Mindfulness: Listen To The Soundtrack Of The City

Listening to life…

Do you still wait for the sound of the daily newspaper being tossed in your driveway or dropped at your front door? Do you look forward to receiving your favorite weekly or monthly magazine? For that matter, do you ever sit down and watch your favorite weekly television show in its assigned time slot complete with advertisements? When was the last time you took a flight, traveled by train, commuted by bus or subway and actually just watched people or noticed your surroundings?  If you had to stop and think about how to answer these questions, then there is a pretty good chance you seldom focus on one task at a time and “powering down” is just out of the question.

TIME Magazine February 3, 2014, cover story: The Mindful Revolution

The science of finding focus in a
stressed-out, multi-tasking culture

Last week one of our associates told us that she had seen an interview on MSNBC‘s Morning Joe program where TIME Magazine‘s Radhika Jones revealed and discussed this week’s cover story about mindfulness or more exactly Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here. We took the time to watch this video and looked forward to reading the full article. We also committed to reading not only the online version [warning: if you want to read the full story online you must be a subscriber], but also the hard copy of the magazine [you can pick it up at your local grocery store this week]. Trust us when we say this article is worth purchasing and saving…it is chock-full of useful information.

What you can expect to learn from Kate Pickert’s journalistic journey into mindfulness

Yes, we used the word journey, because indeed Pickert took an eight week MBSR class with 15 other people. They each paid $350 and agreed to meet every Monday evening for eight weeks. Their goal was to learn about meditation and mindfulness. Here is a quick overview of some of what Kate learned:

  • MSBR was developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
  • Today there are nearly 1000 certified MBSR instructors teaching mindfulness techniques in almost every state in the US, as well as in more than 30 other countries.
  • Many cognitive therapists recommend mindfulness to patients who are trying to cope with depression, anxiety, and/or stress.
  • Mindfulness is gaining acceptance in many Fortune 500 companies and the military.
  • The science of mindfulness is still being researched; however, as Pickert reports: “Many of the studies on mindfulness and meditation have been funded by individual private donors and have not met the highest scientific standards, leading the [National Institutes of Health] NIH to declare in 2007 that future research had to be “more rigorous.” Perhaps to this end, the NIH has funded some 50 clinical trials in the past five years examining the effects of mindfulness on health, with about half pertaining to Kabat-Zinn’s MBSR curriculum alone. The NIH trials completed or now under way include studies on how MBSR affects everything from social-anxiety disorder to the body’s immune response to human papilloma virus to cancer-related fatigue. Altogether, in 2003, 52 papers were published in scientific journals on the subject of mindfulness; by 2012, that number had jumped to 477.” 
  • Mindful, an on-line and hard copy magazine was launched in May 2013. You can learn more about what they are about and what they offer here.
  • Again Pickert reports: “A Bay Area–based program called Mindful Schools offers online mindfulness training to teachers, instructing them in how to equip children to concentrate in classrooms and deal with stress. Launched in 2010, the group has reached more than 300,000 pupils, and educators in 43 countries and 48 states have taken its courses online.”

Mindfulness is part of Cottonwood Tucson’s program

At Cottonwood, we rely on the latest research on the neurobiology of human development and the neuroscience of addiction and mood disorders to design cutting-edge, patient-responsive treatment programs. Our understanding of the developing brain, and how addiction and mood disorders can affect the brain’s ability to make a content and confident mood, adds to our ability to successfully treat mental health issues in both adolescents and adults. Mindfulness is part of our adult program weekly schedule.

Additionally, our Cottonwood Assessment Program (CAP), which is a four day intensive inpatient addiction and/or mental health assessment program providing a comprehensive evaluation, focuses on the specific needs of the individual and includes educational presentations on mindfulness and life skills.

Tanya Lauer

Tanya Lauer, MC, LPC, has been a therapist on Cottonwood’s clinical team since 2008. Tanya has gained a reputation throughout the United States and Europe as a skilled behavioral health therapist who has special expertise in using mindfulness practice in the treatment of mood disorders, chemical dependency and trauma. She also trains other therapists in integrating mindfulness into the holistic treatment of behavioral health disorders.

For sure Kate Pickert’s essay is a fabulous informative read. It might just make you rethink how you feel about meditation and mindfulness. In closing her essay, Kate reflects on her life after MBSR training:  “When I walk outside, I find myself smelling the air and listening to the soundtrack of the city. The notes and rhythms were always there, of course. But these days they seem richer and more important.”

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