Online Mindfulness Courses: What Is it All About?
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It’s June 2010, more than 18 million people are watching the NBA Finals, as Los Angeles Lakers, defeat the Celtics in seven games. When Kobe Bryant finally lifts the trophy, people go crazy. And Phil Jackson, their head coach, seems just as happy winning his 11th NBA title as if it was the first one.
How can he win so many championships? Wouldn’t you want to know what’s Phil’s secret? Well, Oprah asked the one-dollar question and coach Jackson revealed his key to success: mindfulness! For him, mindfulness is the most important thing to build a great team.
He thinks that the mental strength developed through mindfulness, allows his players to focus. So, when things go wrong on the court, he encourages them to sit on the bench, take a deep breath and reset themselves through mindfulness.
Sounds miraculous, right? But the truth is that one doesn’t win 11 championships out of miracles. So, how does mindfulness actually work?
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, body and surroundings. It can be practiced in many different ways for many different reasons. There are several online mindfulness courses where you can learn how to apply these techniques to your daily life with the guidance of experts.
In this article, you’ll learn how joining an online mindfulness course can help you reduce stress, make you more effective at work and become a happier person overall.
A brief history of mindfulness
Mindfulness has its roots in many ancient religions and traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which means people have been practicing it for thousands of years. However, most modern Western practitioners and teachers hold a Buddhist perspective to it.
The arrival of mindfulness in the US is attributed to Jon Kabat-Zinn. In 1979, he founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. There, he developed the Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program (MBSR).
Since then, thousands of studies have documented the physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness. Plus, many programs have been created adapting the MBSR model for prisons, veterans’ centers, hospitals and schools.
READ MORE: Take a break with an online yoga retreat.
Benefits of mindfulness
Harvard researchers found that people tend to feel more stressed when their mind wanders. Hence, people were happier when they were focused on the present activity instead of thinking about the past or the future.
Even when cleaning the house, working overtime, or being stuck in traffic, if you keep your focus on the present, you’ll reduce stress, increase focus, improve emotion regulation, develop emotional intelligence, expand your creativity, be more resilient and improve your physical health.
Therefore, anyone looking to increase their levels of well-being should add some mindfulness exercises to their daily routine. Because no matter who you are or what you do, there’s always a mindfulness practice that’ll suit you.
READ MORE: What is a health & wellness holiday?
Why join an online mindfulness course?
During an online mindfulness course, you’ll explore the meaning of mindfulness, learn different mindfulness techniques, have online sessions with qualified and experienced teachers to answer your questions, and more importantly, you’ll start bringing mindfulness into your everyday life.
All this will help you to become aware of your process of thoughts, your emotions and your body. Plus, there are huge advantages of learning mindfulness online. For instance, you don’t need to worry about traveling, you get to practice in a familiar environment (your home) and you have the privacy to practice by yourself.
Want some recommendations? Here are five online mindfulness courses to find inner peace and acceptance in your life:
- Length: 8 weeks
- Price: from US$427
Join this Stress and Anxiety Reduction Program and learn how to calm the mind, allow the body to rest and feel happier. During this course, you’ll be guided by a qualified and experienced mindfulness teacher on one-to-one live sessions.
The program includes mindful movement, mindful eating and mindful walking practices, 8 online private sessions, MP3s of the meditations and a participant's handbook.
Image credit: Tim Cools
- Length: 8 weeks
- Price: from US$304
Do you feel like you’re always busy and never have time for yourself? Join this scientifically validated Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course and learn how to take control of your thoughts and feelings, and how to manage your stress responses.
The program includes 8 weekly private sessions and complementary exercises for practicing at home. Most participants have reported huge benefits during the course as well as later on with continuous practice. These benefits include the reduction of stress levels, anxiety and depression, plus the improvement of physical health, balance and well-being.
Image credit: Ali Gilling
- Length: 4 weeks
- Price: from US$47
Mindfulness can significantly enhance your capacity to cope with difficult situations on a daily basis. During this course, you’ll learn short mindfulness practices that can help you reduce stress in your life.
The program includes 4 online sessions, mindfulness practices, guided meditations, discussions on different subjects and a recommended 20 minutes of daily practice.
- Length: 4 weeks
- Price: from US$47
This self-paced online mindfulness course for parents is designed for those who want to reduce stress and anxiety in their homes. After 4 weeks, you’ll be ready to teach your family simple mindfulness exercises that can bring many benefits to everyone at home.
The program includes full access to 5 online modules about mindful parenting, personal support to help you develop your own meditation practice, the opportunity to download mindful recordings for practice at home and the invitation to an online group where you can share your questions and ideas with other mindful parents.
Image credit: Osho Active Meditations
- Length: 3 days
- Price: from US$206
Meditation is a way of living every moment with awareness and enjoying life to its fullest. Join this Osho Mindfulness Meditation Training to discover how to apply these skills to your daily life. During 3 online live sessions, you’ll learn different mindfulness techniques, the passive and active Osho meditation method and the Osho meditative therapy.
Looking for ways to improve your wellbeing? Join a health & wellness retreat and get all the pamper you deserve!