What is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction?

-by Lorraine Hobbs, MA.

MBSR is an eight-week course that is designed to train attention, and reduce stress through a variety of practices and meditations. In this highly participatory, practical program, students will participate in:

  • Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices
  • Gentle stretching and mindful yoga/movement
  • Inquiry exercises to build awareness and promote self-discovery
  • Individually tailored instruction
  • Small & large group discussion
  • Daily home assignments
  • Guided audio files for home practice and a workbook

The course is life affirming and offers participants an opportunity to challenge existing habitual patterns of thoughts and behaviors that can lead to new insights and ways of being. The instructors are accomplished and skilled at creating a safe, supportive, and deeply engaging environment that allows participants to seek, explore, and inquire.

In this program, you will learn:

• Key aspects of mindfulness as it relates to stress reduction, coping with pain and illness and enhancing well-being
• Differentiate MBSR from other meditations that may seem similar but are fundamentally and theoretically quite different
• Integrate mindfulness into social interaction with patients, colleagues, supervisors, family and friends to facilitate more effective and mindful communication, reducing stress reactions and promoting healthier connections
• Articulate the potential benefits of mindfulness-based stress reduction (and mindfulness in general) to educate patients and their families about the benefits of such programs in their own lives
• Implement brief mindfulness practices with patients and family members as a means of contending with acute pain, anxiety and distress.

Benefits

Two decades of published research indicate that the majority of people who complete the eight-week program report greater ability to cope more effectively with both short- and long-term stressful situations.
By learning to actively participate in the management of health and well being, many participants report they are better able to manage stress, fear, anger, anxiety and depression both at home and in the workplace.
Participants have stated that they feel less judgmental and critical of themselves, and subsequently of others. Many also report a decrease of the frequency and length of medical visits to hospitals and other professional health-care providers. There has also been a noticeable decrease in the use of prescription and non-prescription medications among students of MBSR.
People taking the MBSR class come from all walks of life, but they share one thing in common: the desire to find more balance, peace and happiness in their lives. If you share these aspirations, MBSR can be a valuable resource for you.