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By Whitney Wyatt
The Red River Sun
CHILDRESS – With the COVID-19 pandemic and recent winter storm, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Stress Less with Mindfulness (SLWM) Program is coming at the ideal time.
The program will be offered virtually at no cost to Childress and surrounding counties from noon to 1 p.m. each Tuesday in March. The five-class series introduces participants to the experience and practice of mindfulness to reduce stress, said Dawn Dockter, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agent for family and community health, Childress County.
“Research has shown that mindfulness-based stress reduction courses are effective in reducing related symptoms such as worry, depression and physical tension, and can be helpful in managing cardiac disease and diabetes,” she explained.
Originally developed by West Virginia University Extension Service, Dockter said the program has three goals: to increase flexibility in responding to stress; provide an alternative way to relating to everyday life experiences, including thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and events; and to teach and encourage adoption of mindfulness skills to enhance participants’ lives.
SLWM is a program intended for healthy adults. Each session is approximately 45 minutes. Dockter said five SLWM sessions provide a comfortable and relaxing environment for learning.
The session topics are:
Session 1 – Begin with the Breath.
Session 2 – Mindful Eating.
Session 3 – Mindful Walking/Thought Surfing.
Session 4 – Be Kind to Your Mind.
Session 5 – Laughter is Good Medicine.
“Mindfulness can be defined as paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally,” Dockter said.
The series is available through the Zoom link at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89588394114?pwd=TWJVS0JYMTdHU0JYcXpBalhjYzZlZz09.
This curriculum is educational, and the content is informational. It is not a substitute for medical care, counseling or other treatments; it’s designed as preventive education, Dockter said. For more information, contact Dockter at 940-937-2351.