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Stress Management and Mindfulness

Just like our other vital organs, our brain needs to be nurtured too. Professor Amit Sood of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine speaks about how our brain, a conflicted and busy organ, is deserving of the time and attention necessary to nurture it. If you are having difficulty with emotional issues, if you find yourself withdrawing or are afraid to ask for help, know this: most people who do seek help are able to improve their quality of life. But, it takes support. 


Build Your Resilience

What is resiliency?

Just as physically healthy people are better able to bounce back from illness or injury, people with strong mental health are better able to bounce back from adversity, trauma, and stress. This ability is called resilience. People who are emotionally and mentally resilient have the tools for coping with difficult situations and maintaining a positive outlook. Their resilience also makes them less afraid of new things or an uncertain future. Even when they don’t immediately know how a problem will get resolved, they feel hope that a solution will eventually be found.

Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed by anyone. 

View this 2-minute video on how resiliency has the power to increase your inner strength.

Self Assessment

  • Discover your PGK score!  Take this quick and confidential quiz to learn about your Presence, Gratitude and Kindness.
  • WebMD Health Questionnaire - Complete this confidential questionnaire and discover more about your state of well-being.  Once complete, you will be linked to helpful resources.

Skill Building- Webinar Trainings

The Science of Reslience- How to Thrive in Life  This recorded presentation will provide you an "emotional toolkit" of relevant actions you can take to start enhancing your life today!  Dr. Darlene Mininni shares how resilience, emotional intelligence and mindfulness can affect physical health. Science consistently shows that positive emotions make a physiological impact on one's life - whether you are 18 or 80 - and Dr. Mininni offers practical advice to bring more well-being into your life. This lecture is part of the Frank B. Roehr Memorial Lecture Series, which was established by Mr. Roehr's daughter, Suzanne Angelucci, to inform the public on topics associated with the power of humor and positive thinking

Gratitude: A Skill for Happier Living   (Recording)

Gratitude is a skill anyone can learn as an alternative to regret and fear. We can focus on the positive elements of our lives with a few simple practices. Providing sincere compliments can help us build relationships and be grateful for others. Rather than being grateful because we “ought to,” we can choose gratitude as a way of looking forward to each day.


Using Kindness to Achieve Success and Happiness   Sep 13, Noon – 1 P.M.
Kindness is an admirable aspiration for anyone, and it also can be an effective way to achieve success. By being concerned about others we can build relationships and gain support. By serving others we can be happier about ourselves. Kindness can be more than the right thing to do, it can be a path to success and happiness.


Initiating Difficult Conversations    Oct 17, Noon – 1 P.M.
There are conversations in which the stakes are high: asking for a raise, ending a relationship, giving acritical performance review, confronting disrespectful behavior, apologizing or disagreeing within a group. This workshop is about developing the skills to initiate the conversations which most people find difficult, unpleasant and generally avoid. You will learn the practical skills involved in framing a problem without blame or defensiveness and how to keep the conversation productive.


Living Simply: Simplify Your Life   Dec 4, 2018, Noon – 1 P.M.

In today’s digital age, people are exposed to a vast number of choices and opportunities in all facets of life; choices about what to read, watch, listen to or purchase. The result is that people often are more distracted, confused and stressed by the increasing complexity of consumer choices and online social media activities. This topic addresses ways of prioritizing and simplifying your life through adopting a “digital mindfulness” approach.

Mental and Emotional Health

Mental and emotional health work together to ensure optimal well-being.

Mental health exists on a continuum and the state of one's mental health can slide up and down on that continuum throughout life.  Similar to improving physical health, mental and emotional health can be improved by taking action.

Being emotionally and mentally healthy doesn’t mean you have a problem-free life, but it does mean that you are resilient and able to bounce back when life presents setbacks.  The ability to manage emotions optimally is what can prevent unnecessary and unhealthy stress—which if severe enough can lead to depression and other high risk health states. 

Who can benefit from therapy?

Talking with a therapist can benefit both adults and children with a wide range of conditions.  The most common conditions are anxiety, depression, panic disorders and anger issues.  In addition, behavioral therapy can help treat; phobias, PTSD, eating disorders, ADHD, self-harm, OCD and substance abuse. 

As a Baystate Health team member, you have access to Life GuidanceResources & EAP.  This benefit provides confidential counseling for all employees and household family members, at no-cost.  To learn more and to make an appointment, visit the Confidential Counseling page.  

If you are in need of immediate help, please call 911.  The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).   In addition, the Crisis Text Line can be accessed by texting HOME to 741741

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness Courses at Baystate

Baystate Health offers programs on Mindfulness, a way of using your brain to intentionally pay attention to life as it is happening.  Through Mindfulness, you will learn the skills to achieve greater mental and emotional fitness and an enhanced quality of life.  View this quick 2 minute overview of mindfulness.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) - This intensive world acclaimed program, created by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, at UMASS Medical School has taught thousands of people how to access and mobilize their inner resources for coping, growing and healing, by exploring the interplay between mind and body—allowing greater ease and peace of mind. To fully benefit from this program, you must be willing to make a strong commitment to attend all classes and to practice daily home assignments for eight weeks.
You will learn how to:
•Respond more effectively to everyday stress and anxiety
•Improve your interpersonal communication and relationships
•Be more fully present to yourself and the people you engage with every day
•Experience a richer more fulfilling life
•Develop a practical routine to sustain mindfulness practices learned in class

This program is currently on-hold, but see below for information about MBSR in the community.

