A Very Mindful Podcast
Join Nicole as she invites guests from a broad variety of fields to dig deeper into Mindfulness, meditation and mental health.
A Very Mindful Podcast is for students, professionals, and anyone interested in Mindfulness and mental health. The series is composed of episodes focused on mindfulness theory, and practice episodes that introduce a set of Mindfulness exercises.
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Introduction to A Very Mindful Podcast – Teaser
Meet Nicole, a student assistant at the Centre for Innovation (Leiden University). Find out what to expect from episodes in the series, and what kind of insights Nicole will explore.
THEORY 1: What is Mindfulness? Definitions & History of a popular practice
In this episode, Nicole covers popular definitions of Mindfulness, with a focus on the Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction program. Join our first theoretical episode for a journey through history and scientific research, and learn more about the background of a diverse practice.
PRACTICE 1: Body Scan Meditation
In this practice episode, Nicole will guide you through your body with a non-judgmental scan. Body scans release tension and bring awareness to corporeal sensations and discomfort. The goal is not to relieve but to learn and become acquainted with your own body.
THEORY 2: Mindful Leadership with Kiki Vreeling
In our second theory episode, Nicole speaks to Kiki Vreeling, a mindful leadership coach and researcher, about mindful leadership and dealing with change. Learn more about the leadership skills that mindfulness can help us develop, and how to mindfully adapt to new circumstances.
PRACTICE 2: Sitting Meditation
During this practice, Nicole will guide you through different fields of awareness. From your breathing and hearing, to the awareness and focus of your thoughts. This meditation is suited for anyone who has already practiced Body Scan Meditation before, as it includes moments of silence that provide the opportunity to be mindful.
THEORY 3: The Inner Process of Change with Katie Busch
Nicole talks to Katie Busch, a Leiden University and Diversity Network (LUDEN) intern and teaching assistant, about the personal developments that contribute to greater diversity and inclusion. Katie shares her journey of setting up “the space in between”, a place where students and staff meet to reflect upon their own privileges and co-create a place of learning and growth.
PRACTICE 3: Visualization Meditation – Mountain
Take a visual forest walk where you will visualize a mountain and relate what you see to your daily thoughts and emotions. This is a practice suitable for beginners and everyone who wants to turn off busy thoughts during the day.
THEORY 4: Mental Health Among Students with Roos ter Elst
Nicole talks to Roos ter Elst, a student wellbeing counsellor, about how wellbeing affects to academic success, what role teachers play in student wellbeing and how Mindfulness can improve learning outcomes.
Connect with Roos on LinkedIn
PRACTICE 4: Visualization Meditation – Ocean
In this guided meditation, Nicole will guide you through the calmness of the ocean, allowing you to relax and experience stillness at your own pace. This is a practice suitable for beginners and everyone who wants to relax and unwind.
THEORY 5: Positive Psychology with Daniek Bosch
In this episode, Nicole talks with Daniek Bosch, an expert at the Centre for Innovation (Leiden University) about positive psychology and its relation to Mindfulness. Join us for a deeper insight into the VIA character strengths, as part of positive psychology to learn more about helpful exercises and tools for self-development.
Connect with Daniek on LinkedIn.
Nicole is a Student Assistant at the Centre for Innovation and a student of International Studies. She is interested in Mindfulness and buddhist philosophy and is currently working towards becoming a certified MBSR teacher (Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction).
Connect with Nicole on LinkedIn.
Additional Resources for Theory Episode 1
The Effects and Efficacy of Mindfulness:
Dunning DL, Griffiths K, Kuyken W, Crane C, Foulkes L, Parker J, Dalgleish T (March 2019). “Research Review: The effects of mindfulness-based interventions on cognition and mental health in children and adolescents – a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines. 60 (3): 244–258. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12980. PMC 6546608.
Mindfulness in Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology:
Goldberg SB, Tucker RP, Greene PA, Davidson RJ, Wampold BE, Kearney DJ, Simpson TL (February 2018). “Mindfulness-based interventions for psychiatric disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis”. Clinical Psychology Review. 59: 52–60. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2017.10.011. PMC 5741505. PMID 29126747.
Benefits of Mindfulness for practitioners with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s:
Larouche E, Hudon C, Goulet S (January 2015). “Potential benefits of mindfulness-based interventions in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease: an interdisciplinary perspective”. Behavioural Brain Research. 276: 199–212. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.05.058. hdl:20.500.11794/39836. PMID 24893317. S2CID 36235259.
Some Effects of Meditation:
Buric I, Farias M, Jong J, Mee C, Brazil IA (2017). “What Is the Molecular Signature of Mind-Body Interventions? A Systematic Review of Gene Expression Changes Induced by Meditation and Related Practices”. Frontiers in Immunology. 8: 670. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2017.00670. PMC 5472657.
Neuroplasticity and gyrification processes in the brain of meditators:
Luders E, Kurth F, Mayer EA, Toga AW, Narr KL, Gaser C (2012). “The unique brain anatomy of meditation practitioners: alterations in cortical gyrification”. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 6: 34. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2012.00034. PMC 3289949. PMID 22393318. Lay summary – UCLA Newsroom
Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction Program:
Mindfulness in the setting of Clinical Psychology:
Bishop SR, Lau M, Shapiro S, Carlson L, Anderson ND, Carmody J, Segal ZV, Abbey S, Speca M, Velting D, Devins G (2006). “Mindfulness: A Proposed Operational Definition”. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. 11 (3): 230–41. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.168.6212. doi:10.1093/clipsy.bph077.