Mindfulness is a deep, innate sense that lies within us all. It is one which, if we know how, can be called upon in times of stress to help us handle our work, our lives, our families and the world around us. It can help us reduce stress and with it the disabling health effects that stress can bring.
Mindfulness can help us manage pain, illness, stress and can also make us better carers for those who need our help. Achieving a well-balanced life means being aware of all aspects of ourselves: mind, body, heart and soul.
Mindfulness teaches us a way of taking charge of our lives, working with our own, unique challenges and demands of everyday life.
Most of what you hear in the media about the benefits of Mindfulness come from the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction course, developed 40 years ago by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massechuettes Medical Center. This course and many other Mindfulness based interventions are taught around the world in health care settings, schools, businesses and organizations.
MBSR uses meditation, yoga and inquiry as a way of training people to relate differently to stresses in their lives and in fact, relate differently to each moment of their lives. It was originally developed for patients in chronic pain, undergoing intensive treatments for cancer, AIDS and other serious illness, but has since expanded and been incorporated into the daily lives of ten of thousands of people whether they are dealing with the serious stress of illness or simply the day to day stress which at times seems like it can be too much to handle. Research over the past 32 years indicates that a majority of the people who complete this program report a greater ability to cope more effectively with short and long term stressful situations; an increased ability to relax, lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms; reduction in pain levels and enhanced ability to cope with chronic pain and most importantly a greater energy and enthusiasm for life.
Some of the skills people learn in MBSR courses:
• Practical coping skills to improve your ability to handle stressful situations
• Methods for being physically and mentally relaxed and at ease
• Gentle full body conditioning exercises to strengthen your body and release muscular tension
• To become increasingly aware of the interplay of mind and body in health and illness
• To face change and difficult times in your life with greater ease
Whether you are consulting on a 1:1 or on retreat or in a course, the practices come from MBSR and can be transformative in your life