How to Make Your Stress Benefit You


Stress seems to be pretty much unavoidable these days. There’s always so much going on, so much noise and hassle and all the things we need to take care of clamouring for our attention.

We know that stress can be harmful and yet it’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed by the barrage of work, family, paying the bills and just coping with everyday life.

This online course begins by accepting stress as part of our lives and then shows us how to look at it as an opportunity. Stress itself may be inevitable but we can make choices in how we react—the critical factor is going to be whether we go with our usual behaviours, or are willing to try something new.

Beginning with looking at how we can be a good friend to ourselves, we go on to changing how we view our initial experience of stress. We explore the ways in which meditation can help us to find space when we thought there was none and enable us to approach our habits with fresh insight.

All this is brought together in these 5 steps, which form the body of the course.

STEP 1: Understanding our stress

STEP 2: Taking a step back

STEP 3: Adopting a new perspective

STEP 4: Exploring our habits

STEP 5: Taking action


How to make the best of your stress

Start date: Whenever you are ready

Duration: 7 weeks + one bonus concluding session

Enrolment is open now

How to Make Your Stress Benefit You is based on my book, The Compassionate Mind Approach to Reducing Stress. Since its publication in 2103 I have held numerous workshops on how to work with stress in a creative way. This course is the product of all that experience and discussion and includes some stories from the book.


Participants are taken through a process of understanding stress in a more realistic way. Step-by-step we will see how different meditation and compassion exercises can help us to cope with stress more effectively—and we’ll look at the science that backs it up. We’ll explore how habits work and how we can work with them in relation to stress.

The course is made up of a combination of text, videos, photos, slides and written exercises. There is a workbook to download and print out with exercises to help make it all practical. Of course, there are a whole range of techniques to try out and a selection of these are available as audio recordings.


Topics covered in How to Make Your Stress Benefit You

Session 1: Getting started

We will take good look at the kinds of stress we are facing, and see if we are being a good friend to ourselves as we try to cope.

Session 2: Understanding our stress

Here we get to grips with how stress works in our bodies and what that means in everyday life. If we feel we have little or no control this adds to our stress. We look at a fresh approach that enables us to have a different kind of control that will help us to manage stress.

Session 3: Taking a step back

This is where we make a start with meditation and seeing how that can help us become more aware of ourselves and others as we work with stress. Understanding how our minds work is the basis for meditation and we will cover that in this session.

Session 4: Adopting a new perspective

This is a critical session that explores how we can change our point of reference and greatly reduce our sensitivity to stress.

Session 5: Examining our habits—our habits that can lead to stress

After spending some time exploring how habits work, we will go through three major habits that lead to stress:

  • Wanting things to stay the same
  • Not seeing how connected things are
  • Chasing happiness and avoiding suffering
Session 6: Examining our habits—new habits that help us with stress

In this session we will come back to meditation and investigate some of the research into its effects on the brain. Then we will move on to the importance of connection, kindness and compassion and a brief look at self-compassion.

Session 7: Taking action

We will look at some examples of how not to work with stress and see what could have been done differently. People have a chance to make an action plan and discuss it with other members of the group.

Bonus concluding session

In this wrap-up session, we’ll share some resources that could be useful and look at the best way for you to continue with what you have been learning on the course.


What you will learn on this course

1. How stress works and how it affects us

2. The importance of being a good friend to yourself as you manage your stress

3. Ways you can increase your self-awareness and awareness of other people

4. How our minds work

5. The basics of meditation and how to use it to help with stress

6. A new perspective for working with challenges

7. Habits that we have that can make our stress harder to manage

8. Engaging with empathy, kindness and compassion as ways of coping with stress

9. A range of techniques to practice when you leave the workshop and how to make them part of your life

10. How current scientific research is making all this more accessible.

Burn out, chronic life and work stress? At points in our lives I think we've all been there to some degree and unfortunately there is no quick fix. Learning to meditate and developing self-compassion, I've found, are the few sustainable tools to ground and build resilience to these strains of daily, modern life.

Maureen's immense meditation experience and knowledge expertly knits together a plethora of science, psychology and meditation practice to create a course that'll resonate with us all - newcomers to experienced meditators alike.

Matthew Arscott

This course really enabled me to understand the causes of my stress, but also gave me the tools to work with it most effectively, in a manageable and fun way. The course is extremely well resourced and materials can be kept for future reference. I can see myself reaping long term benefits from what I have learnt.

Adele Hersey

Enrolment and cost


Course fee $90.00

This includes:


• Lifetime access to content, activities and exercises for 7 lessons and one bonus completion session

• A personal workbook that can be downloaded and printed out

• A variety of downloadable reflection and meditation exercises in written and/or audio format

• Unlimited interactive emails with the courses facilitator throughout the course


Course + coaching option

Course fee $150.00

This includes:

• Lifetime access to content, activities and exercises for 7 lessons and one bonus completion session

• A personal workbook that can be downloaded and printed out

• A variety of downloadable reflection and meditation exercises in written and/or audio format

• Unlimited interactive emails with the courses facilitator throughout the course

• 2 individual coaching sessions by SKYPE with course facilitator during the course and/or within one month of completion of the course.

(Normal price for coaching alone $135)

What are the special features of this course?

• The seven sessions of How to Make Your Stress Benefit You are all online with easily downloadable reflections, exercises and quotes.

• There a bonus session to help you to plan for how to continue when the course ends.

• As long as you have an internet connection you can access the content anywhere and at any time.

• Lessons will be made available on the Wednesday of each week giving you plenty of time to work with each one.

•We recommend something between one hour and one and a half hours on each lesson.

• This is self-paced course, so you can catch up and review past materials at any time.

• You still have access to the course materials even when the course has concluded.

• You can add comments and ask questions as you go through the materials.

• As your facilitator I will read all your comments and answer your questions and perhaps add some of my own.

Maureen Cooper: your course facilitator

Maureen Cooper is the founding director of Awareness in Action, an organization dedicated to showing people how to combine well-being and excellence in the work environment. Drawing on more than twenty years of experience as a professional educator, senior manager in a non-profit organization, an entrepreneur and as an accomplished practitioner of Buddhist meditation, she leads the in-demand Awareness in Action workshops and training programs all over the United States and Europe.

Her acclaimed book, The Compassionate Mind Guide to Reducing Stress is a groundbreaking effort that brings together the best of modern science and the wisdom of the world’s ancient contemplative traditions into a practical manual for thriving in today’s insanely fast-paced world.

When she’s able to take a break from rigors of the road, Maureen lives stress-free in Amsterdam, The Netherlands with her husband.