Online Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): Fostering Resilience in the Time of COVID-19
Mindfulness is needed now more than ever as we are learning to adapt to the new normal of living in the time of COVID-19. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a proven method of improving resilience and wellbeing. Taught internationally for decades, MBSR is an 8-week, practice-based, interactive learning program. Research shows MBSR to be an effective complement to a wide variety of medical and psychological conditions. These include anxiety, asthma, cancer, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, hypertension, mood disorders, sleep disturbances, and stress disorders.
Mindfulness is the practice of present-moment awareness. It promotes personal well-being and enables us to experience life more fully by developing the ability to return with kindness to the present moment rather than being lost in repetitive thoughts and worries about past or future. In this way, we are able to make conscious choices, rather than react unconsciously.
Becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings and sensations, in a way that suspends judgment and self-criticism, can have surprising results. Many people report finding inner strengths and resources that help them make wiser decisions about their health and life in general.
Most of us find ourselves “swept away” at times by a current of thoughts and feelings, worries, pressures, responsibilities. We want things to be different from how they are right now. Feeling stuck in this way can be draining. Mindfulness can help us work directly with the struggle we sometimes have in relating to life’s experiences; in doing so, we can greatly improve the quality of our life.
Developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn (University of Massachusetts) in 1979, MBSR is now taught in every state in the U.S. and in more than 30 countries. MBSR classes include instruction in mindfulness meditation, mindful movement, and other mindfulness practices, all guided by a skilled instructor.
For the program to be effective, your commitment to 30 to 45 minutes of daily practice and active participation in all classes as well as the silent retreat day is key. The 8-week course meets live online for two hours weekly by Zoom. The silent retreat, which is held online on a Saturday toward the end of the course, provides an opportunity for participants to experience more deeply the mindfulness techniques learned in class.
Comments by MBSR participants:
- “You gave me the gift of a lifetime.”
- “This class truly is the perfect complement to therapy.”
- “I learned a lot about myself and how my conditioning and need for control contribute to my stress, and some tools to be more aware.”
- “This class has taught me how to be a better parent.”
- “I feel a sense of freedom now….like I don’t have to be afraid anymore.”
- “I usually just plow life through without pausing and noticing what’s going on with me – thank you for providing the wake-up call.”
- “The class was so helpful to me, especially with all the changes happening in my life.”
- “I have gained tools for a mindfulness practice and am the better for it.”
- “I am putting this class into practice, particularly given my health issues.”
- “This life-long practice is empowering…the course is well worth the time and effort.”
REGISTER HERE: Fall 2020
Dates: September 28, – November 16, 2020
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Silent Retreat: Saturday, November 7, 2020
Location: Live online via Zoom
Partial scholarships are available. Please contact Harriet Whiting at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Instructor: Susan Stone