Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme is the original official, evidence-based intensive 8-week programme developed by Jon Kabat Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
The programme should only be delivered by qualified teachers from a recognised teacher training programme. All facilitators teaching at Ashe House are fully trained to teach the 8 week programmes and adhere to the Irish Good Practice Guidelines for teaching Mindfulness-Based courses as developed by the Mindfulness Teachers Association of Ireland ( MTAI) (Read the guidelines here).
This 8 week life-skills course combines experiential mindfulness practices with the latest tools and techniques of neuroscience, positive psychology and the study of well-being.
What to Expect
- This is an 8 week Intensive Training Programme consisting of 2.5 hours each session
- A Full Day of Practice usually after week 5 or 6 (10am to 4pm)- on Saturday or Sunday
- The programme includes guided instruction in Mindfulness Meditation Practices, informal mindfulness practices, short talks, experiential exercises, Mindful Movement, group dialogue, poetry and home practices.
- The four Formal Mindfulness practices include the Body Scan Meditation, Sitting Meditation, Mindful Movement (including gentle stretching and mindful yoga), and Walking Meditation.
- Informal Mindful Meditation practices involves paying attention to ordinary moments in everyday life. Throughout the 8 week course participants are given home practice materials including three guided cd’s or recording link for download along with participant handbook.
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is not group therapy although participants are invited to share their direct experiences of the practices and exercises. Time and space is given in each session for group dialogue and mindful communication.
- Participants are encouraged to commit to practising for at least 30/40 minutes daily using the cd’s supplied along with informal practice.
- Home Practice is the most important aspect of the course as it is through personal experience in actually doing the practice that allows changes to organically occur in how we relate to ourselves and the world in our daily life.
- The programme itself is challenging and life – affirming. A safe, supportive and deeply engaging experiential environment is provided by the facilitator so that you as participant can deeply learn, practice and integrate mindfulness into your everyday life.
- 3 guided CDs or recording link for download.
What is possible to practice and learn over the 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course?
- Gain an understanding and awareness of the body, sensations and the breath from the inside out.
- Developing this understanding or felt sense in the body and breath so that you can be fully present in the moment to name and recognise old habitual patterns, habits and beliefs as they arise.
- Sensing in the body – improved self awareness of self and others, using the breath and body as a barometer to stay ‘Here’.
You can live in the body more than in your head!
- Noticing thoughts.. the practices enhance our ability to focus and pay attention, to recognise thought patterns that are habitual and can in fact cause spiralling into a low mood or intensify stress – Mindfulness practice invites us to choose where to place our attention and how much energy to give to stress intensifying thoughts.
- Observing emotions… allowing emotions to be more fully present, manageable, tolerable and integrated.
- Increased ability to manage stress more effectively by recognising your own stress reactions.
- Exploring this awareness by inviting and allowing your present moment experience… you may choose to respond in a different way to yourself and the world. New ways of relating to yourself, others and your place in the world.
- Inviting more choice: wiser decisions and wiser actions in your life.
- Cultivating a warm and friendly attitude… Invites and allows warmth, softening, soothing, allowing, deepening.
- Invites being kinder and more compassionate to yourself… not wanting to change things or wishing all the time things were different, fighting with yourself..driving and striving..allows space for being kind to yourself.
- Accept yourself as you are not as you wish to be.
- Seeing the Extraordinary in the Ordinary in everyday life.. noticing the beauty of the world around and in you.
- More Presence to Self so more present and available to those you are in relationship with – potential for better communication, engagement and connection in relationships, family and work.
Credit: Huffington Post
- Lowers stress – literally
Research published in the Journal Health Psychology shows that mindfulness is not only associated with feeling less stressed, it’s also linked with decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Mindfulness helps us get to know our true selves
Mindfulness can help us see beyond those rose-coloured glasses when we need to really objectively analyse ourselves. A study in the Journal Psychological Science shows that mindfulness can help us conquer common “blind spots,” which can amplify or diminish our own flaws beyond reality.
- It could help people with arthritis better handle stress
A 2011 study in the Journal Annals of Rheumatic Disease shows that even though mindfulness training may not help to lessen pain for people with rheumatoid arthritis, it could help to lower their stress and fatigue.
- It changes the brain in a protective way
University of Oregon researchers found that integrative body-mind training — which is a meditation technique — can actually result in brain changes that may be protective against mental illness. The meditation practice was linked with increased signalling connections in the brain, something called axonal density, as well as increased protective tissue (myelin) around the axons in the anterior cingulate brain region.
- It works as the brain’s “volume knob”
Ever wondered why mindfulness meditation can make you feel more focused and zen? It’s because it helps the brain to have better control over processing pain and emotions, specifically through the control of cortical alpha rhythms (which play a role in what senses our minds are attentive to), according to a study in the Journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
- It makes music sound better
Mindfulness meditation improves our focused engagement in music, helping us to truly enjoy and experience what we’re listening to, according to a study in the journal Psychology of Music.
- It helps us even when we’re not actively practicing it
You don’t have to actually be meditating for it to still benefit your brain’s emotional processing. That’s the finding of a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, which shows that the amygdala brain region’s response to emotional stimuli is changed by meditation, and this effect occurs even when a person isn’t actively meditating.
- It has four elements that help us in different ways
The health benefits of mindfulness can be boiled down to four elements, according to a Perspectives on Psychological Science study: body awareness, self-awareness, regulation of emotion and regulation of attention.