During an 8-week MBSR Course, you will be emailed a handbook after each weekly mindfulness training session with details of your weekly home practice. The handbook elaborates on subjects that are discussed during the mindfulness training session and offers you the opportunity for self-reflection and to process your experience of mindfulness.
You will be given Mindfulness exercises to practice throughout each week, such as Bodyscan, Mindfulness of breath and Mindful Movement, all of which give you the opportunity to experiment with different ways of practicing mindfulness, so that you can begin to gradually integrate mindfulness into your everyday life.
Home practice can be difficult to ‘fit in’ to begin with. We have such busy lives that we often find ourselves already squeezing in more activities than we feel we can cope with. It might be useful to consider altering the phrase ‘fit in’ to ‘make time’ to practice mindfulness. This can have a positive effect on how you manage your time.
Self-reflection and journaling can be useful activities to do during the 8-week course, as a method of acknowledging any thoughts or feelings that arise from the training. If you are the type of person who journals anyway, this might come easy to you, but if this feels like a challenge, it can be useful to note down your resistance or discomfort with the process of journaling and self-reflection – Often in Mindfulness, it’s useful to ask ourselves, “what’s going on for me, right now?” and to sit and wait for the answers to appear. The answers might appear as pictures or words in your mind, or you might register a blank, where nothing appeared. Whatever occurred for you is OK and we begin to learn to be OK with whatever is, or is not there at any time.
There is strong evidence from participant’s feedback to suggest that the more a person takes part in home practice, the more benefits they experience from the MBSR course, short and longer term. Jon Kabat-Zinn says, “Make sure you weave your parachute every day, rather than leave it to the time you have to jump out of the plane.”
Practicing Mindfulness regularly can prepare us for challenging times. Home practice is an important element of the MBSR course.