Mindfulness is the practice of being in the moment, being aware of your surroundings, your thoughts, and your physical sensations with a non-judgmental attitude. While mindfulness does not change the source of stress, it provides tools to respond to stressors in a healthier way for body and mind. Mindfulness techniques generally focus on breathing, body, or sensory awareness.
These techniques help identify sources of stress and strain in the body while still or in movement and encourage healthier eating habits. They also can help improve interpersonal relationships by increasing relaxation and compassion towards self and others. While mindfulness may not target the source of stress directly, it manages the feeling of stress in a way that is good for the body and helps refocuses the mind to better deal with the stressor.
Understanding the interconnectedness of the mind and the body and learning practices can decrease the bodily response to stressful events of work demands and everyday life. In turn, increasing worker satisfaction has the aim of increasing worker retention and presenteeism.
Numerous studies show that job stress is a major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades. Increased levels of job stress, as assessed by the perception of having little control but lots of demands and responsibility, have been demonstrated to be associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension, and other physical and mental disorders.
Mindfulness has been extensively researched in the United States and has been shown to be an effective antidote to stress. It has proven to be a therapeutic tool when dealing with stress-related conditions. Practicing mindfulness activates the “rest and digest” response in the body, counteracting the “flight or fight” response activated by stress. “Rest and Digest” slows down the heart rate, relaxes muscles, and conserves energy, reducing the damaging effects of the body’s response to long-term stress.
Opportunities for Learning and Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness for Groups
Most people can benefit from a few simple and portable tools to maintain a calm composure and focus in times of stress or change. A group of experienced mindfulness educators from Mount Sinai are providing a self-care opportunity to learn and practice simple mindfulness meditation techniques that are effective in reducing stress and promoting physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Sessions are every Friday, 12:30-1:30PM at 1468 Madison Ave. Register for a session here.
Mindful Leadership Program
Successful organizations have leaders at every level, and effective leadership requires clarity, creativity, and balance. Mount Sinai’s Mindful Leadership Program helps individuals cultivate these skills and develop self-awareness and resilience – essential traits for optimal decision-making. Trained facilitators lead sessions that teach individuals practical skills that can be applied at work and home. Mindful leadership can change the morale and culture of an organization, instilling values for positive engagement and collaboration. Learn more about Mount Sinai’s Mindful Leadership Program.
Meet Our Mindfulness Educator
Mickie Brown, RN, HN-BC
Clinical manager for Education, Mindfulness, and Patient Well-Being
Mount Sinai Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health
Mickie Brown, RN, HN-BC, is Clinical manager for Education, Mindfulness, and Patient Well-Being at the Manhattan clinical center for the Mount Sinai Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health, a World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Center of Excellence. Ms. Brown has provided care to 9/11 workers and volunteers since she joined Mount Sinai in 2005, and is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of her patients through health education and innovative direct patient care. In addition to her clinical work, Ms. Brown participates in research initiatives at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, including as principal investigator of a 2008 study to improve health outcomes of asthmatic World Trade Center Health Program patients using stress reduction strategies.
Ms. Brown currently teaches mindfulness to World Trade Center responders at the World Trade Center Clinical Center of Excellence at Mount Sinai, as well as at Mount Sinai Corporate Headquarters and employees at The Mount Sinai Hospital. In addition, Ms. Brown has designed and implemented programs for Internal Medicine interns as well Hematology-Oncology Fellows at Mount Sinai Hospital.
She is a holistic nurse and qualified MBSR facilitator by The Center for Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts Medical School and is a certified facilitator in Mind-Body Skills by Center for Mind-Body Medicine, as well as trained in Mindful Leadership at the Institute for Mindful Leadership.
Ms. Brown is a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association and holds a nursing degree from the Edmonton General Hospital School of Nursing in Alberta, Canada.
Call us at 212-824-7118 to learn more about signing you or your company up for mindfulness sessions.