Technically, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an eight-week educational program designed to cultivate greater mind-body awareness. It can help you live a more adaptive life in the face of stress, pain and illness. Technically.
What MBSR delivers on a very personal level is a path to implementing mindfulness into your life. Mindfulness is about present-centered awareness, the ability to live in this moment with less judgment of ourselves, our experience and of others. With training in mindfulness we learn to relate differently to our experience, whatever it may be. With practice we become less reactive to the frustrations, worries and anxieties we often allow to envelope our thoughts when we reflect on the past or anxiously anticipate the future. Mindfulness focuses on the here and now.
On the one hand MBSR is a discipline that anyone can master – it requires a commitment and dedication to oneself and one’s health, nothing else is required. On the other hand it takes practice of fundamentals and techniques taught by experienced teachers. Through this path people learn how to mobilize their own internal resources in the service of learning, growing and healing.
In other words, mindfulness is an inherent, natural human capacity, but like other learned skills, it has to be practiced to develop.
That said, the rewards can be many and far reaching. MBSR has been clinically documented to have a significant effect on one’s ability to regulate the mind, and as a result, bring a greater sense of ease and calm.
In my more than ten years of teaching mindfulness, I have seen, and my clients have reported many of the lasting benefits current research has documented, including:
- Improved ability to concentrate and focus for greater productivity and creativity
- Increased ability to cope with illness and pain
- Improved self-esteem and enthusiasm for life
- Decreased interpersonal problems
- Decreases in blood pressure
- Reduced tension, anger and fatigue
Visit Mindfulness-Matters.com for a broad-reaching list of clinically researched and documented MBSR benefits. And if you are new to mindfulness, there you will find a simple form to sign up <link> for one of my upcoming introductory MBSR courses. They are always free and open to the public.