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Entries in stress (1)

Saturday
Feb162013

Mindfulness practice

As many of you know, I often recommend mindfulness as a way of managing many aspects of your health. Mindfulness, or as I like to think of it paying attention, has a profound impact on how you care for yourself, as well as how you care for the world around you. It seems to me, something that requires no specialized equipment, only your time and effort, should not provide the kind of benefits that this does. However, I have found over my life as a physician, as well as the lives of my patients, that mindfulness practice provides untold benefits far beyond what I would ever expect to see.

 

So what is it? I like to think of it is paying attention. When I say paying attention I mean bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis.  Another way to think of it is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. Or as Bishop Lau offer "The first component [of mindfulness] involves the self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on immediate experience, thereby allowing for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment. The second component involves adopting a particular orientation toward one’s experiences in the present moment, an orientation that is characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance."

Mindfulness has been shown, in clinical research, to have a positive and beneficial effect for the following illnesses: depression, psoriasis, smoking cessation, dementia, chronic pain, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma and many others.

With this in mind, no pun intended, I would like to mention that the mindfulness-based stress reduction course is soon to be offered again on Prince Edward Island. This is an exceptional course, and I speak from personal experience, the instructors are fantastic and it is well worth your time and effort. Additionally, the West Prince Family Health Clinic has a number of books and videos in our lending library on the topic of mindfulness. These are available for checkout from the clinic, just ask at the front desk.  You can also learn more about mindfulness from the Mindfulness and Yoga links on this site.

If you are intersted in the Mindfullness Course this spring, click for more information.