Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Studies continue to show the damage stress can have on a person’s mental and physical health. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, a ThedaCare class offered at Riverside Medical Center (RMC), continues to show participants how to recognize, reduce and respond to stress. “We do not have to be driven by our thoughts,” said Barb Achten, BS, a licensed massage therapist. “We can choose to be mindful.”

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction will be held three consecutive Thursdays, March 13, 20 and 27 at RMC’s Maasch Room located in 902 Building, Suite 202.

Achten, who has been teaching mindfulness since the 1990s, said people do not realize how unconscious thoughts and feelings can increase stress and undermine well-being. They end up reacting to stress in ways that are unhealthy. “We want them to learn how to develop those inner resources that respond rather than react to stressors,” she said.

The techniques taught will improve self-esteem, reduce physical and psychological symptoms associated with stress, and result in a greater ability to relax. “It takes conscious effort and practice to manage stress,” said Achten.

Achten trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn, head of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center's Stress Reduction Clinic. Kabat-Zinn, a best-selling author, helped propel mindfulness meditation into the mainstream with his books including “Full Catastrophe Living" and "Wherever You Go, There You Are."

This program will run from 6:30-8 p.m. The cost is $20 per person. Each person must register separately. To register, call (715) 258-1119 or visit www.thedacare.org and click on Classes.