Yes, I realize the title of this article is a HUGE promise, but I am living proof of the transformation that comes with this 8 week course. Before completing the course, I was suffering 90% of my day (yes, I was even waking up in the middle of the night due to my anxiety).
I wont’ go into full detail, but I spent my days being anxious about being anxious! Does that sound familiar to you? Well, the good news is that sometime between weeks 4-8 of the program, I started to notice a drastic difference in my relationship with my thoughts – and my emotions connected to my thoughts. I rewired my brain and changed the course of my life all thanks to MBSR! Want to find out more? Read on!
What does the course consist of?
- 8 classes, each 2.5 hours long. The classes are held once a week by a highly trained and qualified leader. (My class was led my an MD who gave up her private practice to open a mindfulness studio.)
- One full-day (7 hours) silent retreat where you are guided through several mindful practices.
- Weekly assignments (We were given an AWESOME binder full of worksheets and visuals to better understand our body and our body’s response to stress. We were also given an audio file to practice our weekly body scan meditation.)
- A community of people who are all working toward a life of less physical and/or mental suffering.
Does this sound like something you can commit to? If so, read on!
What is MBSR?
- MBSR stands for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.
- Created by American Professor, John Kabat-Zinn.
- MBSR is used in over 250 hospitals in the U.S. and abroad.
- It is an 8-week stress reduction program is based on intensive training in mindfulness.
- It is used to support individuals that suffer from stress, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain in a natural way (there was a woman in my course that was seeking a way to live with her chronic back pain after a car accident).
- The idea is to change the relationship an individual has with their pain or suffering. Our current painful experiences can be transformed, and this course will give you the tools to make this transformation happen.
3 Ways MBSR Will Change Your Life
- Learn to RESPOND vs react: No, you can’t always change what life throws your way, but you CAN change the way you respond to these challenges. Mindfulness teaches you how to utilize the brief moment between emotion and reaction. Through habit, we react to events around us in a way that does not benefit ANYONE in the situation. Your partner tells you that you need to help more around the house, and BAM – you immediately start shouting and naming off a list of ways your partner is failing around the house. Now your body is being flooded with stress hormones. Your reaction to the comment is putting stress on your body. Now imagine the toll this will take on your body when you react in this way multiple times a week or multiple times day! Mindfulness teaches you to take a pause and gives you the tools to live with more calm.
- Your Breathe is one of your greatest tools: Have you ever watched a baby’s belly move while they are breathing? Babies are a wonderful example of what “belly breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, is. Somewhere between birth and today, you encountered obstacles and trauma that have changed everything from your posture to your breathe. Belly breathing slows your heart-rate and can lower or stabilize blood pressure. Taking time to focus on your breathing is a tool that will save you in moments of fear, panic, stress, and anger.
- Rediscover/Reconnect With you body: What does your right thigh feel like at this very moment? If you are someone who hyper focuses on unusual or unwanted body sensations, then learning the body scan meditation will change the relationship you have with your body! An MBSR course will involve a TON of time practicing the body scan meditation. This meditation allows you to ease tension in your body, befriend your body, and accept your bodily sensations!
I will be elaborating more on these topics in future posts, so be sure to subscribe and receive updates on my postings!