Mindfulness is the practice of cultivating non- judgemental awareness in day to day life. It can be considered a psychological therapy which uses meditative tools that can be used to improve one’s outlook, provide coping strategies to deal with life’s stresses and changes. It involves learning to focus attention on emotions, sensations and thoughts in an accepting and non-judgemental way. By focussing fully on the present moment rather than on the past or the future, mindfulness helps to break the cycle of negative thoughts and emotions.
It has been shown that Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) helps people with multiple sclerosis (MS) cope with symptoms, and many said they would recommend these practices to others living with MS, according to a review of published studies related to patients’ experiences. MS Ireland offers a variety of mindfulness courses and workshops in a number of areas of the country, please contact your local Regional office if you are interested in participating in such events. Please see research behind these programmes below:
This study, “Mindfulness-based interventions for people with multiple sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-aggregation of qualitative research studies,” was published in the journal Disability and Rehabilitation.
Mindfulness is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a way to prevent depression in people who have had three or more bouts of depression in the past.
Another study published in Neurology looked at the psychological effects of mindfulness meditation on people with MS led by Paul Grossman, PhD, from the University of Basel Hospital in Switzerland. They randomly divided 150 individuals with mild to moderate MS into two groups. The first group received standard medical treatment, as well as eight weeks of mindfulness meditation training. This training focused on mental and physical activities aimed at developing mindfulness. The second group had no mindfulness training and only received the standard medical treatment for MS. From the first group, those who completed the mindfulness training showed improvement in fatigue, depression, and quality of life, including a 30% drop in depressive symptoms compared to those who had no mindfulness training.
To register interest in this programmes contact your regional worker.