Is Your Life a Rollercoaster Ride? How Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Can Help Even Out Life’s Ups and Downs

By Jessica Webb, MBSR Teacher

A few years ago, my best friend from childhood compiled our written notes and letters into binders and gave them all to me. Five volumes! It was tremendous gift to say the least but moreover, it was quite revealing. What I noticed most about the letters was that the experiences in my daily life were either expressed with hyperbole and hubris or they were described as deeply tragic, as if my entire network of friends and family had just succumbed to some unspeakable demise. And may I just say that I’m talking specifically about the description of an outfit I wore (“the most amazing”) and of a movie I saw (“the worst ever”)…

In other words, I was riding a roller coaster of reactivity.

Sound familiar? As I reflected on the lack of equanimity approaching everyday events, I am grateful for the gift of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the moment-to-moment non-judgmental awareness — and interest — of life as it unfolds. Taking what is in front of us, being curious about it, seeing it clearly for what it is, not clinging to it or not pushing it away. This approach to the rollercoaster of life can “straighten the curves and flatten the hills” to borrow a line from the “Dukes of Hazard” theme song.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, the 8-week mind/body program can teach you direct ways to reconnect to your own innate capacity for resilience in challenging times and equanimity in all moments of life. Then, from equipoise rises a feeling of contentment which spreads long and deep like the roots of a nourished oak tree. Strong, steadfast, and rising, moving with changes rather than stuck ramrod into the earth. Mindfulness can help you unlearn distractedness and re-learn the basic human ability to be present.

The MBSR course is starting on September 28th and I encourage you to come to one of the three free orientation sessions to get a taste for how mindfulness can impact your daily life. For more details on the MBSR course schedule and testimonials from past participants, please click on the link.