Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
I recently finished an 8-week class on mindfulness-based stress reduction. I chose to take the class because my sister had attended it and came out like a different person. She is much more relaxed and focused in her life.
The purpose of mindfulness based stress reduction is to be mindful in everything that we do. Including eating! There were formal and informal practices. Informal practice is called “Mini, Many Moments All Day Long.” We were given dot stickers to put in places to remind us to breathe. Just taking that one deep breath can help change your physiologic state from the stress of sympathetic nervous system to the calm of the parasympathetic nervous system.
The goal of mindfulness is to stay in the parasympathetic nervous system but be able to switch over to the sympathetic nervous system when needed. That’s a very important part of our physiology as well. I don’t know any nurse who couldn’t use some mindfulness-based stress reduction. Mindfulness is the most important part of nursing. When we go on auto pilot, that is when mistakes happen.
What I liked about this program is that it was very medically based, and it was backed by medical studies and science.
The formal practice is the meditations which are primarily breathing protocols where I was introduced to a number of them. In fact, when I was in nursing, I would wake up at night wondering whether I had missed something in my documentation that was important or forgot to give a med. Even today, I still wake up thinking about my clients and my cases. With mindfulness based stress reduction, I now am able to regulate my breathing to relax my nervous system and allow me to quickly fall back asleep.
It was a very interesting class from which I learned a lot about my physiology. I highly recommend taking the class.
What do you do to relax, destress and to be mindful?