What is mindfulness? I recently taught an ethics seminar for mental health professionals at our local community college. We discussed how managing stress affects everything we do, including health care professionals.
I referred the group to increasing evidence that techniques that have been practiced for centuries, such as meditation and deep breathing, help people manage stress and support health and well-being. There is also evidence that these practices, while not curing illness, support medical treatment.
The techniques have found new life as Mindfulness in a stressed out world of conflicting priorities. Simply put, mindfulness is staying in the moment, focused on present experience and not flinging yourself forward into the unknown “What if” or looking back with “If only.” The practices include deep breathing, meditation, and guided imagery. My clients who practice the techniques report a greater sense of calm and relaxation. With greater relaxation, problem solving, managing anxiety, and other stress related life and work challenges may not take as much energy.
Click to the links below for tools and information
- List and description of free or low-cost smartphone apps providing mindfulness techniques:
- Simple techniques, in addition to seeing a doctor to focus on health and seeing a therapist, go to the links below
- TED talk – an entertaining yet informative 9 minutes – click here
- YouTube posting of an introduction to mindfulness by one of the early leaders, Jon Kabit-Zinn, founder of MBSR (
mindfulness-based stress reduction), click here.
- For some of the research on measurable outcomes, click through to these links