Frequently asked questions
Perhaps you recognise yourself in one of the following scenarios:
- You are suffering from stress and you are afraid of having a burn-out,
- You have difficulties relaxing and sleeping and you often feel tired,
- You are finding it hard to focus at work,
- You are struggling with worries and difficult emotions such as anxiety, anger or sadness,
- You feel you could achieve so much more in life.
The 8-week mindfulness programme will offer you practical tools and techniques to deal with the difficulties of everyday life in a more helpful way.
Mindfulness is cultivated in a variety of ways. This includes sitting down (on a chair) and observing your thoughts, emotions or your breath. But mindfulness can also be developed by simply focusing on the task at hand whether you are at work in a meeting or at home cooking a meal.
Courses offered by the Brussels Mindfulness Institute are based on the internationally recognised programmes developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn (MBSR: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and Mark Williams and colleagues (MBCT: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy).
Our teachers are all certified in MBSR or MBCT and all have 15+ years of work experience, enabling them to translate mindfulness to the reality of daily life.
Courses are given in a group format with 8 to 20 participants.
Today the benefits of mindfulness are widely recognised and mindfulness is increasingly used at schools, in the workplace but also in the army and in elite sports where resilience, focus and self-management are key.
When you are in the midst of depression, it is wiser to first seek medical and/or psychological treatment to get better, and then participate in a mindfulness programme afterwards to prevent falling back into depression.
Learning how to do mindfulness meditation is a very delicate process in which you build new neuronal connections that need to be associated with a positive state of mind and mood.
Please consult your doctor or psychotherapist to determine whether you are ready to participate in an 8-week mindfulness course.
In essence, however, people have always been searching for what mindfulness can offer. Seeing things clearly, finding peace and stillness in the midst of all the busyness, are things that have always appealed to people and that will always be useful.
Here are some elements of what the training includes:
- Learning to be fully present
- Using your breath as a source of stability
- Becoming aware of physical stress signals
- Mindful yoga and stretching exercises
- Exercises related to situational stress awareness
- Insight meditation exercises
- Bringing more awareness in communicating with others
- Developing a prevention plan for your mental health
Throughout the 8 weeks you learn to better understand your own emotional and thinking patterns.
You will know how stress and/or depression arise, how you can recognise them in time, and develop your own action plan for responding wisely to (acute and chronic) stress and low mood.
If you can’t make it on the other days, you can still use the manual where you will find the summary of what we have discussed this week, and you will have access the necessary downloads that you can practice with in that week.
This approach depends entirely on your willingness to practise between the weekly sessions. Every week, different exercises will be offered for practice at home or elsewhere, varying in duration. They involve tasks such as practising with recorded meditations, performing brief exercises, filling in handouts, and so on.
It can be difficult to carve out some time for something new in our already very busy and crowded lives. However, the commitment to spend time on home practice is an essential part of the training. Whenever possible, exercises will be given that you can do while you are doing the things that you already do, but other practices will require some extra time investment.
The fact of sharing your experiences with others, and/or listening to the experiences of the other participants, allows you to see that you are not alone in facing the challenges of life.
While in day-to-day situations we spend a great deal of energy pretending that we have everything under control, in this kind of group programme you can see that others are actually dealing with the same challenges as you, and that they’re also struggling to find peace of mind and happiness.
This group size allows the chance for everyone to share their experience, and also hear other different or similar experiences, which can be very enriching.
Most of them are working in international environments or come from different countries. They have quite active and busy lives, and work in many different fields (private sector, administration, law, consulting, …).
We are already caught up quite enough in our personal story, worrying why and how all these things have happened to us.
What we learn by practicing mindfulness is how we relate to our story, how our story influences how we feel and act here and now, and how we can get a different and more useful perspective on it.
Confidentiality will be observed by both the participants and the trainer. You will be asked to sign a written statement about this at the start of the first session.
This being said, it is perfectly okay for you not to share anything at all. You can also just come and listen.
Each course will be given by a different trainer. While you will be able to switch between these courses when you can’t make it on a particular day, we would like to ask you to stick as much as possible to the same course, as this is important for group dynamics.
You can find more information on the location of the courses and workshops on the “Contact” page.