Mindfulness

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 22–29 | Cite as

Mindfulness to Reduce Psychosocial Stress

  • Natalia E. Morone
  • Cheryl P. Lynch
  • Vincent J. LosassoIII
  • Karl Liebe
  • Carol M. Greco
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

While the adverse impact of stress on health states has been established, effective stress reduction programs are largely underused in clinical settings. In an area with little published information, this study identifies themes that describe the process of applying mindfulness methods to cope with psychosocial stressors in participants of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. The study design is a qualitative investigation with a phenomenological approach using participant feedback from 11 MBSR 8-week programs. Participants were 74 adults from the greater Pittsburgh area. Content analysis was used to inductively generate thematic categories. Four themes were identified that described the process and results of learning mindfulness to adapt to psychosocial stressors. We categorized participants’ feedback into interrelated themes of awareness (subdivided into self-discovery—“step back from my thoughts in order to view them more clearly”, and being in the present), coping—“pause, take a breath”, serenity—“increased feeling of calm, centeredness”, and change in perspective—“different understanding interpersonally and intrapersonally.” In addition, a brief section describes specific health benefits identified by participants. Participants found the mindfulness-based approach effective for stress reduction. The learning process allowed them to routinely apply mindfulness strategies that provided multiple benefits.

Keywords

Psychosocial stress Mindfulness Meditation Qualitative 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalia E. Morone
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cheryl P. Lynch
    • 3
    • 4
  • Vincent J. LosassoIII
    • 5
  • Karl Liebe
    • 6
  • Carol M. Greco
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, and Clinical and Translational Sciences InstituteUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Geriatric Research Education and Clinical CenterVeterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare SystemPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Center for Disease Prevention and Health Interventions for Diverse PopulationsRalph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical CenterCharlestonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and GeriatricsMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  5. 5.Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  6. 6.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationHealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation HospitalPittsburghUSA
  7. 7.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Center for Integrative Medicine at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center ShadysidePittsburghUSA

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