“Now I have the tools to cope…”
Before he retired from his hectic 40-year career as a restaurant chef and
private chef, Greg Williamson had pursued meditation classes and yoga
throughout the past decade to calm his anxiety and to help him cope with
the stresses of caring for his elderly mother.
In 2021, the 10-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class at
the Mindfulness Center “really hit home and tied together all of
the concepts and modalities I had already learned and still needed to
learn,” he says. “Some people can go through life and not
worry about anything. I worry about the world and the planet and the people
in it. Learning to cope with those things is the most important thing
for me now, and now I have the tools.”
The most beneficial concepts he’s embraced from MBSR? Kindness. Awareness.
“Before I learned mindfulness, my tendency was always to react in
a negative way. Now I can deal with my anxiety in the day-to-day world,”
he says. “When I start to feel those feelings again, I know I need
to get back my practice of mindfulness. The biggest lesson that was reinforced
during Sheila Griffin’s class was the practice of learning to pause
before reacting, especially with my mom.
“There’s so much modern science now that supports the benefits
of mindfulness,” he adds. “I would have driven anywhere in
Palm Beach County to take this class. I feel fortunate that Jupiter Medical
Center offers it and embraces it as an important resource.”
-Greg, Jupiter FL
“Slow myself down…”
If she begins to feel stressed at work, Heather relies on all the self-help
resources she’s learned at Jupiter Medical Center’s Mindfulness
Center to calm down, refocus, re-energize and get back to work with a
Several years ago, she began attending classes in mindfulness, yoga, painting
and body movement after hearing rave reviews and positive results from
her coworkers at Jupiter, where she is a lead financial analyst. “Just
hearing about their experiences made me want to go check it out for myself,”
Heather says. “Now I take advantage of almost everything I can.”
In addition to in-person classes and training, she takes advantage of a
virtual 15-minute body movement/relaxation class held daily for employees,
and a yoga class via Zoom on Tuesday evenings.
“When I start to get really upset or excited about something, I’ve
learned to stop myself and do some of the breathing exercises and mindfulness
practices to calm me down so I can function again,” she says. “Sometimes
I’ll take a walk in the hospital garden to slow myself down and
appreciate everything around me.”
-Heather, Palm Beach Gardens
“A real eye-opening experience”
Until she signed up for the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Class at
Jupiter Medical Center, Liz Thomas had never paid close attention to how
stressed and distracted she could become.
“From the get-go, I loved it,” says Liz, an acute-care nurse
at the medical center. “Nursing can get so task-oriented, and we’re
often doing several things at once. Mindfulness taught me to be more aware
of doing one thing well and then moving on. I was amazed at what some
of the mindfulness exercises taught me about awareness of my own body
and what’s going on internally.”
At work, the mindfulness philosophy helps her understand and relate to
her coworkers, patients, and their families because of the deeper understanding
she has gained of herself.
“Even though I took the class three years ago, I have incorporated
what I learned into a lot of things in my daily life,” Liz says.
“I still practice mindfulness. I still pay attention to my body.
If I start to get stressed, I can pull myself together and focus on ny
breath as a safe place.”
-Liz, Jupiter, FL
“I’m OK now”
“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer a second time in 2009, I
endured 13 months of intense treatment and lingering side effects. I was
in pain most of the time.
“My oncologist predicted an 80% chance of recovery, but I’m
at 100% now. I attribute my well-being today to mindfulness and yoga.
“The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course changed me by being
with other people and sharing their energy. It reduced my pain dramatically
and it made my life much better.
“I now do yoga every day, and if I feel stressed, I can do 10-15
minutes of a mindfulness practice and it’s like I’m a different
person. It’s like …
ahhhhh, I’m OK now.”
-Sue, Jupiter FL