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Mindfulness

March 2, 2017

Missed last week’s mindfulness presentation? Watch it on-demand! Click the image to view:

mindfulness

TGIF… Not only was it the final Friday of the term before exams, but many Nursing faculty took the opportunity to attend a presentation on Mindfulness.  This Lunch and Learn was presented by Vidhu Bhanot from Counselling and Accessibility at Red River College. It was a perfect way to spend an hour learning about mindfulness meditation, what it is, and how it can be so beneficial for our students… and ourselves.

Mindfulness is a form of mental exercise that can cultivate self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-compassion. Vidhu shared the results of her Mindfulness Group Pilot study involving a small group of Nursing students. After engaging in regular mindfulness techniques and activities, students found they were able to manage stress in a healthier way. Another benefit (although unintended) was the effect of creating healthier family relationships.

We engaged in a breathing practice exercise led by Vindhu, breathing in through the nose (4 seconds), holding our breath (7 seconds), and then slowly exhaling (8 seconds). The trick, we were told, was to keep the exhale longer than the inhale so as to initiate a vagus nerve response. By doing this, we can interrupt the body’s own stress response.

It was very interesting to learn about the history of mindfulness and its application to stress and pain management.  Hopefully we can incorporate more mindfulness into our own lives and educate our students to help them manage the stresses of school/life. Training our minds is not easy – we must be kind and keep practicing. Meanwhile… “Happy Break Week!”