Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

What is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction?

Calming Mindfulness StonesMindfulness-based stress reduction, or MSRB, is a therapeutic program intended to relieve stress and anxiety, promote a sense of calmness, and teach you how to navigate negative emotions and thoughts more effectively.

MBSR consists of two main components: mindfulness meditation and yoga. The mindfulness of these components teaches you to connect your body and mind and keep both in the present moment. By staying in the present moment, you learn to purposefully pay attention to your current emotions and sensations and avoid worrying about the future or regretting the past. Mindfulness also helps teach you to be more comfortable accepting and working through difficult mindsets. 

What Typically Happens in an Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Session


The typical MBSR program is a 2.5 hour class once a week for 8 weeks. During these sessions, a new mindfulness technique is introduced by the instructor and practiced by the class. These techniques can include: 

  • Breathing techniques
  • Group Dialogue 
  • Meditation 
  • Yoga
  • Specific techniques to practice at home / outside of the classroom
  • Journaling

The participants in these classes are experiencing a broad range of different obstacles and symptoms, which is why the purpose of each class is to supply and teach general wellness techniques for your mind and body that you are then able to customize to optimize the benefits of the techniques. 

Who Can MBSR Help?

Mindfulness-based stress reduction programs have been shown to help those experiencing:

  • Talking about feelingsAnxiety and panic attacks 
  • Chronic illnesses 
  • Depression 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Grief 
  • Sleep problems 
  • PTSD 
  • Stress 
  • Chronic headaches 
  • Gastrointestinal issues 
  • Adrenal Fatigue

Practicing MBSR in Your Daily Life

If you can’t make it to a class or have difficulty finding a program, there are still strategies you can practice at home that promote mindfulness-based stress reduction:

mindfulness walking

When you go outside, pause and reflect on the how your body feels in the environment. Think about the temperature, the sun, the wind, et cetera. and how it feels ON your body and IN your body.

Practice meditation. Find a comfortable position, in a quiet room and allow yourself to pause and sit with your thoughts without judgement 

Take a walk, focus on your breathing. Notice how it feels when you inhale and allow the cold air to fill your lungs vs. when you exhale and allow the hot air leave your body.

When you eat a meal, slow down and focus on all the tastes and sensations. Notice the textures on your tongue and the smell of food filling your nose. 

Do body scans throughout the day. Move slowly from your head to your feet, focusing your awareness on one part of your body at a time and noting how it feels. 

Counselling and Mindfulness Based Techniques

If you need something more tuned to your specific needs, different versions of MBSR programs may be what you are looking for; such as programs specifically for addiction and relationship enhancement. You can connect with on of our therapists to see what the best fit is for you. Find out more about how individual counselling works with Mindfulness based techniques here.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction programs can be a wonderful class for those experiencing mental and physical stressors. The techniques taught to you can continue to be used daily to create lasting increases in sleep quality, awareness, memory, mood, focus, and much more.



Ackerman, C. (2017, February 19). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: The Ultimate MBSR Guide. Positive Psychology. https://positivepsychology.com/mindfulness-based-stress-reduction-mbsr/


Centre for Mindfulness Studies. (n.d.). MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction). https://www.mindfulnessstudies.com/personal/stress/mbsr-2/


Harold, L. (2023, January 03). Health Benefits of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. VeryWell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/benefits-of-mindfulness-based-stress-reduction-88861 


HealthLink BC. (n.d.). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/mindfulness-based-stress-reduction

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