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The Science of Mindfulness

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Published on Dec 21, 2011

Professor Mark Williams examines the neuroscience of mindfulness in the second of four short videos.

We live in a world filled with material wealth, live longer and healthier lives, and yet anxiety, stress, unhappiness, and depression have never been more common. What are the driving forces behind these interlinked global epidemics? In this series, Professor Mark Williams (Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow at Oxford University) and Dr Danny Penman discuss the recent scientific advances that have radically altered our understanding of depression and related disorders. Also discussed is the latest treatments and therapies that are offering hope to those suffering from depression. Professor Williams co-developed Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), a treatment for anxiety, stress and depression that is at least as effective as drugs at preventing new episodes of depression. It's now one of the preferred treatments for depression recommended by the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. The same technique, based upon an ancient form of meditation, can also help us cope more effectively with the relentless demands of our increasingly frantic world. Professor Williams and Dr Penman co-authored the bestselling book Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World.

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