MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS REDUCTION
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, (MBSR),was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School. MBSR is an intensive 8-week, 9-session training in mindfulness awareness taught in Salt Lake City by Vicki Overfelt. (to see other instructors in different areas see MBSR classes page). Groups meet weekly for 2-2.5 hours and for an all-day session between weeks six and seven. Guided instruction in various mindfulness practices is provided, including sitting and walking meditation, the body scan, gentle yoga, and other guided meditations. These practices are enhanced through inquiry exercises, group dialogue, daily home assignments, guided audio files, and practice materials.
Describing the class, the CFM writes “Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life, a way of taking charge of your life, a way of doing something for yourself that no one else can do for you — consciously and systematically working with your own stress, pain, illness, and the challenges and demands of everyday life.”
“In contrast, you’ve probably encountered moments of ‘mindlessness’ — a loss of awareness resulting in forgetfulness, separation from self, and a sense of living mechanically. Restoring within yourself a balanced sense of health and well being requires increased awareness of all aspects of self, including body and mind, heart and soul. Mindfulness-based stress reduction is intended to ignite this inner capacity and infuse your life with awareness.”
How can mindfulness benefit me?
Stress is an inherent part of our lives. We do not practice mindfulness in order to escape the stress in our lives. We practice mindfulness so that we can relate to our stress in a healthier way. We practice to embrace who we are – completely, non-judgmentally, with compassion. We practice mindfulness to wake up to our surroundings and all that is contained in the present moment. This can mean simply waking up to our emotions, our physical state, our families, friends, and colleagues, our daily shower, eating, driving – everything we do. We practice mindfulness to be in touch with our lives.
Two decades of published research by the Center for Mindfulness indicates that the majority of people who complete the course report:
- Lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms
- An increased ability to relax
- Reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away
- Greater energy and enthusiasm for life
- Improved self-esteem
- An ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations.
To see all MBSR course offerings in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas, see classes page.