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May 27, 2019

Mac Mindfulness: a workout routine for your mind

Treat your mind as you would your muscles and give it a good workout.

That’s what McMaster postdoctoral fellow José is doing, after completing the four-week Mac Mindfulness program. That new way of looking at himself was one of his big takeaways.

“We need to exercise our mind, so when we’re in stressful situations we’re better prepared to handle them. Strategies I learned in Mac Mindfulness are helping me get my mind in good shape.”

Just prior to learning about Mac Mindfulness for postdocs and graduate students, José read a study about the benefits of practicing mindfulness. He had been experiencing some anxiety at that time, so he decided the time was right to give it a try.

The program format and delivery worked for José. From meeting weekly with the group where he “could benefit from the teacher’s guidance and expertise, as well as share and learn from the experience of others,” to the program book full of reflections, to the app focused on daily self-directed practices, “everything was just right for me. I liked it all.”

And he is seeing benefits in day-to-day life, where he feels he handles stress more effectively.

“Stressful situations made me anxious and drained my energy and my time. Now I use my energy and time to actually deal with whatever I have to deal with in that moment.”

José says that although he has as many stressful situations now as before the course, his anxiety levels are lower. He attributes this to course strategies and continues to use them whenever possible.

“During this period of life, the high expectations, obligations and uncertainties can be overwhelming, and this course has helped me cope with those stressful times,” José says. “I’ve been recommending the course to everyone.”

Mac Mindfulness is a free-of-cost program, open to McMaster graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

The next session begins on Friday, May 31, 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.  The course is delivered by mindfulness coach Jill Axisa and runs each Friday, until June 21. Participants are expected to attend all sessions.

Visit the Mac Mindfulness website to learn more and register