mindfulness-300x231Are you managing your stress as well as you would like? In addition to exercise and good nutrition, the evidence is mounting of the health and stress management benefits of deep breathing, guided imagery, and meditation. An increasingly common term is “mindfulness.”

In the National Institute for Health article, Mindfulness Matters –  Can Living in the Moment Improve Your Health, Mindfulness means “…….not living your life on ‘autopilot.’ Instead, you experience life as it unfolds moment to moment, good and bad, and without judgment or preconceived notions.”

In addition to nutrition, exercise, and physical therapy, meditation is one  of the multi-disciplinary treatment protocols for migraine headaches at The Baylor/Scott and White Health System Neuro-Science Headache Clinic.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., Executive Director at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, is one of the better known names about mindfulness. He defines mindfulness as “the ability to pay total attention to the present moment with a non-judgmental awareness of the inner and/or outer experiences.” Read more about him below.*

Anderson Cooper of the CBS program 60 Minutes, did an online report about mindfulness with Kabat-Zinn and Cooper’s experience with mindfulness.  Go to this link:  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mindfulness-anderson-cooper-60-minutes/

From an article in the  Huffington Post, Mindfulness Meditation and the Brain,  “Mindfulness, something once practiced only in more closeted meditation circles, has recently become a greater mainstream interest. Perhaps for this reason, research on mindfulness meditation has increased considerably over the last decade. Even the National Institutes of Health has grown increasingly more interested in mindfulness meditation, funding a number of large studies which investigate the effects of mindfulness on emotional and physical health outcomes.”

In my private practice, clients learn deep breathing and various forms of mindfulness exercises during sessions and on their own through resources readily found online.

Below are some resources for your use as you learn better ways to manage stress and improve the quality of your life:

  1. http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/a/exercises.htm – various options including deep breathing, mindfulness meditations, use of music, and other suggestions.
  2. On YouTube: Use search words such as mindfulness, guided imagery, meditation
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmEo6RI4Wvs – 5 minutes Overview by Jon Kabat-Zinn
    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6eFFCi12v8 – 5 minutes One Moment Meditation
    3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzR62JJCMBQ – 9 minutes TED talk
    4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jyy0ra2WcQQ – 18 minutes guided relaxation
    5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT_ZvD94_kE – 14 minutes guided relaxation
  3. Blog postings from Amy Edelstein, Mindfulness for Wellness, http://amyedelstein.com/category/blog/
  4. Also, try entering various words into your internet browser and see what you find, such as mindfulness, stress management, guided imagery, meditation, and guided meditation.  Caution:  As with anything on the internet, use care when downloading links and read to find what others may be saying about the people and sites you visit.

For more suggestions or to schedule a counseling session, email me at zandalpc@gmail.com.

Wishing you good health and well-being.

Zanda Hilger, LPC



*Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founder and former director of the UMMC Stress Reduction Clinic and an associate professor of medicine in the division of preventive and behavioral medicine. He was featured in Bill Moyer’s PBS Special, “Healing and the Mind.” Using mindfulness meditation, Kabat-Zinn works to help people reduce stress and deal with chronic pain, and a variety of illnesses, particularly breast cancer. He was a trainer for the 1984 U.S. Men’s Olympic Rowing Team and is especially interested in reducing the stress-related problems in the inner city and in prison populations.

Kabat-Zinn’s books include: Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness (1991); Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life (1994) and Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting (1997), which was co-authored with his wife, Myla. See a list of his books at:  http://www.mindfulnesscds.com/pages/books-by-jon-kabat-zinn