An 8 Week Mindfulness Course to Uplift your Life by Elevating your Thoughts
Mindfulness is a meditation practice and way of living that promotes health and vitality. Studies show that the benefits of a mindfulness practice are seen in (https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner):
- Weight Management
- Substance Abuse
- Chronic Pain
- Stress & Anxiety
This 8 Week Online Course is a self-guided program that allows you to work at your own pace while providing you the foundational tools to begin your Mindfulness practice.
Week 1 - Attention - Where focus goes, energy flows. Learn about the power of presence and how to improve focus. The objective of this first session is to familiarize participants with the two most important building blocks of mindfulness; attention and the present moment. At the heart of mindfulness is the cultivation of attention to the present moment. The most common reason why people fail to pay attention to the present moment is that they are occupied by thinking, often about the past or the future. In this session, the role of thoughts and their relationship with the present moment are introduced.
Week 2 - Autopilot - Learn what causes unwanted habits and how to change them. Get unstuck! The goal of this session is to clarify the relationship between mindfulness and automaticity. The reason for this session to be at the beginning of the training is because most problems that people experience involve automatic patterns or habits. Without becoming aware of these patterns, change is difficult if not impossible. Paying mindful attention to automatic reactions and routine patterns of thinking and behavior is a powerful way to decrease their impact and make room for choice. Participants will experience the automatic nature of their thoughts and how these thoughts in turn automatically cause emotions to emerge
Week 3 - Judgement - Criticism whether to yourself or others causes stress in the mind and body. Learn the tools to release this toxic habit. An important element of mindfulness is “open awareness”. Open awareness refers to a quality of consciousness that is not evaluative or actively shaped by pre-existing ideas or intentions, but is fully receptive to allowing the experience to simply occur “as it is”. In this session, open awareness is introduced by addressing the evaluative nature of the mind. While open awareness involves non-judgment, most of our daily awareness is clouded by countless judgments and evaluations. By becoming aware of these judgments, an important obstacle of open awareness is removed. In this session, participants experience the judgmental nature of their mind and learn about the problematic aspects of judgments.
Week 4 - Loving Kindness - The practice of loving kindness restores health and vitality. Experience different techniques to cultivate a natural biochemical response in your body that is ideal for restoration and happiness.
Week 5 - Acceptance -Mindfulness promotes an accepting stance towards experiences. Rather than fighting or avoiding experiences, mindfulness requires willingness to experience them. Acceptance, however, is a complex and paradoxical construct. This session aims to clarify the essence of acceptance by learning to apply acceptance to difficult emotions and by explaining the goal of acceptance.
Week 6 - Compassion - The aim of this session is to introduce self-compassion. Mindfulness involves a kind and self-compassionate stance toward the self. Rather than a self-compassionate attitude, many people suffer from a non-accepting and self-critical relationship with the self. The nature of this relationship is perhaps most clearly reflected by the inner critic: an internal voice that criticizes the self. In this session, participants become acquainted with their inner critic and learn how to effectively cultivate a friendly and caring relationship with the self by increasing awareness of the inner critic and practicing self-compassion through meditation and self-caring action.
Week 7 - Goals/Ego - The goal of this session is to clarify the relationship between mindfulness and the self. At the deepest level, mindfulness practice cultivates a different relationship with the self. The observing stance that becomes stronger after repeated and consistent mindfulness practice allows participants to take a step back from all kinds of thoughts, including identity-related thoughts. Identity, which can be described as a rather static and thought-based story of “me”, makes room for a more dynamic sense of self, which can be described as an ever-present observer. This observer is aware of the stories about the self and it is thus by definition different from the stories themselves. In this session, several exercises allow participants to experience the difference between the self as a story and the self as an observer.An excessive focus on the future is perhaps one of the most common obstacles of the cultivation of mindful awareness. The default mode for many people is a “doing mode” that is constantly focused on reaching goals and the future. In this session, mindfulness is introduced as the key for finding a balance between being in the present moment and planning for the future. Participants will experience the pitfalls of an excessive future focus and explore the benefits of a grateful relationship with the present moment.
Week 8 - Integration - Develop the practice of mindfulness in your everyday life. Mindfulness is a multi-facetted construct, and an understanding of how the different processes that mindfulness involves work together, can be regarded as an essential insight. In this final session, participants will learn the connection between those different processes. An additional aim of session 8 is to focus on ways to continue integrating mindfulness in daily life. The past 7 sessions can best be regarded as a starting point of an endless journey. In this session, participants are invited to create a personal plan for sustainably incorporating mindfulness in their daily lives after completing this training.