Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can decrease stress, improve well-being, and ease symptoms of anxiety, depression and chronic pain.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can decrease stress, improve well-being, and ease symptoms of anxiety, depression and chronic pain.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can decrease stress, improve well-being, and ease symptoms of anxiety, depression and chronic pain.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a set of mindfulness meditation techniques designed to strengthen the mind-body connection.

It was developed more than 40 years ago by the scientist Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD. Since then, researchers have found that it can decrease stress and improve well-being. Mindfulness-based stress reduction can also help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety and chronic pain.

What to Expect During Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Each mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) session is eight weeks long and includes the following:

  • Eight weekly classes, each two and a half hours long (typically held on a weeknight morning or evening)
  • One daylong retreat (typically held on a weekend during the sixth week of the session)
  • A home practice manual
  • Guided meditation recordings

During your classes and retreat, you'll learn stress reduction techniques through guided instructions and group dialogue. These include mindfulness meditation, gentle stretching, yoga and others.

Your instructors at Rush, who are specially trained in MBSR, will also give you exercises to do on your own. These exercises are designed to help you integrate what you learn into your everyday life.

Benefits of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Research on MBSR has found that it has many benefits for people who have conditions that get worse with stress.

Reduction in chronic pain and other symptoms

MBSR can improve symptoms of the following conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression

Improved quality of life

MBSR can also help with the following:

  • Reducing stress caused by major or everyday stressors
  • Increasing mental focus
  • Empowering you to play an active role in your own health and well-being

Is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Right for You?

Mindfulness-based stress reduction might be right for you if any of the following is true:

  • You want to improve your ability to regulate your emotions
  • You want to decrease the stress you feel on a day-to-day basis
  • You want to improve your focus
  • Your health care provider has recommended MBSR as a treatment for anxiety, depression, chronic pain or another disorder

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) isn't a substitute for seeing a mental health care provider. If you've been diagnosed with a mental illness, a Rush psychiatrist or psychologist can help determine which treatments are best for you. If you don't yet have a diagnosis, seeing a primary care provider at Rush is often a good place to start.

Rush Excellence in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

  • Affordable online courses: For your safety and convenience, we now offer online sessions at a cost of $225. For information about future dates, contact Lisa Selefski at (312) 942-0118 or lisa_selefski@rush.edu.
  • Expert instructors: Mindfulness-based stress reduction instructors at Rush have gone through a rigorous training process. This ensures you'll learn mindfulness techniques in exactly the way that's been proven to reduce stress in study after study.
  • Mindfulness training for veterans, at no cost: Instructors at Rush offer mindfulness groups designed for veterans as part of the Road Home Program's intensive outpatient care program. They are separate from Rush's regular MBSR classes, but use many of the same techniques. The intensive outpatient care program is available at no cost to veterans, regardless of ability to pay.