Presentation Title

Digital Mindfulness to Reduce Stress for University Students, Faculty and Staff

Presenter Information

James Pann, NSUFollow

Start

10-2-2020 3:00 PM

End

10-2-2020 4:00 PM

Short Description

The presentation will discuss a multi-disciplinary study to develop and implement a six-week online mindfulness training program. Weekly live sessions via Zoom, practice audio recordings, and daily MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) messages were used to teach various formal and informal mindfulness practices to the participants, who were university students, faculty and staff. During the session, we will review the program design, the theoretical rationale, and discuss initial findings with 4 cohorts of participants.

Abstract

The presentation will discuss a multi-disciplinary collaboration to develop, implement, and study a six-week online mindfulness training program for university students, faculty, and staff. The program design was based on research conducted by one of the investigators with input from collaborators including psychologists, distance educators, a mindfulness teacher who is also a neurologist, and a technology firm specializing in using MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) to enhance the practice of mindfulness. Weekly synchronous sessions, audio practice recordings, and daily MMS messages were employed to teach various formal and informal mindfulness practices to the participants, who were university students, faculty and staff.

Consistent with recently published work suggesting that the amount of time that individuals spend practicing mindfulness exercises predicts change across training sessions (Jha, Zanesco, Denkova, Rooks, Morrison, & Stanley, 2020; Rooks, Morrison, Goolsarran, Rogers, & Jha, 2017), we encouraged daily practice through the provisions of mindfulness practice audio recordings and daily SMS messages that also served as reminders.

Our research study examined the impact of the training course perceived stress, mind wandering, and cognitive functioning. The negative effects of stress on physical and cognitive functioning (Herbert & Cohen, 1993; Klein & Boals, 2001) have been shown in the literature and mindfulness has been used in universities to address stress in a variety of modalities, however not in the exact format that we implemented.

During the session we will review the program design process and rationale, the theoretical foundation underpinning the design, and discuss initial findings with four cohorts of participants. We will also conduct a mindfulness practice with attendees so that they obtain an experiential sense of what was done in the program and how mindfulness could be incorporated in their work.

Format

Concurrent Session

Institutional level targeted

Higher Ed

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Oct 2nd, 3:00 PM Oct 2nd, 4:00 PM

Digital Mindfulness to Reduce Stress for University Students, Faculty and Staff

The presentation will discuss a multi-disciplinary collaboration to develop, implement, and study a six-week online mindfulness training program for university students, faculty, and staff. The program design was based on research conducted by one of the investigators with input from collaborators including psychologists, distance educators, a mindfulness teacher who is also a neurologist, and a technology firm specializing in using MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) to enhance the practice of mindfulness. Weekly synchronous sessions, audio practice recordings, and daily MMS messages were employed to teach various formal and informal mindfulness practices to the participants, who were university students, faculty and staff.

Consistent with recently published work suggesting that the amount of time that individuals spend practicing mindfulness exercises predicts change across training sessions (Jha, Zanesco, Denkova, Rooks, Morrison, & Stanley, 2020; Rooks, Morrison, Goolsarran, Rogers, & Jha, 2017), we encouraged daily practice through the provisions of mindfulness practice audio recordings and daily SMS messages that also served as reminders.

Our research study examined the impact of the training course perceived stress, mind wandering, and cognitive functioning. The negative effects of stress on physical and cognitive functioning (Herbert & Cohen, 1993; Klein & Boals, 2001) have been shown in the literature and mindfulness has been used in universities to address stress in a variety of modalities, however not in the exact format that we implemented.

During the session we will review the program design process and rationale, the theoretical foundation underpinning the design, and discuss initial findings with four cohorts of participants. We will also conduct a mindfulness practice with attendees so that they obtain an experiential sense of what was done in the program and how mindfulness could be incorporated in their work.