Here's what ABC Suncoast has to say about stress and SMI:

Posted on Jun 13, 2014 by Alix Redmonde
SARASOTA, Fla. – Many people move to Florida's Suncoast for the beautiful beaches, culture and the amazing weather. So why are so many Floridians stressed out?“I am one giant stress ball, all the time.” Alex Krumm is busy selling homes. His wife is also in real estate, and they recently had their third child. “It's easy for me to deal with it, you just disconnect, and just separate work from family life.”As a broker associate of Remax Alliance Group in Sarasota, he says many people move to Florida's west coast seeking a different lifestyle.But how stressful is house hunting? “That can be very stressful, especially in a climate like this.”Sellers were anxious from losing homes, now buyers are stressed. “What’s really stressful for a lot of buyers is they have to go out there and present multiple offers on multiple homes, often over list price, just to be competitive.”He says buying a home isn’t the only stress. “Moving is harder than anybody anticipates it being; not enough stuff fits in your boxes, you never have enough of them, and it takes much longer than people expect it to be.”Home buying and moving aren’t the only causes of stress.“The things that cause us stress, chronic and pretty continuous stress, are things like having enough money to pay the bills, finding a job.” The Sarasota Mindfulness Institute, where Nancy Saum is an instructor, offers a stress reduction course. “They come because they have anxiety, and that anxiety can come from many different sources.”Bodywork practitioner Donna Waks says a couple of things can cause tremendous stress. “Losing a spouse, or one spouse getting ill.”Many of her clients are elderly. “Stress is one of those things like pain, that crosses over mind and body, and spirit.”Stress apparently also crosses over state lines. “The Suncoast experience is a human experience, like it is for everyone in the country, and the world.”Even Krumm admits he experiences it. “Well I was just talking to my wife last night about how stressed out my life is.”

​See the video of this article here:  Stress in  Sarasota, Florida

SMI News Articles

Here's what Sarasota Magazine says about mindfulness and SMI:

Sarasota Health News: May 2014 By: Hannah Wallace

What Can Mindfulness Do For You? What it is: Put simply, “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgmentally,” according to John Kabat-Zinn, an MIT molecular biology grad who developed the modern-day mindfulness movement in 1979. While meditation is often associated with various spiritual practices, “You can practice mindfulness without changing religions,” says Nancy Saum, who emphasizes secular mindfulness practices at downtown’s Sarasota Mindfulness Institute ( “It’s present-moment awareness.”How you do it: A typical introduction to mindfulness is the raisin exercise: An instructor guides you through the examination of a single raisin with all your senses; after looking at it, feeling and smelling it, you eat the raisin very slowly and deliberately to acknowledge texture and flavor and any other factors that might be present.Focusing on breathing is also a common mindfulness technique; other exercises might involve acknowledging the process of movement like walking—the feel of the ground against various parts of your foot, the moment-by-moment changes, weight transfer, etc. Those exercises often involve slowing down, especially in the beginning. “You do everything slowly so you can take in the complexity,” says Saum, who also offers mindful movement classes like qigong and yoga in addition to guided meditation.The “nonjudgmentally” part of Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness is especially important—and often the hardest to grasp, says Saum. When people’s minds wander, they tend to think, “I’m no good at this.” The key, she says, is to acknowledge those thoughts as perfectly natural, and then to return your focus to the present moment.What it does for you: Kabat-Zinn famously used mindfulness to treat chronic pain, among other medical ailments. Nowadays, it’s used for everything from dietary therapy to sports performance visualization to education and professional settings. (There’s even a group in Congress that meets for mindfulness sessions.) When discussing mindful eating, Saum says she’s heard students remark, “If I ate everything this way, I wouldn’t eat as much.” Practitioners often use mindfulness to go to sleep—focusing on breathing and other methods to “check in with our bodies,” says Saum. But first and foremost, mindfulness practice can have an immediate effect on your overall health simply by reducing stress and anxiety. The brain has a tendency to divert focus toward the past or the future; mindfulness guides it away from those stressors. “Our body thinks whatever we’re worrying about is actually happening,” says Saum. “Whenever we’re completely in the present moment, time kind of expands. That’s a place where stress doesn’t exist.”