Mindfulness Essentials for Busy Lives: Life is becoming more complex leading to greater stress for many of us. This program touches upon many of the core principles of the full Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, but is a shorter, less intensive version that focuses more on issues relating to the work environment.  It supports those interested in taking a first step who may or may not have an interest in the more in-depth MBSR training. In this interactive video conference based program, you will learn how to:

•Use mindfulness practices at work and home to reduce stress
•Improve your interpersonal communication and relationships
•Manage change more effectively and develop greater resilience
•Create a healthier work and life balance
•Improve your creativity and problem solving when faced with stressful situations

Participate in this weekly online program from anywhere! Next Course:  September 18- October 30, 2018  (no class Oct 16)  6:30-8 p.m.   Cost:  $75* Register now!

Mindfulness Group Practice Sessions:

Come and experience Mindfulness for the first time or continue practicing your skills in one of these weekly sessions, available at BMC and Holyoke. These 30-minute sessions are open to all employees and offered at no cost.  Each session may include: awareness of breathing, body scan, gentle mindful yoga, discussion of stress and mindfulness.
BMC: Tom Carr Room, Fridays  11:30 am- noon.  Facilitator: 
361 Whitney Ave, Holyoke, HIM CR:  Thursdays, 12:30- 1 p.m.  Facilitator: Bob Oldenburg. If first time attending, call Bob at 322-4258

Mindfulness Independent and Guided Practices

Audio Files - Access a variety of audio-guided practices for meditation, body scan and yoga, through Dropbox.  Simply create and account and you can make the experience mobile via the Dropbox app and loading these files to your mobile device.

Sitting Meditation (45 min)
Standing Yoga (23 min)
Body Scan (42 min) 
Mindful Eating (18min)

MBSR Course Audio CD’s: Available on loan from Baystate Health Sciences Library



Meditation and Mindfulness Made Simple

Mental Workout  


Video Files

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR): In this video, experience a guided 12-minute PMR exercise where you tense and relax your muscles.
Deep Breathing:  In this video, experience a guided 5-minute deep breathing exercise. Turn your speakers on!  Written guidelines also available.                                            

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in the Community


Center for Mindfulness- Explore available courses both in-person and online. 

Mindful Awareness Practice Center(MAPCenter)- Individual and group mindfulness courses as well as a mindful/intuitive eating course.


*MBSR is eligible for the $150 HNE wellness reimbursement

Help with Everyday Responsibilities and Life's Pivotal Moments

Life stressors can leave us feeling emotionally unstable.  Financial concerns, the ongoing "to-do" list, raising a family or caring for an aging family member are just some of the areas where a worklife expert at Life GuidanceResources & EAP can help.

When your ready for someone to help lighten your load a bit, call a worklife specialist who will search out the information you are seeking, saving you time and energy.  You will receive qualified referrals and customized resources that are specific to your caregiving needs:

  • Child care services 
  • Caring for aging loved ones
  • Budgeting
  • Getting married or divorced
  • Credit repair and debt consolidation
  • Financial planning
  • Parenting, child development and raising children with special needs   
  • College planning & scholarships      
  • Summer programs for your children 
  • Selling or buying a home*
  • Home services & emergencies
  • Legal services*- civil and criminal
  • Estate planning and wills*

*All Baystate Health team members and their household members have access to 30-minute consultations with attorneys, at no cost.  If your particular issue requires more than the 30 minutes, you will be referred to a qualified attorney in your area with a 25% reduction in customary legal fees thereafter.

Call Life GuidanceResources & EAP 24/7/365 at 1-855-327-4479.   

Links to Additonal Resources

Guided Videos & Activities

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR): In this video, experience a guided 12-minute PMR exercise where you tense and relax your muscles.
Deep Breathing:  In this video, experience a guided 5-minute deep breathing exercise. Turn your speakers on!  Written guidelines also available.

Walk the Labyrinth: Discover ways this ancient tool can help you find peace of mind and feel more relaxed. The labyrinth is chaplain-guided every Thursday at noon and self-guided for the remainder the afternoon. For a guided walk, meet at the BMC Chapel, Wesson 3. No registration required.  Watch this short video to learn more about the labyrinth experience.

Midday Metta: This 30 minute break will help you relieve stress and increase circulation while you clear your mind and relax your body. Perform gentle seated and standing yoga and stretches, meditation and breathing techniques. View our program guide for the current schedule. (page 2)

Yoga: Classes are being taught at various locations. View our program guide for the current schedule. (page 2)

Chair Massage: Bring chair massage to your work location! A massage therapist can be scheduled to come to your work site. Call Baystate Healthy; 413-794-4939 to find out how. View our program guide for the current schedule. (page 2)



Meditation and Mindfulness Made Simple

Mental Workout  



National Resources