Words From Our Graduates
We have completed over 45 class cycles of the Saratoga Stress Reduction Program with over 2000 graduates. Here’s what some of them had to say about their experiences:
I have been able to reduce my sleep medication and sleep more soundly through the night. If I wake up during the night, I don’t worry so much about how I’m going to fall back asleep. I feel much more at peace with myself and empowered with this skill set in place, knowing that I can fall back on it in tough times to help get me through – or even in day to day life.
I notice that I’m a lot more even-keel, that I worry a lot less about what others think about my “performance” in life. I also eat a lot more slowly and drive slower. This program has helped my relationship. It has also improved my bowling.
I am now able to be calm in rush hour traffic! I am also aware when I’m not being mindful, when my mind starts racing, and I’m able to bring myself back to the moment.
What I’ve loved most about this program is that I’ve learned to stop and feel all that is going on inside me prior to reacting. I had a wonderful experience and learned things I can use the rest of my life.
I enjoyed everything about this program! The extensive workbook was full of information that helped keep me on track and I loved the CDs!
As a result of this program, I have cultivated a deeper appreciation for silence, healthy solitude, and the natural world.
I enjoyed learning how to meditate and how it affects the mind — and that it is possible, through mindfulness meditation, to change the pathways in my brain.
I noticed that over the past several weeks my anxiety level has decreased. I find myself trying to recognize when I’m not being mindful and I’m trying to make it a habit to stay in the moment and not think about all the things I have to do — or all the what ifs.
Meditation has become part of my daily routine. I’m beginning to watch what I put into my body and I’m exercising more. I consciously breathe more in stressful situations. I forgive myself a little more quickly. If I judge myself, I’ve developed a response system to reassure myself of my own worth. I come to situations with more love.
Having a daily practice of meditation has a changed my life. It allows me to notice what is “not me.” I find I am more relaxed and have greater clarity… the recognition that I am not my thoughts. In addition, I have greater awareness of the physical symptoms that exist as a result of my thoughts.
Over the last few weeks I have found safety in my own breath. I have reconnected with my inner voice. Anxiety will always be a part of me, washing over me like waves in an ocean. But instead of fearing it and sinking to the bottom, I am learning to embrace it as a part of me, to let the waves come and go while I float without struggling.
Every day I draw on the knowledge and techniques I learned at SSRP. I’m feeling as good physically as I ever have, and I’m off blood pressure medication completely. Plus, I’ve become kinder and more patient — with myself and with others. Thank you for running such a great program.
A gigantic THANK YOU to Pierre, Selma, and Caroline for the amazing work you do… after the stress reduction clinic I was able to travel overseas for 10 days… pain free, and (almost) anxiety free on the plane! I listened to your CD’s (which I converted into my iPhone) the whole way and was able to do it – It was truly amazing. And I know without a doubt I wouldn’t have been able to, had I not gone through the SSRP. I’m so much more aware of how my body responds to outside influences. All just because I learned how to breathe. So simple. So easy. So powerful.