(866) 488-9228
Get High Performance
Tips In Your Inbox

Practicing Mindfulness for Overall Wellbeing: Inspired by Heart Health Awareness Month

February 15, 2024 in

By Siana Sylvester, M.Ed., CMPC, CPC 
Edited by Donnie Horner, Ph.D. 


Join us daily from February 20th – February 29th (excluding Saturday, 2/24 and Sunday, 2/25) at 12:00 PM Eastern for a mindfulness webinar in support of Heart Health Awareness month.



Stress is a normal part of life. Everyone experiences it. 

How much stress on a scale of 1-10 are you feeling right now? Not sure how to rate yourself? A more precise measure of personal stress can be uncovered by using a variety of instruments that have been designed to help measure individual stress levels. If you want, find out where your stress level is at by taking a few moments to complete the validated Perceived Stress Scale by clicking here. 

A growing number of empirical studies have found that diaphragmatic breathing and consistent, mindfulness practices allow the body to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the nervous system that is responsible for rest and relaxation. Studies have found that body relaxation responses benefit both physical and mental health (1). If you spend a significant amount of time in a chronically stressed state, it can lead to serious health problems like heart disease (2). 

If your stress level is high, you’re not alone. 

The American Psychological Association (APA) researches the state of stress across America and reports its impact. The numbers they found in 2023 were not good. The survey reported that since 2019, stress levels have increased significantly and adults between the ages of 35-44 are most likely to report an increase in significant chronic health conditions and mental health diagnoses. And, about 25% of adults rated their average stress between eight and 10 on a scale of one to 10 where one means “little to no stress” and 10 means “a great deal of stress (3).”

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is prevalent in Americans and chronic stress is associated with increased cardiovascular events. In honor of Heart Health Awareness month, HigherEchelon is offering a free, 15-minute mindfulness webinar to the public, offered daily from February 20 – February 29 (excluding Saturday, 2/24 and Sunday, 2/25) at 12:00 PM EDT.

Mindfulness is defined by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn as “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally (4).” There has been a wealth of research on mindfulness conducted by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a former Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts.  The topic is increasingly mainstream, as experts from the fields of medicine, psychology, health care, neuroscience, higher education, government, and elite athletics continue to advance the field.    

Start to manage your stress today with a few minutes of mindfulness.  Leaders who do so are more effective at identifying problems and implementing solutions. They communicate effectively and concisely, maintain stronger relationships, innovate, and are more productive.  


Join us daily from February 20th – February 29th (excluding Saturday, 2/24 and Sunday, 2/25) at 12:00 PM Eastern for a mindfulness webinar in support of Heart Health Awareness month. 

  1. Ma X, Yue Z-Q, Gong Z-Q, Zhang H, Duan N-Y, Shi Y-T, Wei G-X and Li Y-F (2017) The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults. Front. Psychol. 8:874. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874 
  2. Mayo Clinic. Healthy Lifestyle. Stress Management. Stress Basics. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/basics/stress-basics/hlv-20049495#:~:text=Stress%20management%20gives%20you%20a,lead%20to%20serious%20health%20problems. 
  3. American Psychological Association (2023, November 1). Stress in America™ 2023: A nation grappling with psychological impacts of collective trauma. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2023/11/psychological-impacts-collective-trauma 
  4. Mindful Staff. (2017, January 11). Jon Kabat-Zinn: Defining Mindfulness. What is mindfulness? The found of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction explains. Mindful. Retrieved from https://www.mindful.org/jon-kabat-zinn-defining-mindfulness/