Stress Management Through Mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation is a way of focusing the mind to help people manage stress better. Research has shown evidence for numerous benefits of mindfulness on both our mental and physical well being. Please feel free to cultivate your skills with mindfulness meditation using the following information about the basics of the practice of mindfulness and/or the guided mindfulness meditation video provided below.


Mindfulness Meditation - By A Stream In The Woods

Please watch this Guided Visualization Meditation video where Dr. Erin Rabideau will help you imagine a relaxing scene by a stream in the woods using your senses.



Benefits Of Practicing Mindfulness

  • Increased emotional regulation
  • Decreased depressive symptoms
  • Decreased intrusive negative thoughts
  • Boosted working memory
  • Decreased anxiety symptoms
  • Greater cognitive flexibility
  • Increased relationship satisfaction
  • Increased immune functioning
  • Increased information processing speed
  • Reduced psychological distress

Davis, D. M., & Hayes, J. A. (July/August 2012). What are the benefits of Mindfulness? Monitor on Psychology, 43(7), 64.


The Basics Of Mindfulness

A commonly used definition of the practice of mindfulness:

"--paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally" (Kabat-Zinn, 1994)

Highlights three key aspects of mindfulness:

  1. "On purpose" or Intention
  2. "Paying attention" or Attention
  3. "In a particular way" or Attitude (mindfulness qualities)

Intention

"Your intentions set the stage for what is possible. They remind you from moment to moment of why you are practicing in the first place" (Kabat-Zinn, 1990)
  • Intentions may be fluid, changeable over time, and different for different people
  • Carry the reason for practicing mindfulness during your practice - positively oriented, growth focused (even the word stress can cue stress)
Image of a dog meditating.

Attention

  • Involves observing the operations of one's moment-to-moment, internal and external experience
  • Active process of increasing awareness of experiences: thoughts, emotional sensations, as well as external stimuli and events
  • Continually re-focusing attention when the mind wanders

Attitude

"...an affectionate, compassionate quality...a sense of openhearted, friendly presence and interest" (Kabat-Zinn, 2003)
  • Incorporate attitudes of patience, compassion, and non-striving to the attentional practice
  • Develop the capacity to not continually strive for pleasant experiences or push aversive experiences away
  • Maintaining an attitude of open curiosity

Shapiro, S. L., Carlson, L. E., Astin, J. A. & Freedman, B. (2006). Mechanisms of Mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 63(3), 373-386. DOI: 10.1002/jclp


Incorporating Mindfulness In Your Daily Routine

Now that you know the basics of mindfulness and the benefits of practicing it, click the button below for some suggestions on incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine.

Mindfulness In Daily Life

Mindfulness Resource List

The benefits of mindfulness are both immediate and long-reaching through regular practice. Click the button below to visit our Mindfulness Resources web page for a list of resources related to mindfulness.

Mindfulness Resources
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