Mindfulness & losing weight
In 2015 Deborah designed and ran qualitative research into the effects of mindfulness on people seeking to lose weight in a UK Weight Watchers meeting. She chose to focus on this subject due to the global obesity crisis and following her work in designing, developing and implementing positive psychology and mindfulness into the Weight Watchers programme.
Deborah’s intention was to create a programme that was relatively easy to implement and integrate into everyday life thus making it sustainable and manageable for people and economically viable to be introduced to a wide audience.
The summary of Deborah’s findings are:
- Positive impacts were felt within the participants lives generally and specifically within their weight loss journey
- Unanimous agreement from the participants of the positive lived experience of the introduction and practises of mindfulness
- All participants reported having more awareness of their:
- Emotional self
- Physical self
- Stress levels
- Eating habits
- Reduction of stress levels
- There was a shift in attitude towards themselves – from harsh judgemental attitude to a non-judgemental, gentler, kinder, internal voice
- A crucial shift in facilitating self-care; a vital aspect of weight loss
- Results indicate that this model could be scaled up
- Reflection of the same positive results would be likely to be mirrored within the parent population
Mindfulness in schools
In 2004 Deborah designed and ran qualitative pilot studies teaching mindfulness meditation to children in two state schools in the South West of England. Firstly, in a primary school with children ranging from ages 6-11 years old. Secondly, in a secondary school focusing on teenagers, particularly those experiencing stress in the run up to exams. The results were very positive.
The overall findings were as follows:
- Reduction in stress levels
- Reduction in feelings of anger
- Feeling calmer
- Feeling happier
- Feeling more open and receptive to learning
- The above was echoed by the teachers
- Teachers reported a difference in the children’s behaviour and their ability to absorb information Reports came from parents of the various benefits observed within the children
Mindfulness is now being taught in various schools across the UK and the world, even as far as New Zealand!