnout.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effect of traditional yoga, mindfulness–based cognitive therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy, on health related quality of life: a randomized controlled trial on patients on sick leave because of burnout.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5839058/ ), Grensman and colleagues recruited workers who were on sick leave for work-related burnout. They were randomly assigned to receive either traditional yoga (Ashtanga Yoga), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Therapy included three hours of supervised group training per week and the participants practiced on their own for 1–1½ hours, 3–4 times a week, including homework. They were measured before and after treatment for health-related quality of life.

 

They found that all three interventions produced significant improvements in 12 of the 13 subscales of health-related quality of life; including physical well-being, emotional well-being, sleep, cognitive function, general health perceptions, satisfaction with family and with partner, and sexual function. The outcomes produced by the interventions containing mindfulness training (yoga and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)) were slightly, albeit significantly better than those produced by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

 

The study implies that the physical and psychological state of workers on sick leave for work-related burnout can be significantly improved by all of the three therapies tested. It is unfortunate that a no-treatment control or a non-effective treatment was included as without such comparison conditions it is impossible to tell if the treatment was effective or that the patients improved due to healing over time, spontaneous recovery, or participant expectancy effects.

 

But the fact that yoga and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) were slightly better than those produced by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) suggests that the effects of these treatments that contained mindfulness training were not due to these potential confounding variables. This further suggests that mindfulness-based treatments are effective in reducing the symptoms of severe burnout. It appears that training in mindfulness is a very important component of any treatment for the symptoms of burnout.

 

So, reduce health symptoms of burnout with yoga and mindfulness.

 

“meditation helps in a number of ways. When you are forever on the go, you can easily disconnect from the fact that you’re ready to drop, your neck is crippled with tension or you haven’t breathed deeper than your upper chest for over 24 hours. Meditation provides an opportunity for you to check in with your body. It also provides a framework within which you can practice observing your thoughts and emotions rather than trying to tackle them. This gives you a new perspective on a very busy mind and far more space to make more rational decisions and reduce procrastination.” – Shona Mitchell

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Grensman, A., Acharya, B. D., Wändell, P., Nilsson, G. H., Falkenberg, T., Sundin, Ö., & Werner, S. (2018). Effect of traditional yoga, mindfulness–based cognitive therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy, on health related quality of life: a randomized controlled trial on patients on sick leave because of burnout. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 18, 80. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-018-2141-9

 

Abstract

Background

To explore if health related quality of life(HRQoL) increased after traditional yoga(TY), mindfulness based cognitive therapy(MBCT), or cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT), in patients on sick leave because of burnout.

Methods

Randomized controlled trial, blinded, in ninety-four primary health care patients, block randomized to TY, MBCT or CBT (active control) between September 2007 and November 2009. Patients were living in the Stockholm metropolitan area, Sweden, were aged 18–65 years and were on 50%–100% sick leave. A group treatment for 20 weeks, three hours per week, with homework four hours per week. HRQoL was measured by the SWED-QUAL questionnaire, comprising 67 items grouped into 13 subscales, each with a separate index, and scores from 0 (worse) to 100 (best). SWED-QUAL covers aspects of physical and emotional well-being, cognitive function, sleep, general health and social and sexual functioning. Statistics: Wilcoxon’s rank sum and Wilcoxon’s sign rank tests, Bonett-Price for medians and confidence intervals, and Cohen’s D.

Results

Twenty-six patients in the TY (21 women), and 27 patients in both the MBCT (24 women) and in the CBT (25 women), were analyzed. Ten subscales in TY and seven subscales in MBCT and CBT showed improvements, p < 0.05, in several of the main domains affected in burnout, e.g. emotional well-being, physical well-being, cognitive function and sleep. The median improvement ranged from 0 to 27 points in TY, from 4 to 25 points in CBT and from 0 to 25 points in MBCT. The effect size was mainly medium or large. Comparison of treatments showed no statistical differences, but better effect (small) of both TY and MBCT compared to CBT. When comparing the effect of TY and MBCT, both showed a better effect (small) in two subscales each.

