Mindful Dexter Coming to Dexter This Fall





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By Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com

The Dexter Wellness Coalition has been exploring ways to promote mental health. This fall a new, free initiative called Mindful Dexter will be open to anyone in the community.

Under the leadership of the Dexter Wellness Coalition and the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation, twice monthly drop-in sessions for mindfulness meditation will begin in September. There is no experience level needed and anyone is welcome.

Mindfulness meditation is the practice of improving moment by moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, sensations, and your environment.

At the moment there are no specific days or times set in stone. Mindful Dexter is looking for input from the community, so they can choose best times and dates when people who want to come check out the new initiative, can.

Mindful Dexter has a short survey that can be filled out through the end of April (http://TinyURL.com/MindfulDexterSurvey) that has questions that pertain to what draws them to Mindful Dexter and when the best dates and times would work for them to be able to make the free drop-in sessions coming this September.

Jeanette Brooks, a member of the Dexter Wellness Coalition and one of the leaders of the new Mindful Dexter Intervention, told The Sun Times that several coalition members have had good personal results from mindfulness meditation.

“It’s something that I think is of interest not only for the coalition itself,” said Brooks. “But also because we recognize there’s a lot of data out there about how it can improve stress level, physical health, and aid in the promotion of a better relaxation response, and supporting better sleep.

Brooks works in the technology sector, doing a lot of work in the healthcare sector and has seen the mindfulness topic pop up in that field as well, something she says she recognizes almost as a theme in healthcare at the moment.

“Lots of healthcare scenes promote and support mediation and so it seems like it’s coming at us from all angles,” said Brooks. “So we thought now is a good time to begin offering something.”

Typical sessions will include a 20-minute guided meditation followed by a 15-minute silent meditation. The remaining time will be used for a Q and A along with discussion and idea sharing on a mindfulness topic.

The Mindful Dexter Intervention has a subpage off of the Wellness Center that gives more specific information about the intervention as well as links to research for a more clinical definition of mindfulness meditation and the benefits it has.

Brooks told The Sun Times that this is one of the first interventions open to anyone that addresses the topic of mental health.

“We have workshops and offer workshops that are somewhat related to the area of mental health but this is the first time, to my knowledge, we’ll be doing something free for everyone,” said Brooks. “No commitment, no registration, nothing, just show up if you want to. I think it’s important we make it clear it’s not a class, it’s a practice, there will be guidance, but people shouldn’t show up with a textbook mentality. We are encouraging anyone to come and we’re excited about it.

For more information about Mindful Dexter you can visit their webpage or find them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mindfuldexter/)

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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