Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Through MBSR you can discover tools for enhanced focus, clarity & emotional resilience
All people have the capacity to be aware and "present." However, few of us are truly living in the actual moment. We are rushing, distracted, exhausted and stressed. With practice and skilled guidance, we can learn to tap back into our innate present mind. Learning and repeatedly practicing exercises to increase concentration is similar to the way we train the body at the gym to increase strength and flexibility. This results in a calmer, more resilient, resourceful way of living which is known as "mindfulness."
- Have you ever caught yourself “drifting away” during a conversation, or in the middle of a task?
- Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by day-to-day responsibilities, pressures and schedules?
- Do you worry or have negative assumptions about your future, or those of the ones you love?
At these times, we are lacking “presence of mind,” disconnected from what is actually happening in the moment. The ability to bring full awareness to the present moment is key to making healthy decisions, and to responding to internal and external challenges more positively. Our thoughts are often repetitive, and are heavily influenced by our past experiences. This thought pattern influences our physical and emotional states in a powerful way.
The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program is a 9-session course, with one additional session of extended practice. Students will receive structured training in mindfulness meditation practices. Using the curriculum developed at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, the course focuses on mindfulness techniques that support positive health behaviors and emotional resilience. The course offers individual tailored instruction with a small class size of up to 25 participants and includes:
- An overview of the philosophy of MBSR with guided meditation instruction (breath awareness, gentle stretching, mindful moving)
- Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices such as body scanning, breath awareness, sitting and walking meditations, gentle stretching and mindful movement, as well as informal mindfulness exercises for daily life
- Home practice materials, including handouts and guided recordings, to begin a daily practice during the program
- Supportive group dialogue and review of home practice assignments
- Educational materials on the mechanisms of human attention and perception, the physiological and psychological components of the stress reaction, and relevant neuroscience research
- Stress from work, school, family, financial burden, illness, aging and a general sense of feeling overwhelmed
- Medical conditions including chronic illness or pain, cardiovascular conditions, cancer, GI distress, skin disorders
- Psychological distress such as anxiety, depression, fatigue and sleep disturbances
MBSR has been the subject of hundreds of controlled clinical research studies and is considered the gold standard of secular mindfulness interventions.