WHAT IS MBSR?
Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program that teaches over the course of 8-weeks a range of mindfulness meditation and awareness practices to learn to deal more effectively with stress, illness and the challenges of everyday life. It’s an intensive training in which you learn about your own natural capacity to care for yourself, find greater balance, ease and peace of mind.
MBSR is an evidence based program and research supports how MBSR can positively and often profoundly affect ones ability to reduce medical symptoms and psychological distress while learning to live life more fully. Improvements that participants have experienced after the course for example are:
Lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms
An increased ability to relax
Reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away
Greater energy and enthusiasm for life
An ability to cope more effectively with both short- and long-term stressful situations
ORIGINS OF MBSR
MBSR stands for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. It's a Program that since 1979, has been given to more then 20,000 people. Mindfulness according to Jon Kabat-Zinn is ‘Awareness that arises, by paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally’. He is the creator of the MBSR training at the Center for Mindfulness at the U-Mass Medical School, USA.
With mindfulness, we learn to pay attention to whatever is happening in our life inwardly and outwardly. Mindfulness is a way to experientially learn to take better care of yourself by understanding the interplay of mind and body and to create a deeper sense of ease and well being. (for more info go to http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/)
The training consists of eight weekly sessions of 2,5 hours and an all day practice day halfway the program. There will be a fair amount of commitment asked - an hour long of daily homework and a serious intention and effort to attend all sessions. Prior to the training, you will meet the trainer during an individual interview – to make sure you know what it is all about!
WHAT ARE SESSIONS LIKE?
The sessions in the MBSR program are psycho-educational and experiential and based on the core principles of mindfulness. Through meditation, dialogue, group discussion and mindful movement, you will learn to work more effectively with stress, pain, illness and challenges of everyday life.
The 8-week course consists of eight weekly, two and a half hour session and one all day practice towards the end of the program. Each session includes practices of mediation, mindful movement, group sharing and other exercises to learn to cultivate attention and awareness. Groups can be anything from 5-12 participants in size. The program takes place in an inclusive, supportive and comfortable setting.
During the course of the program, you will learn more about your own stress reactivity and how this affects the mind and body. You will grow an understanding how mindfulness can benefit you to become more stress resilient in your every day life. Apart from the weekly sessions, there will be daily home practice assignment for which you will receive support with audio recordings and written materials.
ARE THERE ANY PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS?
The physical activity in MBSR is meant to suit people of most physical conditions and limitations and can be adapted to meet peoples needs. Participants are encouraged to adjust practice posture when necessary and your trainer can help you work through that as well. The different meditation practices can be done laying down on the floor, on a chair or cushion on the floor.