PracticingMindfulness is Scientifically Linkedto Improved Physicaland Mental Health
Mindfulness is the ability to be aware of your thoughts and feelings, the environment you’re in and your surroundings while staying focused and in control.
Take our quiz to find out how mindful you are and keep reading to learn ways you can become more mindful in your everyday life.
Mindfulness Groups Are AsEffective As IndividualCognitive BehavioralTherapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most widely recognized evidence-based practices for treating addictions, alcoholism, and most mental health disorders. The goal-focused therapy method helps people in treatment take an objective look at their behaviors in order to identify the underlying thoughts that inspire them. Over time, people learn that when they change their thoughts they can change their behaviors and thereby change their lives. Cognitive behavioral therapy is hugely successful in helping people recovering from addiction and alcoholism identify the through processes which contribute to their compulsive decision making regarding drugs or alcohol. Gaining practical therapeutic tools for managing their thoughts and being aware of their behaviors, these individuals gain more control of their lives than they knew possible to have.
One of the tools being used in cognitive behavioral therapy for mental health is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a spiritual discipline which has gained great scientific renown for its ability to help people with mental health conditions find peace and calm in their lives. Additionally, scientific studies of mindfulness which include brain imaging components have found that mindfulness has a positive impact on the brain. A new discipline for cognitive behavioral therapy has even been developed, taking inspiration from mindfulness-based stress reduction is mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy.
While mindfulness is a productive asset for cognitive behavioral therapy it is also an effective practice on its own, perhaps, as one study found, more productive than cognitive behavioral therapy by itself. A recent study form Swedish researchers found that mindfulness groups are as effective as individual sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy. Comparing the mindfulness groups to individual cognitive behavioral therapy sessions the researchers found that participants benefitted at the same level in their wellness programs.
However, the researchers don’t suggest choosing one or the other. Instead, the researchers encourage people seeking therapy to incorporate both mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy to support their mission to recover.