Tag Archives: mindfulness-based stress reduction

Five Good Minutes At Work: Mindfulness Strategies

Dr. Jeff Brantley

Dr. Jeff Brantley, founder and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Duke Integrative Medicine, reads from his book, “Five Good Minutes At Work,” during a DukeWell seminar. “The five good minutes concept is simple,” Brantley writes in the book. “Take the time, for just five minutes to be present mindfully.”

1. Focus on a calming object. When negative thoughts fill the mind, ground yourself by looking at an object that invokes calmness, such as a plant or a personal photo. Then focus your attention on your breath for several minutes. When your attention wanders toward the negative thoughts, focus it gently again on your breath and the object.
2. Train your attention. Choose a rote task like washing your hands and train yourself to pay attention to the sensations of the moment each time you do it. “This is a way of practicing focusing our attention,” Brantley said. “Focusing on physical sensations brings the mind back to the present.”
3. Take a power break. In his book, Brantley suggests taking five minutes for a silent meditation retreat away from all electronics. “Take notice of the simple vibrancy of your immediate surroundings,” he writes. Sitting quietly at your workplace, focus on your senses; listen to passing noises, enjoy patches of color and notice the warmth of your hands in your lap. Pay attention to the world around you without feeling the need to respond.
4. Take a hike. “Just before lunch, give yourself permission to get outside,” Brantley writes in his book. “Take five minutes to be mindful of your natural surroundings. When it comes time to return, with every step you take toward your job site, become increasingly aware of the calming power of being outside.”  For more, click here. 

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To Feel Less Stressed, Try MBSR

MBSRIt only takes a few weeks of mindfulness-based stress reduction training to notice an improvement, according to a new study.  The findings support an existing body research showing that mindfulness leads to less perceived stress.

Find an MBSR program near you via the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness

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Citation: Baer, R. A., Carmody, J. and Hunsinger, M. (2012), Weekly Change in Mindfulness and Perceived Stress in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program. J. Clin. Psychol.. doi: 10.1002/jclp.21865



Holistic Health: Real stress relief

How do you really spell relief? M-B-S-R. Mindfulness-based stress-reduction. A new review of 26 studies proves what Jon Kabat-Zinn told us years ago: the meditation program can help reduce and improve your mental and physical reactions to stress and invite more joy into your day to day life.

A new Campbell systematic review shows that MBSR programs not only relieves stress and provides people with coping tools, the meditation course can actually result in better mental health, improved social functioning and better overall quality of life…(read more).

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Holistic Health: The Best Time to Study Mindfulness

The Wake Up US Tour wrapped yesterday, after a free mindfulness workshop at Columbia University for people between the ages of 17 and 35.  For the past two weeks, students of Thich Nhat Hanh have been bringing the message of mindfulness to young Americans on the East Coast, teaching them simple but powerful techniques such as breathing and walking meditation.  (Thanks to Well+GoodNYC for a nice description of the tour).

I wish I’d been formally introduced to mindfulness earlier in life.  I’d been stressed out and anxious for years before I attended a course and started a formal practice.

There’s somewhat of a trend encouraging us to be more mindful sooner, and I hope it takes off.  Last month, Ed Halliwell wrote about the Mindfulness In Schools Conference in the UK. It’s worth taking the time to read his analysis, “Mindfulness and Youth: To dot-be or not to dot-be?” He explains the progressive program, and highlights the challenges related to, essentially, learning to focus and learn in an age of “continuous partial attention.” A state, he writes, where “the constant pressure to react to a flood of stimuli goes beyond the reasonable capacities of our brains.”