Can mindfulness help stressed-out wildlifers?

Scientists have found mindfulness has helped them deal with the stress of research and life under lockdown in Antarctica. Credit: Michael Chrobak

Mindfulness has become a popular approach to everything from parenting to policing. Can it help biologists, too? Ecologist Ana Pineda says the approach, which uses meditation and other techniques to center and focus, has helped her handle the stresses of a postdoctoral program abroad while raising two small children.

“Other scientists have found mindful activities helpful, from practicing yoga when being in lockdown during an Antarctic expedition, to managing imposter syndrome with meditation,” she writes in Nature. “Studies show that practicing meditation can have a positive impact on mental health: it decreases stress, anxiety and insomnia. It has been found to boost productivity by enhancing focus and creativity. It is my favorite tool to ‘train’ my mind so I can stay focused on one single activity for longer.”

Read more on her recommendations in Nature. For other thoughts on the importance of wellness to wildlifers, members can log in and check out the contributed article in the current issue of The Wildlife Professional.