Stress Free Zone
The Stress Free Zone (SFZ) is a space where students can learn and regularly practice evidence-based, mind/body stress reduction skills. These skills are primarily taught through mindfulness meditation, a form of attention training which involves an intentional, non-judgmental observation of the present moment.
Stress in the Mind/Body
Stress manifests in many ways. In the body, stress can be experienced as tight muscles, headaches, increased heart rate, and heat. In the mind, stress can be experienced as racing thoughts, worrying, sadness, irritability, even anger.
SFZ mindfulness services teach skills for working with the mind/body system in ways that not only help us feel better in the moment but also help increase awareness of mental habits that keep us locked into reactive, unhelpful behaviors. With increased awareness we can begin to break those habits and experience some freedom from them.
The research-supported benefits of a regular mindfulness practice extend beyond stress reduction and include:
- Decreased anxiety
- Decreased stress levels–perceived stress and stress hormones
- Decreased depression
- Decreased emotional reactivity
- Improved relationships
- Improved concentration
- Improved working memory
- Increased sense of wellbeing
- Ability to cope with pain–physical pain and mental pain
- Increased body awareness
- Increased compassion for self and other
Interested in recent mindfulness research? Mindfulness Research Monthly compiles emerging research in a monthly newsletter.