Conclusions

A 20 week group treatment with TY, CBT or MBCT had equal effects on HRQoL, and particularly on main domains affected in burnout. This indicates that TY, MBCT and CBT can be used as both treatment and prevention, to improve HRQoL in patients on sick leave because of burnout, reducing the risk of future morbidity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5839058/

 

Improve Bipolar Disorder with Mindfulness

Improve Bipolar Disorder with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy appears to have lasting benefits for people with bipolar disorder, a new study . .  surveyed participants two years after the training and found that incorporating mindfulness practices and mindful breathing into daily life on a regular basis was associated with better prevention of depressive relapse.” – BPHope

 

Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic Depressive Disorder, is a mood disorder characterized by alternating states of extreme depression, relative normalcy, and extreme euphoria (mania). The symptoms of depression and mania are so severe that the individual is debilitated and unable to conduct their normal daily lives. The depression is so severe that suicide occurs in about 1% of cases of Bipolar Disorder. It is thought to result from imbalances in the monoamine neurotransmitter systems in the nervous system and appears to be highly linked to the genes. There are great individual differences in Bipolar Disorder. The extreme mood swings can last for a few days to months and can occur only once or reoccur frequently.

 

Bipolar Disorder affects about 1% of the population throughout the world at any time. But about 3% to 10% of the population may experience it sometime during their lives. It is usually treated with drugs. But, these medications are not always effective and can have difficult side effects. Hence, there is a great need for alternative treatments. Mindfulness practices and treatments have been shown to be effective for major mental disorders, including depression and anxiety disorders and to improve the regulation of emotionsMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was specifically developed for the treatment of depression and has been shown to be very effective. MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting and walking meditation and body scan, and cognitive therapy to alter how the patient relates to the thought processes that often underlie and exacerbate psychological symptoms. So, MBCT may be a safe and effective treatment for Bipolar Disorder.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effectiveness of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy in Patients with Bipolar Affective Disorder: A Case Series.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5769203/ ), Joshi and colleagues report on the treatment of 5 cases of bipolar disorder with 8-12 weeks of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) with the addition of emotion regulation training, meeting for minutes 60-90 once a week with additional home practice. Patients completed measurements before and after treatment for depression, anxiety, emotion regulation, quality of life, and acceptance.

 

They found that all 5 patients had clinically significant improvements in depression from 57% to 100%, clinically significant improvements in 4 of 5 patients in anxiety from 36% to 68%, and clinically significant improvements for 2 patients in acceptance from 40% to 54%. Patients also showed significant improvements in emotion regulation especially in acceptance of emotional response and access to emotion regulation strategies, and in quality of life. Hence, MBCT training appeared to produce clinically significant improvements in all 5 patients bipolar disorder symptoms.

 

This was a case study design without a control or comparison condition and as such is open to bias and confounding. Other controlled research, however, has demonstrated that mindfulness training, including MBCT training, causes significant improvements in bipolar disorder, and in depression, anxiety, emotion regulation, quality of life, and acceptance. So, it is likely that the improvements observed in these 5 cases of bipolar disorder are the results of MBCT producing symptom relief.

 

So, improve bipolar disorder with mindfulness.

 

“Mindfulness exercises and meditations are useful for people with bipolar disorder (manic depression) because mindfulness: decreases the relapse rate for depression, reduces stress and anxiety, which contribute significantly to the onset of both mania and depression and may worsen the course of the illness, and improves a person’s ability to manage thoughts and feelings and increases awareness of the way the person tends to internalize external stimuli.” – Shamash Alidina

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Suvarna Shirish Joshi, Mahendra Prakash Sharma, Shivarama Varambally. Effectiveness of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy in Patients with Bipolar Affective Disorder: A Case Series. Int J Yoga. 2018 Jan-Apr; 11(1): 77–82. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_44_16

 

Abstract

The present investigation was undertaken to examine the effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) on interepisodic symptoms, emotional regulation, and quality of life in patients with bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) in remission. The sample for the study comprised a total of five patients with the diagnosis of BPAD in partial or complete remission. Each patient was screened to fit the inclusion and exclusion criteria and later assessed on the Beck Depressive Inventory I, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II, and The World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment-BREF. Following preassessments, patients underwent 8–10 weeks of MBCT. A single case design with pre- and post-intervention assessment was adopted to evaluate the changes. Improvement was observed in all five cases on the outcome variables. The details of the results are discussed in the context of the available literature. Implications, limitations, and ideas for future investigations are also discussed.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5769203/

