Welcome and Introduction
Hello and welcome to your MBSR course! My name is Günter. I am a certified MBSR coach and currently a mindfulness instructor at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich. Over the next eight weeks, we will dive into the world of mindfulness-based stress reduction together.
I want to thank you for choosing our online course. But you can also say thank you to yourself! And that’s for doing something good for yourself. So let’s get right into it!
We’ll start with an exercise called Minute of Silence.
Minute of silent
Before you can really start and begin with the exercises, I have the most important information about the process for you.
The “MBSR Online Course” consists of eight weekly sessions of 90 minutes each. This means that you will have one and a half hours of guided practice time per session. This consists of practical mindfulness exercises, theoretical input and a quiz on the content, as well as your current stress levels. Upon completion of one session, you will be given access to the next week’s session. This keeps your focus on your tasks in the here and now, so you don’t have to worry prematurely about later content. However, the units you have already completed will of course still be available to you. In addition to the 90 minutes per week, we recommend that you do one of the key exercises each day in the form of suggested exercises. You will reflect on the suggested exercises the following week. You will learn the exercises in the corresponding audios and videos, so that you can practice them flexibly between the weekly units. These open modules and the free writing you will learn through the exercise suggestions will help you integrate mindfulness into your daily life beyond the end of the course. We also want to make the course as enjoyable and educational for you as possible with the mix of guided practice assignments and interactive quizzes. Our goal is to teach you mindfulness and its benefits in a way that is understandable and practical, so that you can incorporate it into your daily life and self-regulate it over the long term. You can thus learn that everything you feel is okay, but you have the power and support to change something should you feel the need to do so. You are not forced to make any changes or do any work here, but should do what feels right and healthy for you. If you get stuck and need help, feel free to check out the FAQs in the support section. If that doesn’t help you, you can always reach me via the contact form below the FAQs. You can also use the form for technical questions.
Now that everything important has been clarified, let’s finally get started and I can tell you something about the term “mindfulness”: Mindfulness was originally an ancient Buddhist concept. Today, the term is defined as “intense attention” or “presence of mind.” One focuses one’s attention on the present moment – in a way that is both open and accepting.
This includes noticing thoughts, sensations, emotions, bodily processes, and generally everything that is happening instantaneously. However, we merely perceive without falling into a familiar pattern:
Namely, valuing. All that is perceived is simply allowed to be there. And if you notice that you sometimes divide things into “good and bad”, then that is also okay! Relax and free yourself from the idea that everything has to work perfectly.
Everyone can learn to perceive the present in an accepting and non-judgmental way and use it for themselves. This state can help you to get to know yourself, your thoughts and feelings better and to reduce stress.
And how do we do that? I would like to give you an overview of how the course is structured. Each week you will do one session. On which day is up to you. In each session we will learn different exercises and get to know important content. We will learn more about what stress actually is, how it works and how we can counter it with mindfulness. It will be especially important to apply the knowledge you have learned to your everyday life and to integrate the exercises into your daily life.
Therefore, between the course units, I invite you to do one of the exercises we learned together every day. Because it’s true: according to many studies, MBSR helps to reduce stress and increase well-being. The more regularly you practice, the greater the positive effect. Your own commitment is needed here. Do something good for yourself and try to do an exercise every day.
Of course, you don’t have to practice alone! For each exercise you will find a tutorial as an audio file. Just click and we’ll do the rest together!
Before we get started, I’d like to give you a few tips along the way:
- Sometimes intense emotions can come up during exercises. If you feel uncomfortable with this, you can always interrupt the exercise. Therefore, always listen to your inner self and your personal needs in the course units and during exercises. By the way, this is also a good tip for the entire duration of the course – and also for the time afterwards!
- Be good to yourself! Self-care is the keyword here. Look after yourself and consciously do something good for yourself. This can be restful sleep, a delicious meal, a long walk or something completely individual. You know yourself best here!
- At this point I’ll say it again because it’s so important: for your own sake, do an exercise as “homework” every day if possible. There may be some internal resistance as you progress through the course. It is part of the learning process to learn to deal with this resistance and to meet it in a friendly way.
Before we really start, you can now answer a few questions about your current emotional state and stress level. This will be repeated at the beginning of each week.
I am happy that we will dive into the world of mindfulness together for the next 8 weeks and I wish you a lot of fun with today’s first course session!