What is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction?
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR, is an 8 week evidence-based, experiential course developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 at The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at UMASS Medical School to help people better understand and manage all the stressors of life - stress, anxiety, pain, both physical and/or emotional. The MBSR course is designed to access and cultivate your natural capacity to actively engage in caring for yourself and find greater balance, ease, resilience and peace of mind. Through this life-affirming, challenging program, growth, healing, and transformation are possible.
This program is an educational class in which you learn to bring the practice of mindfulness into your life, in both formal and informal ways. People choose to participate in this program for a diverse and vast number of reasons. Often everyday life stressors, anxiety, depression, chronic pain or illness, sleep disturbances, relationship issues and other health related issues bring people to this course. It is based on the belief that there is more right with you than wrong with you. Learning happens both within class sessions and at home through daily practice.
The MBSR course is a 2.5 hour class offered once per week for 8 weeks and a 6 hour silent retreat day. This practical course includes guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices, gentle stretching, didactic education, group dialogue and discussions aimed at enhancing awareness in everyday life. The MBSR program creates a safe, supportive, and deeply engaging, learning environment.
Evidenced based research has shown MBSR participants to have increased resilience and a decrease in both physical and psychological symptoms. Self reporting by participants has shown that pain levels improve as people learn to cope more effectively with their chronic pain, as well as state a greater enthusiasm for life, improved self esteem, decreased anxiety, decreased depression, and an increased ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations, both real and perceived.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is a complement, not a substitute, for medical or psychological treatment that a person may be receiving and should not be used in place of medical care.