The Science Behind the 3-Step Emotional Rescue Method

Over the past 25 years, there has been an unprecedented surge of scientific research into mindfulness and its benefits for physical and psychological health and overall well-being.

Below is a sampling of the most recent overviews of the research (known in the scientific parlance as “meta-analyses”) summarizing the efficacy of the main components of the Emotional Rescue Method.

In sum, they show strong evidence that mindfulness significantly reduces worry, stress, burnout, depression, anxiety, and somatic complaints. Mindfulness also increases overall quality of life, including job satisfaction in the workplace.

Step 1, Mindful Gap

In countless studies, mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, burnout, and anxiety, as well as to and help transform negative habits. By creating the space between stimulus and response, practicing Mindful Gap opens new possibilities for responding to change with conscious intention rather than with unconscious reactivity.

Querstret, D. (2020). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for psychological health and wellbeing in non-clinical samples: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Stress Management.

Vonderlin, et al. (2020), “Mindfulness-Based Programs in the Workplace: a Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Cásedas, L., Vadillo, M. A., & Lupiáñez, J. (2019). Do mindfulness-based interventions enhance executive control? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials in adults.

Step 2, Clear Seeing

Once you create a Mindful Gap, there is a much greater possibility of seeing challenging situations with fresh eyes of creativity, rather than through the foggy lens of stress and reactive habits. The clarity of vision, Clear Seeing –– supports what is known in the emotions research as “cognitive reappraisal,” and is theorized to lead to greater resilience and effective emotion regulation, even amidst uncertainty. Top performers in diverse fields highlight the value of resilience and regulation of emotions for effective decision-making under challenging conditions.

Garland et al. (2009),”The Role of Mindfulness in Positive Reappraisal”

Kaunhoven and Dorjee (2021), “Mindfulness Versus Cognitive Reappraisal: the Impact of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on the Early and Late Brain Potential Markers of Emotion Regulation”

Troy, et al. (2013) “History of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Is Associated with Increased Cognitive Reappraisal Ability”

Step 3, Letting Go

On the basis of the previous two steps, the body can complete its natural cycle of releasing stressful energy. As trauma research has demonstrated, when the stress cycle is frozen, there are countless negative impacts on physical and mental health. However, when stressful emotional energy is released physically and emotionally, the body’s innate resilience allows one to bounce back physiologically and even grow from adversity.

Heckenberg, et al. (2021) “Do workplace-based mindfulness meditation programs improve physiological indices of stress? A systematic review and meta-analysis”

Pascoe, et al. (2013), “Mindfulness mediates the physiological markers of stress: Systematic review and meta-analysis”

Nyklicek, et al. (2013), “Mindfulness-based stress reduction and physiological activity during acute stress: a randomized controlled trial.”

“Post-Traumatic Growth,” Psychology Today