Reduce Depression During and After Pregnancy with Mindfulness

Reduce Depression During and After Pregnancy with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“mindfulness practice, when attention increases in one area of life, the awareness expands in many other areas, as well. A mother who is able to care for and attend to her own vulnerabilities will have much more access to those very same skills as a parent.” – Sonya Dimidjian

 

The perinatal period, from the onset of pregnancy to the end of the infants first year, is a time of intense physiological and psychological change in both the mother and the infant. Anxiety, depression, and fear are quite common during pregnancy. More than 20 percent of pregnant women have an anxiety disorder, depressive symptoms, or both during pregnancy. It is difficult to deal with these emotions under the best of conditions but in combinations with the stresses of pregnancy can turn what could be a joyous experience of creating a human life into a horrible worrisome, torment. The psychological health of pregnant women has consequences for fetal development, birthing, and consequently, child outcomes. Depression during pregnancy is associated with premature delivery and low birth weight. Hence, it is clear that there is a need for methods to treat depression during and after pregnancy.

 

Since, many drugs can affect the fetus, non-pharmacological treatments for depression are preferable. Mindfulness training has been shown to improve anxiety and depression normally and to relieve maternal anxiety and depression during pregnancy. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was specificly developed to treat depression and consists of mindfulness training and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). During therapy the patient is trained to investigate and alter aberrant thought patterns underlying depression. So, it would make sense to further study the effectiveness of MBCT for depression during the perinatal period.

 

In today’s Research News article “Staying Well during Pregnancy and the Postpartum: A Pilot Randomized Trial of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for the Prevention of Depressive Relapse/Recurrence.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5718345/ ), Dimidjian and colleagues recruited pregnant women with Major Depressive Disorder and randomly assigned them to receive either treatment as usual or to Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBCT was modified for pregnant women and administered for 2 hours, once a week, for 8 weeks and home practice was assigned. The women were measured for depression before and after treatment and at 1 and 6 months after birth.

 

In regards to depression, they found that relapse rates for depression over the 6-month follow-up period were significantly lower for the MBCT group; 18% vs. 50% for treatment as usual. In addition, the MBCT group had significantly lower levels of depression after treatment. Although the differences were not significant the MBCT group took fewer antidepressant medications and had fewer visits for therapy. A goal of this pilot research study was to assess the acceptability of the program and compliance with its requirements. They found that 89% completed the MBCT program and home practice occurred on over 70% of the available days. In addition, the women reported a high degree of satisfaction with the program.

 

These are impressive results for a pilot study and should provide the encouragement to perform a large randomized controlled clinical trial with an active control group. The results suggest that MBCT treatment is a safe and effective treatment for perinatal depression and has high acceptability and compliance among pregnant women. Hence it is a promising treatment for perinatal depression.

 

So, reduce depression during and after pregnancy with mindfulness.

 

“Not only does cultivating moment-to-moment awareness of thoughts and surroundings seem to help pregnant women keep their stress down and their spirits up—benefits that are well-documented among other groups of people—it may also lead to healthier newborns with fewer developmental problems down the line.” – Kira Newman

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Dimidjian, S., Goodman, S. H., Felder, J., Gallop, R., Brown, A. P., & Beck, A. (2016). Staying Well during Pregnancy and the Postpartum: A Pilot Randomized Trial of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for the Prevention of Depressive Relapse/Recurrence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 84(2), 134–145. http://doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000068

Abstract

Objective

Clinical decision-making regarding the prevention of depression is complex for pregnant women with histories of depression and their healthcare providers. Pregnant women with histories of depression report preference for non-pharmacological care, but few evidence-based options exist. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy has strong evidence in the prevention of depressive relapse/recurrence among general populations and indications of promise as adapted for perinatal depression (MBCT-PD). With a pilot randomized clinical trial, our aim was to evaluate treatment acceptability and efficacy of MBCT-PD relative to treatment as usual (TAU).

Methods

Pregnant adult women with depression histories were recruited from obstetrics clinics at two sites and randomized to MBCT-PD (N= 43) or TAU (N=43). Treatment acceptability was measured by assessing completion of sessions, at-home practice, and satisfaction. Clinical outcomes were interview-based depression relapse/recurrence status and self-reported depressive symptoms through 6-months postpartum.

Results

Consistent with predictions, MBCT-PD for at-risk pregnant women was acceptable based on rates of completion of sessions and at-home practice assignments, and satisfaction with services was significantly higher for MBCT-PD than TAU. Moreover, at-risk women randomly assigned to MBCT-PD reported significantly improved depressive outcomes compared to participants receiving TAU, including significantly lower rates of depressive relapse/recurrence and lower depressive symptom severity during the course of the study.

