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Stress Awareness Month: Mindfulness Matters

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April is Stress Awareness Month.

Thirteen months of living through a global health crisis has put many individuals under chronic stress, with researchers acknowledging “the COVID-19 pandemic as a major, global and chronic life-stressor,” as they continue to study the impact of pandemic-related stress on the human brain, with particular focus on neuroplasticity, or “how the human brain is able to adapt, master new skills, store memories, and information and even recover after a traumatic brain injury.”

While chronic stress can impair cognitive function, memory, and impulse control, neuroplasticity makes it possible to retrain our brains, particularly through mindfulness and mediation. The evidence-based practice of MBSR—mindfulness-based stress reduction—has proven to be a particularly effective technique. 

CLICK HERE for Rutgers' Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course provided by Rutgers Student Health.

This image shows neuroscientist and MBS alumnus Girish Harinath MBS'20.

Girish Harinath MBS’20 is a cell biologist/neuroscientist who has spent more than a decade studying degenerative diseases as well as the cellular processes that drive aging. He also studies how therapeutics and actionable interventions—such as improved sleep habits, engaging in mindfulness, and meditating—can slow the aging process.

Graduating with a concentration in Biotechnology & Genomics, Harinath has been a featured alumni speaker and recently authored a script for a two-part series that examines the neuroscience behind mindfulness and mediation:

"In the field of longevity we are focused on improving the quantity and quality of our lives,” says Harinath, “but the extra years are essentially meaningless if life passes in a blur and we aren't mindful of the moments we have. Training mindfulness can help improve the quality of our minds, making it one of the most powerful longevity interventions available to us. As your mind is, your life becomes—and I truly believe that.”

PSM Editorial Staff
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