In a 2016 survey on working adults conducted by Roffey Park, 52% of Singaporean respondents reported experiencing more stress than they did 6 months prior to being surveyed. This problem, however, is not merely limited to working adults. Over the past few years, stress is reported to have risen amongst most demographics - from primary school students to homemakers.
Stress leads to a myriad of health problems, including but not limited to hair loss, erratic sleep, depression and a weakening of the immune system. Mindfulness techniques, popularised by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn of the University of Massachusetts (UMass), has been clinically proven to alleviate stress and improve overall health.
What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” – Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn, 1994
Benefits of Mindfulness
- Physical and Emotional Health – We learn how to face life’s inevitable ups and downs more calmly, and with serene contentment. When we are able to maintain a calm state, our stress hormones are better regulated, resulting in better overall health. We develop greater self-acceptance and experience an improved sense of well-being.
- Better Able to Handle Challenging Situations – When we are Mindful, we adapt more easily to change and uncertainty. We handle stress better. As we become less reactive and learn to consciously respond to events, we find we are more resilient in dealing with difficulties and challenges. We know how to stay centred, even in problematic situations. And we become more positive as we are increasingly aware of the affirmative things that happen in our lives.
- Enhanced Self-Awareness – We become more aware of our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations – as they are happening. We are increasingly able to observe our habitual patterns of thinking and behaving. As we become less reactive, we find we can concentrate better and maintain focus. We often notice an increase in productivity. We become more aware of our intentions, for we are better able to understand ourselves, our environment and those around us. We can see other perspectives more clearly, so we become more compassionate, both to ourselves and to others.
Mindfulness has proven to be an effective treatment for a whole host of problems, including:
For more information, check out these clinical research studies and findings.
At Lifesteps, our therapists are fully qualified mindfulness trainers, having undergone extensive training with The Center for Mindfulness, UMass. Mindfulness practices, if necessary, will be integrated into counselling sessions. Clients will be carefully guided through mindfulness practices that will be useful to them throughout their lives.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Programme
The MBSR programme is an 8-week course incorporating skills training in mindfulness, stress physiology and cognitive awareness. Tens of thousands of people on five continents have benefited from its mindfulness programmes. The MBSR Programme is now offered in hospitals, medical centres, corporations, schools, prisons and other settings worldwide. Participants will learn and practice skills that will help them develop focus and awareness of their experience in the moment. These skills are developed through in-class practice as well as at home. With these, they will be able to draw on their own inner resources to bring about greater balance, coping, stability and wellbeing.
Lifesteps was the first organization to offer the 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programme in Singapore in 2009. Today, Lifesteps offers MBSR programmes throughout the year as well as shorter-term individual and group courses in mindfulness skills.
More About Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction