What is a mindfulness course?
A mindfulness course is a training program of 8 weeks in length, in which you use a standardized basic program in a group to learn how to use mindfulness techniques.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a mental state which you can learn so you can live more happily with less stress. The original mindfulness method was inspired by techniques and insights from Buddhism.
What are the advantages of the mindfulness course in a group?
A mindfulness course in a group makes you go to your group each week, so you take the time to practise the exercises in peace. The social context helps some people to build up the discipline which you need to get results.
What are the disadvantages of a mindfulness course in a group?
A mindfulness course in a group has the large disadvantage that you learn mindfulness in a way that separates it from daily life. As a doctor and stress guide I often find that people who once followed a course in mindfulness were really happy about it, but that they gave up the discipline of their daily mindfulness exercise and life after a few months.
How can you neutralize these disadvantages of the mindfulness course?
One option is that you build up social control by finding friends and family who do the mindfulness course together with you, so that you remain supported and motivated. Another option is to integrate mindfulness into a global approach together with other psychological techniques. This can only be done with the help of a doctor, psychologist psychiatrist, or stress guide who has had more than one type of education, and who does not only offer mindfulness courses but rather offers personal guidance. This integrated approach is unfortunately hard to find. A third option is following an online self-help program which integrates techniques of mindfulness in a global approach which suits your problem.
Mindfulness course via an online self-help program?
In the online self-help program 15 Minutes 4 Me, we integrated mindfulness courses together with principles from solution focused therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, systematic therapy, Ericksonian hypnotherapy, and several other techniques.
What are the advantages of a mindfulness program online?
The way in which we integrated exercises from the mindfulness course into the self-help program 15 Minutes 4 Me has the advantage that you are looking at yourself for 15 minutes per day in a mindful and solution focused manner. We have found, from the reactions from our participants, that they find that this daily self-reflection becomes a subconscious habit after a few weeks. Mindful and solution focused thinking become so automatic that you no longer need to think about it. Also, participants find that not having to leave the house and instead using their computer, tablet, or iPad, helps them to stay motivated. If they feel the need of a reminder after a few months they can sign up for another month and pick up where they left off in order to train their mindful approach more thoroughly.
Test if you have symptoms of stress, burnout, depression, or anxiety.
Would you like to know if a mindfulness course or online self-help program could help you? Then fill out the free online self-test which helps you to see if you suffer from symptoms of stress, burnout, anxiety, or depression.
Paul Koeck, MD