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Can I Learn Mindfulness Online?

Mindfulness Online

If you’re looking to reduce stress and improve mental health, mindfulness is an excellent practice to learn. Whether you’re new to mindfulness or are an experienced practitioner, finding an online course can help you develop the skills to feel more calm and focused. There are several great mindfulness courses available on edX and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that are taught by top universities around the world such as UC Berkeley, Rice University, and University of Minnesota.

While it is likely that learning mindfulness in person will always be the best way to learn, not everyone can afford or easily access an instructor. Online Mindfulness Course can be a great alternative to in-person mindfulness classes, and research suggests that they may be equally effective.

In one study, people who completed self-led online mindfulness training reported significantly fewer stress symptoms at three months follow up than those in the control group. They also reported increased happiness and more positive appraisals of work demands. The study used a small sample and only included people who paid for the course, so it is not possible to generalize these findings. However, the study was well designed and had good controls.

Can I Learn Mindfulness Online?

Many online mindfulness courses are free of charge, but the content varies between courses. Often, these courses will include guided mindfulness meditation practices, as well as reading and activity resources. These courses are often a series and should be taken in order to provide continuity of experience, but they can be taken individually as well.

One of the most popular online mindfulness courses is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, offered by the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center. This 8-week course includes weekly two-hour sessions and a day retreat. During the course, participants are taught the core mindfulness meditation practices of body scans, seated meditation, and three minute breathing space. During the first four weeks of the program, there are weekly emails from instructors to remind participants to keep up with their daily mindfulness practice. After the four week period, students can request a certificate of completion by submitting practice logs.

Another online mindfulness course is offered by Monash University. The program follows an illustrated story of two characters named Liz and Rob, and each lesson is based on a different mindfulness skill. These lessons range from breathing space and body scans to self-kindness and embracing difficult emotions. The program consists of 10 lessons and takes approximately four weeks to complete.

There are also many other short mindfulness courses and workshops that can be taken online. London Mindful, the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, and Mindfulness in Schools Project all offer shorter mindfulness workshops or introductory courses for people who are not ready to commit to an 8-week mindfulness course. These classes can be a great option for those who want to learn mindfulness techniques without having to commit to an extensive, in-person class.

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