Stress Reduction Podcasts and Other Mind/Body Resources
Sandi Herman, MS, Health and Wellness Educator
Sandi has 30 years of experience in the fields of social work and health education. She has a special interest and expertise in holistic approaches to stress reduction. Since 2007, she has conducted individual wellness sessions and workshops in stress reduction and smoking cessation for Penn students. These sessions incorporate not only educational and behavioral counseling techniques, but also mind/body awareness practices, including meditation, reiki, guided imagery, self-massage and qigong. Sandi also maintains a private consulting practice with individuals and organizations, where she shares these varied methods for increasing calm and balance in facing life's many challenges.
Guided Meditation Podcast
Begin your day in a relaxed and focused way by listening to this guided meditation pocast. Meditation is a way of training ourselves to be mindful. It involves the deliberate giving of attention, without judgment, to whatever is happening in the moment. Focusing on the breath's rhythmic movement is one form of meditation that is always available to us. Commonly, meditation takes place with the person in a seated position. However, many people practice meditation while walking, or doing other activities.
This practice has many benefits. It can assist in lowering heart rate and blood pressure; it can be helpful in reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. Meditation allows us to hear important messages that we are sending ourselves, but may have previously ignored. It may also help us to become more focused on the present moment and more productive and alive.
Anyone can practice mindful breathing. Choose a place to sit where you feel at ease, and will not be disturbed. (However, once you become accustomed to meditation, you will be able to pay attention to your breath even under circumstances that are disturbing!) Turn off your cell phone. Focus your attention and place the intention on your breath. As you slowly and mindfully breathe in and out, notice the rise and fall of your belly. As thoughts arise (as they will), acknowledge them, and let them go; then bring your attention back to the present, and back to your breath. Repeating this conscious breathing throughout the day can help you respond, rather than merely react, to stressful situations.
Click to listen to this 15 minute meditation podcast.
Click to listen to This 10 minute meditation podcast.
Please note: if you are using Google Chrome, you must enable flash in order for the podcast to play (click the lowercase "i" in the URL field and select "enable" from the drop down menu next to "flash") or simply use another browser.
Need help sleeping? Check out our Sleep Tips and our Sleep Podcast here!
Guided Imagery Podcast
Guided imagery is a powerful yet simple meditative technique, in which the participant uses multisensory images to direct the mind, and induce a state of relaxation and well-being. Studies have documented the many benefits of this technique. In addition to providing a means of relaxation, it can be used to enhance performance and creativity. It can also be used to reduce anxiety, manage physical pain and to promote healing.
Guided imagery can be experienced on one's own or in a group setting. It can be directed by the participant's own internal voice, or facilitated by another person. The beginning of the visualization typically includes a meditation that allows the body and mind to focus and relax, and thus become receptive. Then a narrative follows, one that often takes the form of a journey, in which the participant experiences calming environments and events through all the senses: mentally seeing, tasting, touching, smelling, and hearing. When these experiences are thus created by the mind, the body may respond as if the events are really happening. In that instance, participating in a guided imagery may be like taking a vacation to a safe, beautiful place.
Click to listen to the podcast.
Connecting Mind and Body Workshops
Interested in attending a live, on-going mind and body workshop? These Mind and Body Workshop classes will return in the Fall! Look back here for details in August.
Sessions are generally held in the Basement Meditation Room at 3615 Locust Walk (the Graduate Student Center building).
Workshops are facilitated by Sandi Herman, MS, Health and Wellness Educator. Any questions? Contact Sandi at email@example.com for more information.
Free Stress Reduction Workshops for Student Groups
Other stress reduction workshops specifically tailored to your group's interest and needs are available to students upon request, at no cost. Past workshops have included various topics related to mind-body awareness, including time management, self-care, and relaxation techniques. Contact Sandi at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about having a stress reduction workshop designed for your group.
Individual Sessions for Stress Reduction
Sandi also offers two types of individual sessions for stress reduction and for smoking cessation. The sessions are 50 minutes in length, and the first session of each type is free to all Penn students. Subsequent sessions are $40, and not covered by insurance.