Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an 8-week scientifically researched program that combines meditation, yoga, education about stress and development of coping strategies to improve one’s ability to manage stress, reduce physical and psychological symptoms, and maximize one’s ability to thrive in the face of life’s challenges.

Regardless of our outward circumstances, through mindfulness practice we can choose to look deeply into our heart and mind for the causes of stress and the possibility to make the choice for greater joy. The practice of insight meditation is at the heart of MBSR and facilitates the cultivation of mindfulness. Mindfulness is defined as the practice of bringing nonjudgmental attention to the present moment.  Put another way, “Practicing mindfulness is simply experiencing the present moment, without trying to change anything.”

A substantial body of research has shown that mindfulness practices positively impact an individual’s experience of everyday stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain and physical symptoms related to stress or disease. Medical practitioners increasingly embrace mindfulness practice for its therapeutic benefits, connecting reduction in stress to physical resilience and recovery.

MBSR began in 1979 as the Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. The program was featured in the Bill Moyer’s PBS documentary Healing and the Mind and is the subject of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s best-selling book, Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of the Body and Mind to Face Stress.

MBSR can be beneficial to those new to meditation and experienced mediators who are looking to fully integrate a meditation practice into their lives.

Some common reasons people come to class:

• Daily life stress
• Sleep disturbance
• Major illness
• Addiction
• Fatigue
• Chronic pain
• Headaches
• High blood pressure
• Skin disorders
• Anxiety or panic
• Depression
• Personal growth
• Work or family stress

Possible benefits of MBSR:

• Reduce depression and anxiety
• Enhance and improve personal health
• Increase focus and mental clarity
• Improve communication with others
• Assess life situations more clearly and respond more effectively
• Cultivate compassion for self and others
• Cultivate and integrate mindfulness in everyday life
• Improve sleep
• Develop greater self-respect, energy and enthusiasm for life