Stress, sadness, chronic pain, anger, anxiety, or just feeling "stuck" in life; we all experience it. It's part of being human. However, we're not taught how to deal with these issues. Instead, we may try and use logic - often our default mode - to solve the issue. But there is no "figuring out" a way past suffering, stress, or trauma. Another way is distraction - don't think about the issue, ignore it, look at your social media feed. Where does that lead? Not having addressed the issue, it is sure to burst forth again, even stronger.
What if there was another way?
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an exploration of the most important territory there is - yourself. Why do you do the things you do, and is there another way? How can you connect with the present moment, which is really all we have? By opening yourself up to an awareness of yourself as you really are, you can find new degrees of freedom in how to respond to problems that arise, and most importantly, find peace and happiness in the right here and now.
Originally developed in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts medical school, MBSR has been taken by tens of thousands of people since then. Students are drawn to MBSR because of stress, health issues, or just to learn how to leave a more fulfilling life. As an evidence-based course, there have been thousands of papers detailing the benefits of taking MBSR.
MBSR is delivered in a group classroom format. Formal mindfulness practice is a part of every class, whether it be sitting, moving, walking, or other activity. Group dialogue is part of the learning process, and there is ample opportunity to discuss the content as it evolves during the course. Home practice every day is an essential part of the program. Expect to be challenged throughout the eight weeks - bringing mindfulness into your every day life takes effort and perseverance.
Potential benefits of MBSR include stress reduction, greater ability to bounce back from setbacks, an improved sense of well being, more compassion - especially for yourself - and an increased ability to enjoy the pleasures of simply being alive. Everyone's experience is unique, but it is always genuine.
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