Mindfulness courses: learn to deal with stress and increase your joyfulness

By Anne Sexton - Last update

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Mindfulness is a form of meditation. Practitioners learn to focus their attention and develop compassionate awareness of the present moment. As a result, they accept the now, without judgement or criticism.

The history mindfulness

The practice of mindfulness has roots in Buddhist teachings. However, contemporary mindfulness courses are based on the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society. He was a student of Buddhist teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Seung Sahn. Kabat-Zinn integrated their teachings with scientific research to develop mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).

There have been hundreds of studies examining the effects of MBSR. It has been found to have a positive effect on general health and wellbeing, stress management and anxiety.

Although mindfulness has Buddhist roots, it is not a religious or spiritual practice. Therefore, it is not necessary to be a Buddhist to practice this form of meditation.

Mindfulness courses for personal use

Mindfulness teaches us to switch off our auto-pilot and engage fully with the world around us. We accept what is happening in the present without judgement. Through this, we learn to accept our feelings, anxieties and flaws with loving kindness.

When something happens that upsets or angers us, we react emotionally. Sometimes this means lashing out. Mindfulness teaches us to break free from these negative habits. As a result, it helps us deal with stress, become calmer and more peaceful. This has a positive effect on our wellbeing as well as our personal, family and professional relationships.

The practice of mindfulness can also bring an increased awareness of joyfulness of our lives. By learning to focus on the present, we can fully experience the small moments of happiness, such as birdsong or the taste of food. We often miss these moments because we are thinking about the past or worrying about the future.

If you do a mindfulness course, you will learn the practical techniques to be more at one with the present. Most courses that teach mindfulness for personal use run for 8 to 10 weeks.

Mindfulness courses for professional use

Most mindfulness courses teach you how to be more mindful in your daily life. However, health care providers, therapists and other professionals may use mindfulness in their practices. Mindfulness can be particularly useful for mental health professionals.

Courses for professionals teach you how to apply mindfulness in your own life as well as integrate it into your work. Therefore, they teach both the theoretical and practical aspects of mindfulness. In addition, they will teach practitioners how to use mindfulness to support their clients.

To find the right mindfulness course for you, have a look here.



Anne Sexton

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