VCU HR Well-Being blog

Giving VCU employees the wellness resources they need to be healthy both on and off campus

How can mindfulness help stress?

Stress is an unavoidable part of our lives. This is especially true on college campuses, where competing life demands can feel overwhelming. Yet we often overlook the fact that it is as much our physical, emotional, and psychological reactions to our stressors as it is the stressors themselves that determine how much we suffer, grow unhappy, or experience disease.

Fortunately, over forty years of scientific evidence shows that practicing mindfulness – paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally – can reduce our experience of stress and transform our relationship to the stressors in our lives. Studies show that stopping briefly and making space to notice what is happening can provide clarity and meaning, even amidst stress, pain, or illness. To practice mindfulness means learning to wake up to your natural intelligence – your inherent ability to cope, grow, and to ultimately take better care of yourself and others. 

What is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)?

The MBSR program was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. MBSR is the most replicated stress reduction program, taught in over 200 medical centers and 50 college campuses worldwide, and is backed by a growing body of research literature. Scientific studies have demonstrated numerous positive MBSR outcomes related to: 

  • anxiety, depression & mental health
  • sleep disturbances & disorder
  • eating disturbances & substance abuse recovery
  • medical conditions & illness

In MBSR we learn how to mobilize our inner resources to face stressful events and experiences in ways that lead to greater health, balance, and a fuller, more nourishing life. Through practicing a variety of meditative techniques – such as lying, sitting, and walking meditation, mindful yoga, and a daylong retreat – and through personal reflection and group discussion around our experience of these practices, each of us is capable of positive change. With 6-week program offerings, and standing alumni group meetings, MBSR is a place for us to continuously connect with ourselves and each other, and to experience lasting growth through inclusive, group-oriented work.

Join VCU Rec Sports for this 6 week program

Spring 2020 Dates and Times: 

March 18-April 22, Wednesdays, 6-8pm. There will also be a group retreat all day on Sunday, April 19, 2020 at the Rice River Center (more details to come at the start of program).

Location: Marshall St Studio (1300 W. Marshall St)

Student: $150
Faculty/Staff Member: $225
Member: $275
Non-Member: $300

Also, VCU HR and Rec Sports offer free monthly mindfulness meditation classes. Check out the schedule or Talent for more information.

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