Living Life in the Balance at Midlife: Lessons Learned From Mindfulness

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The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the perceived effects of a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program on stress and quality of life of women in midlife. A total of 20 nurses, aged 45 to 55 years, who participated in a stress reduction course were contacted for interviews. A total of 9 nurses agreed to be interviewed. Content analysis was used to analyze these interviews. The five themes that emerged from the analysis were as follows: strengthening of interpersonal communication through social support, increased personal awareness through becoming more mindful and reflective, a spiritual awakening, effective ways of dealing with stress, and living life in balance by taking hold of one's life. This study increased the authors' understanding of effects/benefits, adherence, and application of MBSR techniques for women in midlife. It is concluded that MBSR may be a useful intervention for nurses in midlife to develop successful strategies for dealing with stress and to improve their quality of life.

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