Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, is an eight week program that helps train the mind and the body to become more stable and insightful, thereby increasing optimal functioning, well-being and happiness.
MBSR systematically teaches mindfulness practices and therapeutic yoga to help reduce stress, increase well-being, and support health, healing and personal growth. The program brings meditation and yoga together so that the virtues of both can be experienced simultaneously.
Mindfulness practice is ideal for cultivating greater awareness of the unity of mind and body, as well as of the ways the unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can undermine emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Mindfulness integrates various modern sciences, including medicine and psychology, with the core of the world’s meditative and wisdom traditions.
MBSR supports learning and integrating skills that enhance our ability to: Take care of our own body and mind and enhance a sense of well-being; cope with stress, pain, illness, and the challenges of everyday life; relate to distressing events, such as grief and loss, with grace and a sense of inner balance; be fully present and alive as to enjoy life as it unfolds moment by moment; be connected to yourself and others.
The Research behind the Program
Several clinical research studies have demonstrated how this secular, scientific, evidence-based practice of mindfulness practices can:
• Reduce stress hormones and inflammation • Reduce anxiety, depression, rumination and emotional reactivity • Increase your ability to manage chronic pain • Increase cognitive functioning, creativity, insight and mental clarity • Increase emotional intelligence and resilience • Boost your immune system to help fight off colds, flu and other diseases • Increase serotonin levels, supporting positive mood, better sleep and digestion.
Systematic guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices; gentle therapeutic yoga; group inquiry to support understanding and enhance awareness in everyday life; individually tailored instruction; group reflection and activities; daily home assignments; guided audio files for home practice and a workbook.
The official course outline from The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine Heath Care and Society
"Mindfulness means paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment.
It certainly implies developing and refining a way of becoming more intimate with one’s own experience through systematic self-observation. This included intentionally suspending the impulse to characterize, evaluate, and judge what one is experiencing. Doing so affords multiple opportunities to move beyond the well-known grooves of our highly conditioned and largely habitual and un-examined thought processes and emotional reactivity."
~ Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.