Allison Peet is a certified MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) Instructor trained at UMass Center for Mindfulness, founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD and the Mindfulness Center at Brown University. She is trained through Mindful Schools and teaches mindfulness to youth, K-12 and is also a certified yoga instructor. She’s taught since 2015. Hundreds have graduated the course that have reduced perceived toxic stress levels an average of 34%. Of those graduates, 80% lowered their stress levels. She’s completed multiple week-long silent meditation retreats and has a daily practice. Allison has a personal path of living and working with chronic stress and anxiety which is why she started her own business in 2015, From Within Wellness, LLC, to benefit others. She is committed to creating a more mindful community by helping people develop pragmatic life skills in attentional strength, present moment awareness, self-compassion, and stress resiliency.
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Hi, I’m Allison and I am working with and overcoming anxiety. I was born and raised in Iowa. I moved away for a few years, then returned to Des Moines in 2008 to settle and raise a family. I have two amazingly smart and beautiful children and a supportive, driven, and loving husband. I’ve worked mostly in the corporate world of marketing, sales, and event planning. In 2015, I decided to follow a passion of mine and started a small business devoted to teaching mindfulness through Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), private coaching and workshops.
In 2013, I hit a point in my life where I was very stressed and experienced huge amounts of anxiety. I was working full time at a very busy job that had many distractions where constant multi-tasking was required, which I quickly realized that multi-tasking is not something humans excel at; computers multi-task, we should not! Our kids were 3 and 6 at the time. My husband accepted a promotion at work where it required him to travel a good portion of the time. I had a lot on my plate and realized I wasn’t responding to stressors with any skill at all. I would be so quick to anger and yell reflexively when the kids would act up. I knew I was not making enough time for myself to decompress, or find activities that would replenish what I had lost in all the busyness. I was running on complete auto-pilot, and I knew it, but couldn’t figure out how to get off the proverbial treadmill. The tipping point was when I began to experience alarming physical symptoms from the never ending busyness of life.
I would lie down for bed at night, wanting desperately to relax and fall asleep, and would feel my heart racing, beating upwards of 85+ beats per minute. (My normal resting rate was about 55.) I also started having tightness and heaviness in my chest, increased sweating, trouble staying asleep, and acne flare ups to name a few. I ignored the anxiety symptoms for a few months, hoping they would just go away on their own, yet I intrinsically knew I needed to intervene myself and make significant life changes.
I have always been a very active, fit and healthy individual, and these symptoms I was having frightened and shook me to the core. Talking to my doctor, she hooked me up to an EKG to make sure I wasn’t actually having heart problems and also suggested medication. Even though medication saves lives, in my own direct experience at the time, I didn’t like the idea of solely going on medication without looking into what the root level of the cause of my symptoms in the first place, especially hearing the long list of unwanted side effects. So I decided on life changes first, which lead me to MBSR: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. I also took anti-anxiety medication for about 6 months. The combination of the two is what got me out of the hole. I’ve had a regular practice of mindfulness ever since.
I turned to the MBSR class that a dear friend had completed and recommended to me. After the first session that included an eating meditation of two tiny raisins, I was fascinated and intrigued at the fact of how “mindless” I had been in my life and how often I operated on auto-pilot. I learned that there is an entire untouched level of awareness that I had never discovered until that first week. The 8-week course was literally life changing for me. After about a month of disciplined training, carving out precious time to devote to awareness practice and self-care, my physical anxiety symptoms were almost 100% gone. This practice is uniquely special in that it’s not just another thing to add to my To Do list, it’s something that can be infused in daily life.
Through experiencing mindfulness directly, we can change the way we live from the inside out.
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Quick Mindfulness Facts
Mindfulness may keep brains young
A study by Dr. Eileen Luders at UCLA School of Medicine, published in Neurolmage, shows that long-term mindfulness practitioners have greater brain volume, stronger neural connections, and less atrophy than non-practitioners. This suggests mindfulness may keep brains young and even help prevent dementia. Vol 45, Issue 3, Apil 15, 2009: Pg 672-678
Mindfulness reduces stress
A study conducted by Britta Holzel at Massachusetts General Hospital, and published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neroscience, finds that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction can lead to structural changes in the amygdala, a brain structure that plays a crucial role in stress responses. Vol. 5, Issue 1: Pg 11-17
Mindfulness reduces Irritable Bowel Syndrome
A 2010 Swedish study published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry finds that 10 weeks of mindfulness training results in a 50% reduction of IBS symptoms, as well as other positive outcomes. Sep;41(3):185-90
Mindfulness may increase immune function
Regular mindfulness meditation produces demonstrable effects on brain and immune function. Meditation may change brain and immune function in positive ways and underscore the need for additional research. R. Davidson, J. Kabat-Zinn. Psychosomatic Medicine 65:564 –570 (2003)