Mindfulness meditation and you: An alternative way to cope with stress and anxiety

As exam season quickly approaches and the semester comes to an end, stress is in the air. Mindfulness meditation is an increasingly popular tool recommended by healthcare professionals to help individuals relax the body and the mind, and cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. So what is the truth about mindfulness meditation, and could it actually be beneficial to you? Defining mindfulness Mindfulness can be practiced at any time, anywhere—or all the time and everywhere, as Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh explained in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. Mindfulness is a unique and personalized experience for those who try it, according to Heather MacLean, a neurology professor at the University of Ottawa (U of O). In a November 2016 lecture, […]

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U of O implements mandatory meditation sessions for med students

The University of Ottawa (U of O) faculty of medicine recently introduced four mandatory one-hour meditation sessions per year for first and second-year medical students. Students in their last two years have a half-day workshop, in addition to optional meditation sessions offered to students throughout their degrees. Meditation is an ancient practice that is still regularly practiced today. It involves sitting silently for a sustained period of time and avoiding conscious thought to promote relaxation and self-understanding. Heather MacLean, the medical professor who advocated for the mandatory meditation sessions, said meditation is intended to help medical students with self-care, but is also a helpful practice that doctors should recommend to patients. “A lot of patients, especially when dealing with anxiety […]

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