Mindfulness seems to be a word that is heard more and more, but what are the benefits? Some people regard it as a fad while others feel the positive effects of it. The wide range of views may have something to do with the wide range of mindfulness courses, in terms of the structure and length of time of the course. It is also relevant to consider the mindfulness teacher – do they embody mindfulness or are they teaching by rote? One of the reasons that we hear about mindfulness more often is that there is much more research into the area compared to a decade ago. We are now starting to see the evidence that identifies particular benefits for those that engage in mindfulness practice. Much of the research looks at individuals who have undergone a mindfulness course that is either based on or closely follows the 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course that was developed 35 years ago by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The MBSR course involves training in various practices of mindfulness meditation, along with elements of gentle yoga which nowadays tends to be referred to as mindful movement. The course consists of eight weekly sessions of two and a half hours each, with one full day between weeks 6 and 7.
So, here are some of the things that a MBSR course can have a positive effect on:
In short, an MBSR course will allow you to become familiar with the workings of your mind, and get in touch with a different way of knowing yourself and the world. This can lead to having greater freedom to choose the life you want to live.
Graham Matthews MIACP
I'm a professionally qualified Counsellor and Mindfulness Teacher working privately in South Dublin. I am fully accredited with IACP. From time to time, I blog about counselling related topics, mindfulness and other things that interest me.