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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 31 October 2010
Mindfulness is paying close attention to whatever you experience in the here and now. It's does not necessarily mean doing things slowly, it simply means cultivating nonjudgmental awareness of your life one moment and one breath at a time.
Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein's insightful and practical exercises in "A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook" brings mindfulness into your daily life. Their helpful step-by-step training includes mindful breathing, eating, walking, self-inquiry, interpersonal communication, meditation and rest. The workbook provides a perfect companion to Jon Kabat-Zinn's book "Full Catastrophe Living." Kabat-Zinn, a molecular biologist with a long-term meditation practice, founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979. Today there are over 250 hospitals around the country and many more around the globe who use the mindful-based therapies. Unlike concentration meditation where the focus is on a mantra or concept
mindfulness meditation focuses on the body and mind in the present.
The Mindfulness practice, originally an ancient Buddhist meditative discipline, is not only used for mental and emotional well being today but also helps people deal with stress, pain and illness.
Mindfulness flourishes when the following eight attitudes are present: Beginner's mind, non-judgment, acknowledgement, non-striving, equanimity, letting be, self-reliance and self-compassion.
Stahl and Goldstein say you can't always control or eliminate stressors but you can engage with them differently. The answer isn't to turn away but towards the mind traps like negative self talk, interpretations and thought patterns. The six negative thought patterns are: thinking of worst case scenarios called "catastrophizing," exaggerating the negative and discounting the positive, assuming without actual evidence called "mind reading," being the eternal expert, holding others responsible for your pain through "blaming" and feeling guilt and disappointment because of a list of unbreakable rules called "shoulds."
Other mindfulness tools include:
Observing thoughts to see how busy minds mostly rehearse and rehash instead of being in the present. The body scan, investigating and working with pain, tension and emotions in the body.
Formal sitting mindfulness meditation that focuses on the breath, sensations, sounds, thoughts and emotions.
Mindful lying and standing yoga to bring awareness to the breath, movement, posture, thoughts and emotions. Yoga, an inherently physical practice, brings together the body and mind and keeps bones, joints, muscles, nerves and organs healthy, supple and flexible.
The "Transforming fear through loving-kindness meditation" helps access compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity to dissolve egocentricity, greed, resentment, jealousy and hatred creating more spaciousness and freedom in the mind and heart.
Interpersonal mindfulness brings nonjudgmental present moment awareness to your interactions with others. This includes mindful listening and the "Aikido" of communication. Aikido, a physical movement called entering and blending allows you to respond to an attack with a skillful deflection so no one gets hurt. There are four steps: "Align" and enter through empathy, (What's their point of view?), "Agree" on shared concerns (I'm also disappointed), "Redirect" focuses on shared goals, (What can we do to make it better?) and "Resolve" explores mutually agreeable compromises or agrees to disagree.
Stahl and Goldstein's groundbreaking program will not only help you alleviate stress but gently invites you to find "peace with your own soul" and discover the treasure within you.
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on 13 May 2013
I bought the book to assist me in introducing mindfulness in my work with patients in palliative care and neurological rehab. It appears to cover everything that I need. It's worth noting that there is a link to the audio files that are included in the CD that accompanies the paper version. Other reviews state that the audio link is not there but it appears to have been added since those reviews were posted. I've checked the link and downloaded all the files: they're fine.

The book itself covers all of the commonly-used aspects of mindfulness practice from the raisin exercise to the check-in, body scan, breathing meditations and yoga practices. The format is designed to be accessible to the general public and, being accessibly written, includes many resources that clinicians can use with patients as the basis of treatment programmes or for patients' self-management guides, including reflective exercises and journals. It seems to contain everything I need for working with my clients in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-use format.
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on 28 December 2013
I love this book.

Before this I was having problems with stress and depression upon waking but after practising the step by step guide I am able to have much more peaceful days. The walking meditation and the breathing meditation are especially powerful when used first thing in the morning.

I recommend mindfulness in the morning as it sets a pattern of thinking for the rest of the day. I also try to do a meditation before bed which helps me sleep.

Well written and well explained.
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on 7 December 2011
This is an excellent workbook. It is clearly written and guides the reader through the principles behind mindfulness, its benefits and practical exercises and encourages you to journal your own experiences and reflections. It has been a helpful resource for my own practice of mindfulness and also as a resource in my clinical practice.
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on 30 October 2012
The book should link to audio links which are an important aspect of the workbook program. It does not. Amazon say that its a known problem and that they will make this clear in the product description. The workbook is really a good buy but the store admin needs to get this type of problem resolved. It does not appear at the time of writing this review that an attempt has been made to make it clear to customers that there is a problem.
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on 28 January 2013
A must for anyone specialising in stress management, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MBCBT), however it works well for anyone suffering from stress themselves.
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on 15 November 2013
If you are ready for this, MBSR can help you attain a more balanced, focused, relaxed and loving approach to living. Although it may come across as airy-fairy hemp munching, this is the most practical of guides. Sort your life out yourself and do it without spending oodles of cash on mystic la-la. Enjoy a holiday from your worries and get back to feeling good in your own skin.
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on 11 March 2012
An excellent buy offering valuable insight into mindfulness and a superbly structured programme and accompanying CD providing the reader with a very solid foundation in the understanding and application of mindfulness. With instruction for meditation, yoga activity and the many other ways in which mindfulness can be weaved into everyday life, as a counsellor I have firsthandedly witnessed amazing results of the potential of this to turn lives around. An absolute must for those struggling with stress and anxiety!
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on 20 June 2014
This is a great workbook for anyone who would like to practice mindfulness.
It is a great resource for teachers and researchers too.
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on 17 July 2012
Well written, compact but easy to read. Truly my best friend at the moment. Shows how life can be truly enjoyed.
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