Mindfulness stress management program

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Mindfulness stress management program

Live here and now: 8-week mindfulness stress management program

• Do you tend to walk quickly to get to where you’re going without paying attention to what you experience along the way?
• Does it seem as if you are ‘running on automatic’, without much awareness of what you’re doing?
• Do you rush through activities without being really attentive to them?
• Do you find it difficult to stay focused on what’s happening in the present?
• Do you get so focused on the goal you want to achieve that you lose touch with what you are doing right now to get there?
• Do you find yourself preoccupied with the future or the past?

We offer an 8-week individual program for management of stress, anxiety, restlessness and exhaustion. The program includes a set of simple but profound exercises and principles, which you can apply in your daily life and which support wellbeing, feeling of ahppines and the ability to live in the present.   

The program is inspired by the succesfull Mindfulness stress reduction (MBSR) programs of Mark Williams and John Kabat-Zinn. and further approaches focused on mindful living (process-oriented psychology, dialectical behavioral therapy). At the same time you can measure and  follow your improvements through the Qiu HRV-biofeedback.

Hundreds of clinical studies confirmed, that a mindfulness training:
Improves physical health, e.g.:
- helps relieve stress
- treats heart disease
- lowers blood pressure
- reduces chronic pain
- improves sleep
- alleviates gastrointestinal difficulties

Improves mental health, e.g.:
- Improves self-confidence and wellbeing
- Improves energy and quality of life
- Plus in recent years, psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems, including:
- depression
- substance abuse
- eating disorders
- couples’ conflicts
- anxiety disorders
- obsessive-compulsive disorder etc.

The essence of the course is the development of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention on purpose in the present moment, without judgment. It is simple but not easy. It is innate but underdeveloped. It is the heart of the mind-body connection. The eight weeks are a special opportunity to slow down and pay attention to how the body, mind, and emotions actually operate in real time. The formal exercises and practises increase our capacity to bring mindful awareness to ourselves in our daily life. This is sometimes called the informal practice of mindfulness because we don’t have to stop what we are normally doing to be mindful. This is key to the transformative potential of the program. Stress reactivity, the feeling of being stressed and pressured, is in many cases a bad habit. The process encourages us to investigate our direct experiences of living, working, and relating and recognize the habit patterns that may be contributing to our suffering.

8- week individual program- eight 50 min lessons per week

Overview of lessons:

Lesson 1- Autopilot vs. mindfulness
Week One helps you to see the “automatic pilot” mode at work and encourages you to explore what happens when you ‘wake up’. Central to this week is a Body and Breath meditation which stabilises the mind and helps you to see what unfolds when you focus your full awareness on just one thing at a time. Another shorter practices help you to reconnect with the world through your senses more fully.

Lesson 2- Awareness of the body
Week Two uses beside other practices a simple Body Scan meditation to help explore the difference between thinking about a sensation and experiencing it. Many of us spend so much of our time living ‘in our heads’ that we almost forget about the world experienced directly through our senses. The Body Scan meditation helps to train your mind so that you can focus your attention directly on your bodily sensations without judging or analysing what you find.

Lesson 3– Mind and body in movement
Week Three builds on the previous sessions with some non-strenuous Mindful Movement practices. The movements, even though they are not difficult in themselves, allow you to see more clearly what your mental and physical limits are, and how you react when you reach them. You’ll gradually learn that the body is sensitive to emerging unsettling feelings when you are becoming too goal-focused, which allows you to see how tense, angry or unhappy you become when things don’t turn out the way you want.

Lesson 4- Thoughts and emotions are not facts
In week four you’ll learn to see your thoughts and emotions as mental events that come and go just like sounds. You will find out that they are not objective descriptions of reality and develop a ‘decentred’ stance to your thoughts and feelings, seeing them come and go in the space of awareness. This will enhance clarity of awareness and encourage you to take a different perspective on your busyness and troubles.

Lesson 5- Dealing with difficulties
Week Five introduces practices, that help you to face (rather than avoid) the difficulties that arise in your life from time to time. Many of life’s problems can be left to resolve themselves, but some need to be faced with a spirit of openness, curiosity and compassion. If you don’t embrace such difficulties, then they can increasingly blight your life.

Lesson 6- Loving-kindness vs. self-criticism
Week Six explores, how negative ways of thinking gradually dissipate when you actively cultivate loving-kindness and compassion through practices and acts of generosity in daily life. Cultivating friendship towards yourself, including for what you see as your ‘failures’ and ‘inadequacies’, is the cornerstone of stress management and wellbeing.

Lesson 7- Finding joy in life
Week Seven explores the close connection between our daily routines, activities, behaviour and
moods. When we are stressed and exhausted, we often give up the things that ‘nourish’ us to make
time for the more ‘pressing’ and ‘important’ things. Week Seven focuses on practices that help you make increasingly skilful choices, so that you can do more of the things that nourish you, and limit the downsides of those things that drain and deplete your inner resources.

Lesson 8- Mindfulness in daily life
Week Eight helps you to weave mindfulness into your daily life, so that it’s always there when you
need it the most. Appreciating the benefits that you have experienced so far, and formulating plans to maintain the momentum of your practice will help you to develop the motivation to take care of yourself in future.

 

If you are interested in the program, contact Andrej Jelenik andrej [dot] jelenik [at] mindandbody [dot] sk