Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a formal eight-week program with a daylong intensive that was created by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979.
MBSR is a program that helps you learn to calm your mind and body to help you cope with illness, pain, and stress.
MBSR teaches "mindfulness," which is a focus only on things happening in the present moment, in a non-judgmental manner. Mindfulness is not a time to "zone out" or "space out" but is rather a time to purposefully pay attention and be aware of your surroundings, your emotions, your thoughts, and how your body feels. For example, you may sit quietly and notice your emotions. You might focus only on the sounds around you or how your food tastes and smells. When you are mindful, you do just one thing and you pay close attention to that one thing. In intentionally being non-judgmental you learn not to rehash or rehearse situations or feelings or thoughts that can make you worry or live in the past or be fearful of the future.
The program has weekly 2-3 hour sessions for 8 weeks with 1 day of intensive training. This program has been developed with a workbook, videos, audio and reading material. It is suitable for all above the age of 18 years.
What can you learn from the course?
- Week 1 – What is mindfulness and the evidence of the body mind medicine. You will experience mindful activities of eating, mindful breathing, body-scan technique and what it means to be fully engaged in the present moment.
- Week 2 – Perceptions, your conditioned responses, assumptions and the awareness of your reactions will be highlighted. You will see how changing your perceptions will modify the way you react to difficulties and challenges
- Week 3 – The introduction of mindful hatha yoga, sitting meditation and walking meditation will deepen your formal meditation practice. The increased awareness of being attentive in the present moment will give insights on how you respond to challenges and discomfort and brings a deeper understanding of old patterns of behaviour.
- Week 4 – Through investigation with curiosity, awareness and a systematic deepening of informal and formal practices you learn about the body-mind reactions to stress and how you are ‘wired
- Week 5 - At the half way point you will now see you how your conditioned patterns of behaviour, thinking or feeling keep you stuck in negative habits. You will become increasingly aware of how you communicate and process negative feedback
- Week 6 - Resilience or “stress hardiness” is our ability to return to equilibrium after stressful situations. This week, you will focus on transformational coping strategies to broaden your inner resources and enhance your resilience through mindfulness practice. You'll also learn the fundamentals of interpersonal mindfulness—applying awareness and presence at times when communication becomes difficult or fraught with strong emotions. You'll gain direct experience of a variety of styles for more effective and creative interpersonal communication.
- All day Retreat - This day-long guided retreat will take place between weeks six and seven. The intensive nature of this six-hour-plus session is intended to assist you in firmly and effectively establishing the use of MBSR skills across multiple situations in your life, while simultaneously preparing you to utilize these methods far beyond the conclusion of the program.
- Week 7 - This week, you will explore the many ways that you can integrate mindfulness more fully and personally into your life. While having a dedicated regular practice for mindfulness meditation is important and beneficial, it is just as important to bring a broader sense of awareness and presence to every moment in your life, and to use non-judgmental mindfulness in your self-reflection and decision-making processes.
- Week 8 - In the final week of the program, you will have a complete review of everything you've learned over the course, with an emphasis on carrying the momentum you've built forward into the coming months and years. You'll learn about resources available to you to pursue mindfulness in new directions as your life and practice evolve, as well as the support systems that exist to help you continue to integrate, learn, and grow.
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