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Mindful : February 2016
Whether it is seeing the beauty in a blade of grass, watching an athlete achieve the unthinkable, or looking at the vastness of the night’s sky, taking time to appreciate the awe-inspiring nature of our world has important implications not only for our mental health, but for our physical health.” — Jennifer Stellar, Ph.D, University of Toronto Cultivating self-compassion may reduce binge eating and ease weight concerns. Researchers randomly assigned 41 people diag- nosed with Binge Eating Disorder to separate three- week programs. The first consisted of food planning plus self-compassion exer- cises in the form of Com- passion-Focused therapy (CFT). The second program offered food planning plus behavioral strategies. The the last group was merely waitlisted. While both groups who were offered a specific pro- gram reduced bingeing and eating concerns more than those subjects in the wait- listed group, study leaders found people in the CFT EASING THE SYMPTOMS OF FIBROMYALGIA Fibromyalgia, with its challenging set of symptoms, can be a difficult condition to treat. But MSBR is emerging as a complementary treatment. When a group of research- ers from both the US and the UK ran a randomized clinical trial to test the effects of mindfulness meditation on symptoms of the condition, they found it eased the severity of some common complaints, such as trouble sleeping and a generalized feeling of illness and stress. Follow-up practice at home helped fur ther. Although pain itself was not eased, the subjects repor ted that they felt better. group did best. Once taught the CFT exercises, they were capable of increasing their self-compassion in a short period of time. Yet the study highlighted an interesting wrinkle: Fear of self-compassion could get in the way of results, and those people who expressed less fear about self-compas- sion gained significantly more benefit than those who were more fearful. Researchers concluded that self-compassion is a useful tool, but its benefits may depend on assessing and reducing an individua l’s fears about the practice before- hand. Taste a Little Self-Compassion 12 mindful February 2016 what’s new PHOTOGRAPHS:©SHEFKATE,MALYSHCHYTSVIKTAR/DOLLARPHOTOCLUB