Local Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course offers effective tools
Caring for our mental health at this particular moment in time is essential to our well-being. The Covid-19 crisis, which has shut down our economy and much of our society and forced so many people to shelter in place, is creating a wave of angst and fear about the future. Uncertainty can knock the wind out of our sails for any of us, but it’s most acutely felt by those of us who suffer with chronic anxiety and depression.
Next week, local meditation teacher Kari Lyons-Price will start and eight-week online course in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, an evidence-based approach pioneered by Jon Kabat-Zinn that is being used in health care, education and in communities to help people develop coping skills.
Lyons-Price discovered the power of mindfulness — the art of staying present without judgment to what is happening in the present moment — when she was in her 20s and recovering from a serious skiing injury. She started paying to her breathing and found that her pain level subsided by about 50 percent and that motivated her to more deeply explore the mind-body connection.
This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, because I have lived for decades with chronic anxiety attack with mood swings yo-yoing from calm and collected to completely overwhelmed. It’s exceedingly difficult to function effectively in business or in one’s personal life with those conditions. Mindfulness practices have been an integral of my own journey through anxiety and depression. It’s made such a difference for me.
Lyons-Price is in the process of completing her training to teach MBSR at the present time. The MBSR course is designed to give people the tools to stay present with difficult emotions and feelings and not go into fight-or-flight mode.
In this culture, most of us spend a lot of time ruminating about what happened in the past or worried about what might happen in the future, which robs us of being present for life — whether that is enjoying a beautiful sunset, walking in nature or the simple pleasure of relationships.
Lyons-Price told me that the practices have helped her learn how to be open to various kinds of pain that all humans feel at one time or another — “to learn how to remain open to it, accept it, and let it go. It’s a tool I couldn’t live without or wouldn’t want to,” she added.
“What I notice for myself, as a member of this human community, is that it is truly a challenge to care for myself first before I want to help everyone around me, according to Lyons-Price. “My point is this. Help yourself first by putting on your own “self-care” mask, breathe deeply and learn some tools that could improve the quality of your life. You won’t regret it.”
She’s offering the eight-week course and asking people to pay what they can afford — from $25 to $300 — to be held online using Zoom starting Wednesday, April 22, from 6:00-8:30 p.m. It’s a marvelous program that has been proven to be helpful for people who wish to spend more time living in the present moment.
Those who are interested in the course can reach Lyons-Price at email@example.com or by phone at (509) 393-0585. Here’s a Facebook Event notice about the course: https://www.facebook.com/events/206287910685325/?event_time_id=206287914018658