What it is
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a formalized 8-week program that was created by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts. Mindful meditation, yoga and other mindfulness exercises are combined to foster awareness of thoughts and emotions experienced in the body. Through this awareness, we create space in the mind.
Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, describes the rich value of this space:
Between stimulus and response there’s a space. In that space lies our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
When we are confronted with stressful, unpleasant situations, we often fall into default modes of reacting which are driven by our brain’s stress response. MBSR instruction helps individuals cultivate an awareness of the space between the stimulus and response – unveiling the power of choice within a situation. Our bodies speak to us through the language of sensation and we need to learn how to listen. Through observation of the present moment, we can skillfully learn to tolerate our embodied emotional experiences.
How it helps
Research shows that MBSR is effective for:
Relationship, Job or Financial Stress
High Blood Pressure
MBSR in practice
I offer the opportunity to customize a program using MBSR and other Mindfulness-Based Interventions, depending on your personal needs. Your needs will dictate how meditation instruction sessions will look moving forward. For example, MBSR techniques might be combined with other meditative and yogic approaches to meet your personal intentions.
Individual MBSR instructional sessions will be done in my office where I will provide meditation cushions and yoga mats. You’ll wear comfortable clothing, as you’ll be guided through sitting meditation and gentle yoga during MBSR instruction. The program also consists of homework that you’ll be asked to complete in-between sessions – including meditation and journaling exercises.