Conclusions

MBCT-PD is an acceptable and clinically beneficial program for pregnant women with histories of depression; teaching the skills and practices of mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy during pregnancy may help to reduce the risk of depression during an important transition in women’s lives.

Public Health Significance Statement

This study’s findings support MBCT-PD as a viable non-pharmacological approach to preventing depressive relapse/recurrence among pregnant women with histories of depression.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5718345/

Improve the Psychological Symptoms of Lupus with Mindfulness

Improve the Psychological Symptoms of Lupus with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Before I got lupus, I had no idea what an anxiety attack felt like, let alone how to work to stave one off. I’d always used meditation for personal focus and professional clarity. Meditation and mindfulness are how I have accomplished a lot of goals over the years but I never thought they would help me with anxiety.” – Kellie McRae

 

Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s systems that are designed to ward off infection attack the individual’s own tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects a variety of organ systems including kidneys, joints, skin, blood, brain, heart and lungs. Lupus can produce fever, joint pain, stiffness and swelling, butterfly-shaped rash on the face or rashes elsewhere on the body, skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure, fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods, shortness of breath, chest pain, dry eyes, headaches, confusion and memory loss. Lupus strikes between 10 to 25 people per 100,000, or about 322,000 cases in the U.S..

 

The symptoms of Lupus can look like a number of other diseases so it is hard to diagnose lupus. It is tipped off in many patients by the distinctive facial rash. There are no known cures for lupus and treatment is targeted at symptom relief. Drug treatments include pain relievers, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and even antimalarial drugs. Mindfulness practices have been shown to be effective for a wide variety of illnesses and to improve the immune system. So, it is possible that mindfulness training could improve Lupus and its symptoms.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy on Psychological Symptoms and Quality of Life in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients: 
A Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5632694/ ), Solati and colleagues investigated the effectiveness of mindfulness training as a treatment for Lupus. They recruited Lupus patients and randomly assigned them to receive either treatment as usual or an 8-week program of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBCT occurred in weekly 2-hour sessions and the patients were encouraged to practice at home. The control group in addition to usual medical care were provided advice on exercise, diet, and rest. They were measured before and after treatment and 6 months later for depression, anxiety, social function, somatization, and mental and physical quality of life.

 

They found that following MBCT there was a large, significant reduction in psychological symptoms including depression, anxiety, social function, somatization and a significant improvement in the patient’s psychological quality of life. The changes were clinically significant with large effect sizes. Importantly, these improvements remained significant at the 6-month follow-up.

 

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is directed at assessing and altering negative thought patterns and judgements and developing mindfulness skills. Participants learn to become aware of their body sensation, thoughts, and emotions without judgement. MBCT was developed specifically to treat depression but has been found to be effective for a variety of psychological conditions. The present results demonstrate that it is also effective for the psychological symptoms of Lupus.

 

Lupus is a difficult painful condition that creates major stress and disruption of the patients’ lives. This, in turn, produces mental health challenges and marked decreases in the quality of life. The disease is difficult enough by itself. But, the psychological issues produced act to increase the suffering. Mindfulness training has been shown to reduce the psychological and physiological responses to stress, and stress has the effect of eliciting and amplifying Lupus symptoms. So, reducing response to stress can markedly improve the symptoms. The present study suggests that developing non-judgmental awareness of how and what they are feeling and what they are thinking in the present moment has tremendous beneficial effects, reducing the mental suffering and improving their quality of life.

 

So, improve the psychological symptoms of lupus with mindfulness.

 

“Meditation’s goal is to relax the mind and body, engage feelings about pain or other challenges, release tension and tap into a positive outlook – despite a chronic illness like Lupus. Focusing on negativity, especially on feelings of loss of health and well-being, only exacerbates pain.  Meditation helps bring things into present-moment awareness, to see where we are, and assess things in that moment.” – Jasmine Ly

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Solati, K., Mousavi, M., Kheiri, S., & Hasanpour-Dehkordi, A. (2017). The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy on Psychological Symptoms and Quality of Life in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients: 
A Randomized Controlled Trial. Oman Medical Journal, 32(5), 378–385. http://doi.org/10.5001/omj.2017.73

 

Abstract

Objectives

This study was conducted to determine the efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) on psychological symptoms and quality of life (QoL) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Methods

We conducted a randomized single-blind clinical trial in patients with SLE referred from the Imam Ali Clinic in Shahrekord, southwest Iran. The patients (46 in total in two groups of 23 each) were randomly assigned into the experimental and control groups. Both groups underwent routine medical care, and the experimental group underwent eight group sessions of MBCT in addition to routine care. The patient,s QoL was assessed using the General Health Questionnaire-28 and 36-Item Short Form Health Survey before, after, and six months after intervention (follow-up).

