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John Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness Expert

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and surroundings without judging them. An example of a judgement, would be that there is a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment or experience in our lives.

When practicing mindfulness, our awareness tunes away from judgement and into what we’re experiencing in the present moment. We learn to stay in the present instead of bringing up the regrets of the past or the worries of the future. Mindfulness can be learned by practicing certain types of meditations, and postures. The practice of mindfulness can be learned by anyone and it is not tied to any specific religious or spiritual worldview. 

What is MBCR?

The Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery (MBCR) program involves training people living with cancer in mindfulness practices through guided meditations and gentle mindful movements. Dr. Linda Carlson and colleagues have been delivering the MBCR program since 1998 at the Tom Baker Cancer Center, University of Calgary. MBCR has shown to be effective in impacting biological and psychosocial outcomes, such as symptoms of stress, quality of life, mood disturbance and stress hormones. 

Why mobile app-based MBCR?

With over 800,000 Canadians living with a history of cancer diagnosed in the previous 10 years, there is a greater need for a more accessible MBCR program rather than the traditional in-person group based delivery. The development of a smartphone app-based MBCR program, “Am’s Mindfulness Based Cancer Survivorship Journey” we will be able to reach more Canadians who have been diagnosed with cancer. The Am app will allow you access to Mindfulness Meditation at anytime and anywhere you are, simply by logging on to the app from your mobile device.

The findings from this study have the potential to revolutionize psychosocial cancer-care delivery in Canada by combining the advances in mobile technology, smartphones and artificial intelligence (AI). Mobile-app based mindfulness allows for considerable flexibility and appeal and can reach a wider geographic pool of people living with cancer post-treatment. 

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