Practicing Mindfulness

This course posits that MBSR is an essential tool that college students can appreciate the rich history of, acquire, and then apply across multiple school-home-life situations to help them remain grounded in the present while they prepare to leave The Hilltop.

Course Details

Mondays 8/28 – 10/14
4 – 6 PM

Why Take This Course?

After taking this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the application of MBSR to their daily lives through written reflections and their mindfulness journal;
  • Achieve greater mindfulness and recognize the impact of MBSR on their lives through their mindfulness journal;
  • Apply learned MBSR practitioner skills to practice MBSR on a regular basis and utilize its principles to form positive habits post-Georgetown.

Lifespan experts have noted that transitioning from college to young adulthood requires students to become more self-reliant, self-confident, and remain “present” to help them focus on their futures. Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is widely available and commonly used for stress management: it is a teachable lifeskill for un-learning old habits and forming new and healthier ones. This course posits that MBSR is an essential tool that college students can appreciate the rich history of, acquire, and then apply across multiple school-home-life situations to help them remain grounded in the present while they prepare to leave The Hilltop.

This course will expose students the biopsychosocial theory and application of mindfulness-based stress reduction, and its relationship to young adult physical health and social/emotional well-being. MBSR (sometimes termed meditation) is a mind-body practice. Although there are many types of MBSR, most can be traced back to ancient religious and spiritual traditions. MBSR practitioners tout the benefits of becoming conscious of their own thoughts, feelings, and sensations and observe these states in a nonjudgmental way.

Modern medicine has rediscovered the power of MBSR to heal both the body and mind. This has raised interesting questions about the mechanisms of action of MBSR (how and why it works), and wonderment about its utility (where it can be applied)? This course will explore what is known about the neurobiological effects of MBSR on the brain, especially areas related to attention and memory, sensory processing, and stress and emotions, and downstream effects on physical functions. Importantly, this course exposes students to fundamental insights from mind-body medicine that can be used in everyday life.

At Georgetown University, Dr. Tercyak teaches in the areas of child health and human development, public health psychology, social/behavioral science, and cancer prevention. He is a member of the Office of the Provost’s Formation x Design team for undergraduate education. Dr Tercyak is a past co-chair of the medical center’s Research Committee, a former member and chair of several Strategic Planning Initiative committees, and was an elected member of the Medical Center Caucus of the Faculty Senate (Basic Science). He now serves on the GUMC MedStar Scientific Counci