Results

A significant difference was seen in psychological symptoms and QoL between MBCT and control groups immediately after the intervention and at follow-up (p ≤ 0.050). However, the difference was not significant for the physical components of QoL (p ≥ 0.050).

Conclusions

MBCT contributed to decreased psychological symptoms and improved QoL in patients with SLE with a stable effect on psychological symptoms and psychological components of QoL, but an unstable effect on physical components.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5632694/

Reduce Postpartum Depression with Mindfulness

Reduce Postpartum Depression with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Interventions that bring a deeper sense of self-knowing and well-being to mothers allow them, in turn, to model this behavior for their children. We can’t possibly have the foresight to see how it ripples out from there, but we can be sure that it does.” – Heather Grimes

 

The birth of a child is most often a joyous occasion. But, often the joy turns to misery. Immediately after birth it is common for the mother to experience mood swings including what has been termed “baby blues,” a sadness that may last for as much as a couple of weeks. But some women experience a more intense and long lasting negative mood called postpartum depression. This occurs usually 4-6 weeks after birth in about 15% of births; about 600,000 women in the U.S. every year. For 50% of the women the depression lasts for about a year while about 30% are still depressed 3 years later.

 

Postpartum depression is treated much like depression in general with medications, psychotherapy, and support groups. But these methods often don’t work or have troublesome side effects. So, alternative treatments are needed. Mindfulness training has been shown to improve anxiety and depression normally and to relieve maternal anxiety and depression during pregnancy. So, it would make sense to study the effects of mindfulness training as a treatment for postpartum depression.

 

In today’s Research News article “The effectiveness of mindfulness training on reducing the symptoms of postpartum depression.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5586989/, Sheydaei and colleagues recruited new mothers who exhibited symptoms of depression and randomly assigned them to receive either treatment as usual or an 8-week program of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBCT consists of mindfulness training and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to investigate and alter aberrant thought patterns underlying depression. MBCT was administered for 2 hours, once a week, for 8 weeks. The women were measured for depression before and after treatment.

 

They found that after treatment the control group showed no change in depression while, on the other hand, the women who received the MBCT program had a significant, 25%, reduction in depression. The conclusions from this study need to be tempered with the fact that the control condition did not have an active treatment. So, placebo effects, demand characteristics, experimenter bias, etc. could be alternative explanations. But, it has been well established that mindfulness training in general and MBCT in particular are effective in treating depression. So, it is likely that MBCT effectively reduced the depression in these women with newborn children. Hence, MBCT appears to be a safe and effective treatment for postpartum depression. Mindfulness training might be employed not only to treat postpartum depression but also as a preventative measure.

 

So, reduce postpartum depression with mindfulness.

 

“mothers in the mindfulness group seemed to have had a better psychological experience of labor compared to the control group. They reported feeling greater “self-efficacy” during childbirth (the sense that they were able to handle it rather than feeling afraid), and lower symptoms of depression after the workshop and several weeks after childbirth.” – Jenn Knudsen

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sheydaei, H., Ghasemzadeh, A., Lashkari, A., & Kajani, P. G. (2017). The effectiveness of mindfulness training on reducing the symptoms of postpartum depression. Electronic Physician, 9(7), 4753–4758. http://doi.org/10.19082/4753

 

Abstract

Background and Aim

Postpartum depression is one of the prevalent disorders among new mothers. The present research aimed to examine the effectiveness of mindfulness training on reducing the symptoms of postpartum depression.

Method

The present quasi-experimental research was conducted on 410 new mothers in Shahid Chamran Hospital, Tehran in 2014. Using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Structured Clinical Interview and Psychological Clinical Diagnosis, 67 mothers were selected and then randomly divided into experimental and control groups, each of which with 32 applicants. Afterwards, the experimental group received mindfulness training for 8 sessions, each lasting for two hours while the control group received no training. The data were analyzed through descriptive statistics and Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) in SPSS, version 20.

