The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program is a great place to start your mindfulness journey, giving you the opportunity to develop a personalised mindfulness practise with a small group setting over an 8 week period. It is the most widely researched and evidence-based approach helping you to learn a number of key skills that allow you to tune into, and become aware of, your experience in the present moment. But why is this so important?
By examining and reflecting on the patterns of your own mind, feelings and actions, you are better able to gently interrupt patterns of reactivity, unhelpful behaviours and self-criticism. As you practice paying attention, deliberately, to your moment-to-moment experiences with a non-judging and curious attitude, your awareness grows allowing you to step out of ‘autopilot’ and the constant busyness of always ‘doing’. Instead, we experience ‘being’ in our world by bringing awareness to our physical body sensations and patterns of thoughts and emotions rather than being completely unaware of them. We see that thoughts and emotions are not facts and that thoughts come and go. With mindfulness, we learn to observe our thoughts and feelings, just as they are, without ‘buying into’ them. We learn how to let them go, or accept them, rather than being overwhelmed by them. We can tune into our individual stress responses in new ways and discover alternative solutions to the challenges of our daily lives. With practise, we can respond to our challenges rather reacting to them; when we are more present, we have more control.
The 8 week MBSR course is highly practical, helping you to develop new ways to cope with stress and anxiety, exploring techniques to help you bring mindfulness into your everyday life, and cultivating attitudes such as patience, trust, acceptance and self-compassion. There will be guided practises, take-home notes, group discussions and exercises designed to enhance personal learning.
The good news is, mindfulness is a natural quality that each of us has at our fingertips, but one that is easily forgotten as we get pulled into our increasingly busy and frantic lifestyles. This course is designed to help you bring mindfulness into your everyday life, reduce stress, anxiety and be more in control of your thoughts and feelings.
What can I expect over the 8 weeks?
Each week will build on learning, looking at various mindfulness techniques and deepening understanding of mindfulness theory. Generally, it will follow the format below:
Week 1: What is Mindfulness? Out of autopilot and into present moment awareness.
Week 2: Present moment awareness – using the breath and body to cultivate awareness.
Week 3: Mindfulness of the Breath & Body in Movement. Developing our sense of the interconnection between the mind and body.
Week 4: Noticing our stress patterns
Week 5: Acceptance and letting be: allowing things to be as they are – from reacting to responding mindfully
Week 6: Turning towards difficulty with kindness to ourselves
Week 7: Our lifestyle choices: How can I best take care of myself?
Week 8: A Mindful Life: Keeping your mindfulness alive.
To find out when the next 8 week course will be held or to book your place in advance, please click here.
Please note, whilst mindfulness seems simple, it can be compared to physical exercise – as a form of ‘mental training’ building on mental fitness. As with undertaking physical exercise, we need to work safely to ensure this course is suitable for your needs and current levels of heath. There may be conditions or situations where you are undergoing care with mental health professionals, and in some cases, the MBSR program may not be entirely suitable for you at this time. As a practitioner, I take great care in ensuring all participants are adequately supported and can benefit fully from the mindfulness practises. A pre-course questionnaire is provided to ensure that this course is adequate for your needs.