Using Mindfulness to Reduce Stress

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Covid-19 has brought rapid changes and much uncertainty about classes, jobs, internships, one’s health, and the health and well-being of those we care about. Constant mind chatter fuels anxiety, frustration, and fear. Although these are normal reactions to situational stress, it’s easy to get carried away. 

Mindfulness is a technique that can help us keep the fears in check and stay present in the moment. By stopping the constant chatter and acknowledging these situations, we are led to a calm, cool, and collected state. Research has shown that mindfulness can help reduce stress and anxiety, lower high blood pressure, reduce symptoms of depression, help us sleep better, and even help with chronic pain. Mindfulness can also help with divergent thinking and creative problem-solving, which are essential skills for engineers.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a program and special form of mindfulness founded by researcher and clinician Jon Kabat-Zinn, who noted that being mindful is “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Through mindfulness, you learn to refrain from being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around you. Being overly reactive to daily stressors makes you less productive, less successful, and ultimately less happy, so it’s important to learn skills that help us to cope effectively. 

Ariyanna White, a clinical case manager at the Center for Assessment, Referral, and Education (CARE), stressed the importance of practicing mindfulness. “It allows you to not only check in with yourself and how you're feeling,” she said. “But it can also give you a chance to notice the small joys in life.” Colleague Adam Rodriguez, also a CARE clinical case manager, added, “When you practice mindfulness, it helps you to focus on the here and now and take control of your thoughts.” 

How do we practice mindfulness? Here are some simple tips and resources to point you in the right direction:

  1. Stop: Stop what you are doing.
  2. Take a Breath: Take a few deep breaths and focus on your breathing. 
  3. Observe: Observe any sensations in your body, note the thoughts in your mind and emotions, and acknowledge them. 
  4. Proceed: With this awareness and acknowledgment, come back to your breathing and proceed with your day with greater calmness.
  • Incorporate mindfulness into daily activities such as handwashing and eating. Here’s an article from the Yale Stress Center mindfulness education program on mindful handwashing:
  • Check out these apps that can help you practice the art of mindfulness. Many are free to use or charge a small subscription fee:
  1. Calm
  2. Headspace: Meditation and Sleep
  3. Aura: Meditation and Sleep
  4. Insight Timer: Meditation App
  5. MyLife Meditation
  6. Meditation Nest

Center for Assessment, Referral and Education (CARE)



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:mcarter80
  • Created:09/01/2020
  • Modified By:mcarter80
  • Modified:09/04/2020


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