Ever since she was a teen, Alex Duz has been a huge proponent of mindfulness, meditation and “the art and practice of being in the here and now of this present moment.”
So, when the Mississauga born-and-raised Yorkville University student was offered the chance to launch her very first podcast centred around that very subject, she jumped at the chance.
“Mindfulness and meditation, specifically, is something I’ve been practicing for a really long time. It’s been a really important part of my life,” said Duz, who’s currently completing her Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology practicum placement as a mental health counsellor at Toronto Film School, while also working towards her Mindfulness certification through McMaster University.
“I think as I learn more and more about the science behind the benefits (mindfulness) has regarding mental health, the more I consider it a really important and intrinsic part of my own personal practice and my approach to clients.”
Though mindfulness research is still in its infancy, Duz said there’s a growing body of evidence-based research that points to a connection between practicing intentional mindfulness and positive changes in both mental and physical health.
Keen to share all the mindfulness insights she’s gained over the course of her studies and in her practicum work, Duz said the Mindfulness Over Matter podcast was born was a way to deliver that message to a wider audience at Yorkville University and Toronto Film School.
“I was just learning all this fabulous material that was really, really benefitting my (student) clients, and myself personally, so I thought why not try and get it out there as much as possible?” she explained.
Scheduled to launch its first episode on Monday, April 27, the weekly Mindfulness Over Matter podcast is one of numerous initiatives recently spearheaded by Yorkville University and Toronto Film School’s Student Success and Mental Health & Wellness team to help students, staff and faculty navigate the new realities of life during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think it’s important now more than ever, because we’re all living with an increased amount of stress in our lives,” Duz added, noting she’s hopeful the timing of podcast’s launch in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis will prove a useful tool for those coping with anxiety, stress and depression.
Billed by Duz as an pycho-educational podcast, each weekly episode of Mindfulness Over Matter promises to be both thoroughly researched, cited and sourced, as well as highly accessible and applicable to all different listeners.
Each week’s episode will also end with a with a mindfulness exercise or challenge, giving listeners the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned.
At the end of the day, Duz said she’s hopeful her podcast makes people more aware of the “power mindfulness can have over our lives if only we decide to incorporate it into our practice.”
“I just hope it sparks their interest, to be honest. I hope it makes listeners consider mindfulness as a valid intervention, for not only stress management, but also for more serious mental health issues like anxiety, depression and mood disorders,” she said.
“I also want everyone to know that it’s an accessible podcast, and that it applies to everybody, whether or not they have a mental health issue or they’re just a little more stressed out in their lives than they have been in the past. It very much applies to all of us.”
To listen to the inaugural episode of the Mindfulness Over Matter podcast, which offers an introduction to mindfulness, stress and anxiety, click here.