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Mindful : October 2016
Bringing Death to Life Changing the subject every time death comes up has got to stop. That’s what IDEO, a Palo Alto-based design firm, believes. Its OpenIDEO platform seeks ways to crowdsource solutions to our biggest problems. Its “End of Life Challenge” began by gathering inspirational thoughts about death, but then moved on to collecting ideas about how to make death a better part of life. A small sampling of the 50 ideas under consideration: a bracelet and web app that promotes end-of- life decision-making, a school cur- riculum on death and dying, training for young people in hospice care. The winning ideas will be funded by spon- sors Sutter Health, the Ungerleider Palliative Care Education Fund, and the HELIX Centre. Seeing By Design Homework for a design class at New York’s School of Visual Arts teaches students to really see—through a lens of mindfulness. Teacher Rob Walker, a New York Times columnist and expert on material culture, asks MFA stu- dents in his Point of View class to “practice paying attention.” The purpose? To help them push back against what Walker calls “a war against seeing” through the din of modern-age distraction. From striving to see something new every day along a familiar route to zeroing in on ambient sounds in a sea of noise, students discover potent strategies outside the classroom for being present to what’s right there. “My body has really shifted since I brought more mindfulness to my routine, doing meditation. We hold so much stress that if we’re not regulating that, I don’t think it’s possible to be our best.” Kate Hudson, as told to OK! magazine Kate Hudson on meditation and well-being Navigating Marital Stresses When romantic relation- ships hit a rough patch, does being mindful help? Recent research offers positive clues. In one study, Heidemarie Laurent and colleag ues in Wyoming asked 88 couples to each spend 15 minutes hashing out an unresolved conflict. Their levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, soared—but maintaining a mindful awareness and openness during the arg ument seemed to provide a buffer. In cases where a partner reacted with coercive or angry behaviors, or simply with- drew, participants with greater mindfulness either showed a faster recovery of their cortisol levels, or didn’t experience the impaired recovery that usually follows such negative interactions. Another study in Baltimore examined how trust, emotional attachment, and mindfulness influenced interactions in recently married couples who discussed a marital transgression, such as unfaithfulness. Spouses with less trust of their partner and lower levels of mindfulness were more disengaged, compared to those with higher mindfulness. what’s new PHOTOGRAPH©FREEPIK/SXC(BOTTOM),SHUTTERSTOCK/EVERETTCOLLECTION(TOP)