ABC Catalyst filmed an MBSR class in Sydney in late 2018, and this screened just a few weeks ago. I'd been very curious about what they would produce, and it was great to sit down and watch it. I was impressed at how much they were able to capture from the 8 weeks, all the personal stories and research, in just an hour. The courage and determination of the participants was humbling, and I found myself cheering them on throughout the program.
It's worth watching if you've done an MBSR course before and worth watching if you are contemplating one. I won’t give away too many spoilers but will share 2 things that stood out for me.
The meditations in an MBSR course can be challenging, and at first, we might feel that our mind is wilder and darker than ever - a not-unusual feeling when we begin to pay more attention to it.
Life is a rollercoaster of both wanted experiences and unwanted ones, joys and sadnesses. Mindfulness won’t stop the crap parts of life from happening to us. However, it can help us to manage our response to them, without unintentionally making things worse for ourselves by overthinking, ruminating, self-criticising and catastrophising. It helps us to notice the small pleasures in life that we so often overlook when we feel overwhelmed, sad or stressed.
2. The proof is in the research.
It’s a big ask to commit to a mindfulness course especially a course like MBSR that asks you to practice for about 45 minutes a day. We are all so busy and squeezing in a block of daily practice takes real commitment. It can even necessitate letting other things go. Many people are motivated to practice on the back of positive findings in MBSR research.
It’s heartening to find that the research conducted in this program aligns with the extensive research already published about MBSR in numerous medical, educational and scientific journals.
The research shows that regular practice can:
- reduce the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression;
- help to regulate emotions;
- promote a better quality of life;
- change the structure of the brain, assisting in an improved ability to manage pain; and
- increase your attention and concentration skills.
What’s not to like! These measurable benefits can be available to all of us.
If you haven't watched the program yet and would like to, hop on to ABC IView. To watch a short excerpt with just one participant click here! Enjoy! And if you'd like to come along to a HeadRest MBSR course book in for May. Book now for the early bird discount www.headrest.com.au