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Interest grows in mindfulness

The stress of the pandemic has put the spotlight on a special kind of therapy: mindfulness. A local psychologist says more and more people are turning to it now.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — The stress of the pandemic has put the spotlight on a special kind of therapy: mindfulness.

A local psychologist said more and more people are turning to it now.

It is called Mindfulness-based stress reduction or MBSR.

Dr. Tiffany Griffiths is a psychologist at practices in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. She teaches people how to use it.

“It’s brain training; it helps us to overcome the habitual responses, wiring of the brain that have been caused by years and years of stress and difficulties. The brain doesn’t deal with uncertainty very well," said Dr. Griffiths.

Dr. Griffiths says MBSR has become more and more popular. It is a method of meditation, thinking, and awareness that she says can help with stress, anxiety, depression, and even pain.

“Our ability to problem-solve, to concentrate, all that is affected when we get into that reactive fight-or-flight stage. A lot of people enter that when they enter significant stressors like COVID-19, so mindfulness helps us become less reactive, more responsive to stressors in our life.”

Dr. Griffiths says she’s been teaching classes through Zoom and online during this health crisis, and people have really responded.

“I feel like people don’t have as much room to hide in this kind of venue as they do in a group setting, and of course, I always ask folks to use video too, because a big part of mindfulness is being in tune with the body.”

Dr. Griffiths says MBSR has been proven to work through scientific research for adults and kids. She hopes more people turn to it if they need help.