We live in a stressed-out world. For many people, there's a lot to worry about -- COVID-19, racism, politics, money, family, school, your job. The list goes on. That's not good, because research shows chronic stress take a toll on body and soul. It increases your risk of some diseases, including depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease, weight gain, diabetes and headaches.

This past winter I took an eight-week course called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. The method was founded by Dr. John Kabat-Zinn, and it involves learning meditation and other techniques that can help reduce stress by bringing your attention out of the negative to the here and now without judgement.

Tina Langdok was the certified MBSR instructor of my class. She teaches the techniques to many types of people, including cancer patients and others who want to reduce stress and increase meaning in their lives.

"Mindfulness has three key ingredients," says Langdok. "Mindfulness is intentional. It doesn't happen by accident, because we have to choose to be mindful. It is experiential, because we learn to tune into our bodies and our surroundings. And it is nonjudgmental, meaning we don't judge what comes up. Instead, we acknowledge and accept things as they are."

In addition to the information about MBSR in this podcast, I will also be posting a longer version that explores the techniques in detail.

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For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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