Results

Results showed that based on Beck Inventory, the scores for the experimental group in post-test were significant (p<0.001), compared to those for the control group. Also, it was revealed that pre- and posttest mean scores for postpartum depression in the control group were 25.81 and 25.12 respectively while the scores for the experimental group were 24.75 and 18.5 respectively. Since the posttest mean score in the experimental group was lower than that in the pretest, it can be said that the treatment, i.e., mindfulness training, was effective in reducing depression symptoms in mothers.

Conclusion

Findings proved that mindfulness training was effective in reducing the symptoms of postpartum depression in new mothers.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5586989/

Treat Obesity with Mindfulness

Treat Obesity with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“ mindfulness breeds resilience—a quality necessary for one to stick with your diet or exercise regimen. And given how much of our unhealthy eating is essentially mindless—such as stuffing our faces while we watch television—it’s easy to see how simply paying attention could have a significant impact on our diets.” – Tom Jacobs

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Although the incidence rates have appeared to stabilize, the fact that over a third of the population is considered obese is very troubling. This is because of the health consequences of obesity. Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity alone or in combination with other therapies.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effectiveness of mindfulness training and dietary regime on weight loss in obese people.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5319254/, Asadollahi and colleagues recruited obese (BMI>30) individuals and randomly assigned them to one of four conditions; No-treatment, dietary regimen, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), or MBCT plus dietary regimen. MBCT was administered in 2-hour sessions once a week for 8 weeks and consists of mindfulness training and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) that is targeted at investigating and altering the individuals aberrant thought process. Participants were measured for psychopathology and anyone with significant pathology was eliminated from the study. The participants were also measured before and after the interventions and 2 months later for body weight and height.

 

They found that mindfulness training alone or a dietary regimen alone produced significant weight losses that persisted 2 months after the end of formal training. When mindfulness training was combined with a dietary regiment the weight loss was significantly greater at the end of training and 2 months later. So, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is effective in reducing weight in obese participants and its effectiveness is amplified by combining it with a dietary regimen. So, mindfulness training can help to reduceobesity alone or in combination with dieting.

 

It is unclear how MBCT produces these positive effects on obesity, but it is known that MBCT can increase mindful eating and that eating food mindfully can results in lower overall intake and weight loss. MBCT is also known to reduce the psychological and physical responses to stress and stress is known to promote eating. So, it is reasonable to conclude that MBCT produces its effects on the body weight of the obese by increasing mindful eating and reducing stress.

 

So, treat obesity with mindfulness.

 

“Mindful eating is eating with purpose, eating on purpose, eating with awareness, eating without distraction, when eating only eating, not watching television or playing computer games or having any other distractions, not eating at our desks.” – Carolyn Dunn

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Asadollahi, T., Khakpour, S., Ahmadi, F., Seyedeh, L., Tahami, Matoo, S., & Bermas, H. (2015). Effectiveness of mindfulness training and dietary regime on weight loss in obese people . Journal of Medicine and Life, 8(Spec Iss 4), 114–124.

 

Abstract

The present research was aimed to investigate the effectiveness of mindfulness training and dietary regime on weight loss in obese people. The research was quasi-experimental with posttest-pretest that used control group. The population consisted of all the individuals who attended two clinics of nutrition advice and diet therapy in Karaj. 60 individuals, whose BMI was more than 30, were selected by using the random sampling method. Moreover, they were evaluated by using the SCL-90 test in order to neglect them in case there existed any other significant disorder. Next, they were selected based on age, sex, and education. After explaining the individuals the ongoing research and collecting the informed consent written by them, the samples were placed in four groups (15 in each group). The groups that received mindfulness training attended the nutrition center for eight to 120-minute sessions. In addition, since all the participants referred to the center were motivated to lose weight, individuals who were placed in the control group and those who received mindfulness training were asked not to follow any specific diet for two months. Moreover, the in depth relaxation CD was prepared for those who asked, in order to train themselves at home. Descriptive statistical methods were employed in order to analyze the data and ANACOVA and variance analysis with frequent measurement were used. The research findings indicated that mindfulness training was accompanied by diet, which resulted in weight loss in obese patients. In addition, the findings of the two-month follow-up indicated lasting results.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5319254/