Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction


Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. This kind of attention nurtures awareness, a different mode of mind to our usual doing mode. With this practice comes greater clarity, patience, acceptance and ease. It allows us to gain access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation, and healing.
— Jon Kabat-Zinn

About Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)



Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is an approach to self care that can support those dealing with stress, pain and/or illness.  Although it has roots in, and draws from the traditions of, Buddhism, mindfulness-based stress reduction is a scientific program designed to help people manage pain as well as personal life issues in a secular format.


The 8 week MBSR program was established by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. It has been tested and research for over 30 years with incredible results.  MBSR practices not only reduce the negative effects of chronic stress and pain, but also help people learn a different way of relating to self and others, with greater compassion, acceptance and curiosity. People just like you are are finding how cultivating a mindful presence can increase resilience and allow for more effective coping.   


MBSR uses a combination of meditation, movement/yoga and breathing techniques to help people become more acutely aware of their bodies, thoughts and feelings. Through formal and informal mindfulness practices, participants become more aware of sensations in the body and how these sensations might relate to their stress and pain.  Mindfulness practices teaches how to step out of our usual ‘doing mode of mind’ and and into a different mode of mind, called ‘being’.  Just being, paying attention to how things are right now, is an invitation to step out of the busy, evaluating, and often critical mode that shows up when we are ‘really stressed out’.  It involves meeting the challenges of life in a different way: by bringing gentleness, acceptance and compassion to what we are experiencing.


Why is this important?  It is important because our thinking underlies a lot of our stress.  When we start to pay attention to our habitual thinking, we may find that our thinking is often engaged in ruminating over the past, or worrying about the future.  It is not very often that we find that our attention is in the present moment. By practicing moment-to-moment awareness, one becomes able to explore their inner world of mind/body, recognize and mobilize their inner resources and take better care of one’s self.  


“Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto.” Centre for Mindfulness Studies



I’m getting better at relaxing and concentrating.  This helps me realize how uptight I and my body have been for most of my life.  I’m draining the effects of childhood sexual abuse - FINALLY.

Patient 11


I’m discovering that mornings are the worst time of day for my body aches and pains and that the body scan almost always makes room or alleviates some of my pain.  Patient 6


Handling stress has been greatly aided with discovery awareness.  I am trying to be aware of stressful situations by responding instead of reacting.  Patient 5



The opportunity to speak about self reflection and examination is useful to me.  The input from others show me what I experience is not unusual. I feel better as a result.  It seems very useful for me. Patient 1


I was concerned about sitting every day but that has not been a problem.  The body scan has been a wonderful relief for my lower back. Patient 1


My mind is calmer when small things don’t go right.  When big things go wrong, I am able to recover myself and my centre faster.   Patient 1


My hyperactive busyness is distracting and gobbling time from the practice, this is likely an indication that i am using the busyness as a distraction/escape. Patient 1


I am becoming more aware of my thoughts.  Reminding myself not to have judgement...that’s a big one for me.  Patient 3


I am feeling more relaxed and learning how to separate my emotions from my physical pain.   Patient 3


I am finding out more about myself regarding feelings I wasn’t aware of.  After my home practice, I feel better and alert. It makes me more determined to keep going, I know that this will help me.  Patient 9


It’s great that the facilitator doesn’t make any judgements and gives us alternative ways to do some things.  She gives us our own space to think and speak, in turn, we often discover things about ourselves we are not aware of.  Patient 9


[I discovered] I can just sit and relax (its ok to do that!) Patient 4