Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
At My Life My Health we understand that a modern, busy lifestyle can greatly contribute to stress, activating our sympathetic nervous system into the fight or flight response. We believe in an integrative approach so we offer Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses. Mindfulness can assist in stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system to a calm state know as rest and digest.
What is MBSR?
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an eight-week evidence-based program that offers secular, intensive mindfulness training.
It is a practical training approach to enable participants to learn how to focus attention to cultivate awareness.
MBSR uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, yoga and exploration of patterns of behaviour.
While MBSR has its roots in spiritual teachings the program itself is secular; not pertaining to any religion, spiritual group, culture or sect. Everybody is welcome. Many hundreds of participants through the program have reported relief from stress, anxiety, depression and pain.
The program was developed by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachesetts medical centre in the 1970s.
‘Mindfulness can be understood as the non-judgemental acceptance and open-hearted investigation of present experience, including body sensations, internal mental states, thoughts, emotions, impulses and memories, in order to reduce suffering or distress and to increase well-being’ (Kabat-Zinn, 2003).
What are the benefits of MBSR?
Mindfulness meditation has been the subject of controlled clinical research for over forty years. This research suggests it may have many beneficial effects, including stress reduction, relaxation and improvements to quality of life.
Focus and presence – Cultivate more concentration and capacity to be in the moment with what matters to you most, here and now.
Emotional calming – reduce reactivity, learn to befriend your emotions and to express them in ways that set clear and caring boundaries.
Clarity and wisdom – see your patterns and values with more clarity so that your actions can be more beneficial to yourself and others.
Weekly Topics Covered
Week 1 Recognising the present moment
Week 2 Perception and how we make sense of the world
Week 3 Keeping the body in mind
Week 4 Investigating stressful experience and approaching the difficult
Week 5 Finding perspective: working with emotions and thoughts
Week 6 Relationships and kindness
Week 7 values and action
Week 8 Making mindfulness a part of your life
What does it involve?
- an individual initial phone interview
- ongoing support from your teacher
- a weekly 2.5 hour class, over eight weeks, plus one full day of retreat
- mindfulness meditation and body awareness training
- an exploration of your own patterns and how to transform them
- scientific rationale for the practice
- a 100 page course book and access to Openground audio app for practice
“Forty years ago Jon Kabat-Zinn began seeing patients with chronic disease in the basement of our Medical Centre. His hypothesis was simple – the practice of mindfulness could help alleviate the pain and suffering associated with chronic disease. Now, 40 years later, thanks to Jon’s pioneering work, we know unequivocally that mindfulness can not only reduce pain and suffering but can be used as an adjunct to standard medical care for a multitude of diseases and as a preventive measure to reduce the incidence of stress related illness. The progress that has been made these last 40 years in our understanding of the power of mindfulness has been nothing short of remarkable.”
Dr Eric Dickson, President and CEO, UMass Memorial Health Care