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A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook Paperback – March 1, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is an excellent, systematic, helpful, and practical workbook. Doing these practices brings many blessings. They will reduce your stress and truly transform your life.”
—Jack Kornfield, Ph.D., author of The Wise Heart, A Path with Heart, and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry


From the Publisher

In A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, two mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) experts present a step-by-step program for effective stress reduction based on the concepts in Jon Kabat-Zinn's groundbreaking Full Catastrophe Living.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; Pap/MP3 Wk edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572247088
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572247086
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

174 of 176 people found the following review helpful By Therese Borchard on March 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
If I had to identify one quality that separates this book from the rest of the mindfulness resources in the self-help aisle, it's that these pages are so practical and can't help but provide the reader with plenty of "Aha!" moments. Reading through the chapters and exercises, I appreciate all the research that Goldstein and Stahl studied, material that illuminates how mindfulness exercises can alter and help shape your brain to be more optimistic and resilient. But what won my trust is that they have both been stress cases themselves at certain points in their lives, and can therefore communicate with empathetic language. They both know, on a very personal level, how stress can disable a person. Much like Kay Redfield Jamison, the famous psychologist who suffers from bipolar disorder, they speak both as expert and patient.

I understand mindfulness as forcing a bit of time and space between a situation and your reaction, or recognizing the snowball of thoughts that's forming in your mind before it becomes too overwhelming to sort through yourself. Goldstein and Stahl quote Vicktor Frankl, psychiatrist and holocaust survivor: "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

Although mindfulness techniques aren't able to rescue me out of an acute, severe depression, if I diligently adhered to all the wisdom contained in Stahl and Goldstein's book, and designated a time of the day to do all the exercises, I could save myself some considerable heartache and headache.

Why?
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Citizen John TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I think I first became aware of "mindfulness" from one of the Star Wars movies. But it's played a central role in Buddhist meditation for a long time and is backed up by loads of research. The research per Wikipedia shows that a mere 6 weeks of mindfulness exercises is correlated with physical results such as the body's ability to fight disease.

Mindfulness exercises seem to develop the brain's ability to deal with anxiety and stress. Once I understood this, it was easier for me to devote the time to the exercises in the book. I skipped a lot of days, which isn't good, but I was able to resume without difficulty. That made me appreciate that mindfulness is continuous, something that can potentially be practiced all the time.

The exercises in this workbook put me to observing and recording my thoughts and feelings at critical times. One result of this is that experiences of certain routines changed, I believe. This puts me more in the present, which is not as simple as I had believed. For example, if you think about times of the day when you feel something is wrong and try to observe your thoughts and feelings at that time, recording them, you'll become aware of what really influences your physical response.

I liked the formal practice log and found the informal practice reflection a bit difficult at the present time. Everybody will surely have their own experience. At least I have something to aim for ahead.

Mindfulness teaches that thoughts and emotions float by, and realizing this will help us to not take our own thoughts too seriously. Reduction of physical responses to negative thinking is possible and this is what probably boosts the immune system per the research.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Karen S. Garvin on August 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've done some meditation as part of a yoga class and the instructor used mostly mystical-sounding descriptions of what we were doing. On one hand I wanted to get into it, but the Western logic part of my brain wanted some science and statistics to back it up. It's hard to take some things seriously when there's so much disinformation on the web and elsewhere.

This book takes a fairly neutral approach to mindfulness meditation. It doesn't immediately overwhelm you with happy-sounding terms or promise that it is "the way" to do something. Chapter 1 defines mindfulness and talks about habitual thinking patterns, which can be very destructive time wasters and lead to stress. The first formal practice involves eating a raisin mindfully, and there's a 3-minute check-in to help you get a better idea of how the practice works.

There are two types of meditation: insight and concentration. This workbook focuses on mindfulness, which is a type of insight meditation. Basically, you focus on your body and feelings and observe what's going on at the moment without judgment, whereas concentration meditation involves mantras and imagery. I think insight meditation is a bit more approachable for most Westerners simply because there's no outward appearance of religion or doctrine associated with it. Essentially, it seems more mechanical and thus, scientific.

The meditations are approachable and for most of them you don't need to do anything special. A short meditation can be done at your desk or simply seated on the sofa (with the TV off, of course!). Later chapters do get into meditation postures, including sitting poses and lying poses. Chapter 6 on "Deepening Your Practice" includes yoga-based stretches that will help relax your muscles.
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