Allison Peet is a qualified MBSR™ (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) Instructor trained at UMass Medical Center for Mindfulness, founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD. She is trained through Mindful Schools and teaches mindfulness to youth, K-12. She’s completed 21 full days of silent meditation retreats to date, has a daily practice, and is currently working toward a therapeutic yoga teacher 200-hour certification. 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.
Hi, I’m Allison and I live with 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. I recently decided to follow a passion of mine and started a small business of my own in 2015 devoted to Mindfulness coaching through workshops and seminars as well as teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) classes.
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. We don’t have family in town to lean on, so I had a lot on my plate and realized I wasn’t responding to stressors very well. I would be so quick to anger and yell reflexively when the kids would act up. 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 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 is 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, and also suggested medication for depression. Even though medication saves lives, in my own direct experience at the time, I didn’t like the idea of just 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 personal 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 operate on auto-pilot for most of my days, yet at the same time I felt a little sad at how much time I let go by without fully being present. 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 practice, 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.
Professionally, I have always been driven, motivated, constantly striving and a self-proclaimed “do-er”. I was always looking for more responsibility, promotions, and money at work, attending to never-ending to-do lists, being there for my husband and kids, always searching outside of myself for gratification, recognition, and acceptance. For my entire adult life, I’ve sensed that there was something else out there than what I was currently doing that would fulfill my passion and purpose. I often asked myself “What is my true path? What is my calling in life and career? Who am I, really, after all the layers I’ve put on myself to “fit in” and who I think society, family, and friends think I should do and be?” I could never grasp it until 2014 when I took the online MBSR course through the Center For Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts. For the first time in my life, I felt this constant pull of the practice and importance of Mindfulness and meditation, and have decided to make significant career and life changes. I’m finally paying attention to what my inner, essential Self is longing for. I decided to open my own business and teach MBSR classes, organize and lead workshops and retreats related to this field. Through teaching Mindfulness, MBSR and meditation to both children and adults, I believe I will contribute to changing the way we live from the inside out.
Quick Facts from Mindful Magazine:
Mindfulness May Keep Brains Young (2009)
“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 (2010)
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
- “A study at Duke University shows that mindfulness can reduce the frequency of binge eating by as much as 75%”
- “Patients in recovery for substance abuse at the University of Washington were 50% less likely to relapse if they practiced mindfulness”
- “Research at Oxford University found that only 36% of clinically depressed patients in remission who practice mindfulness eventually relapsed, compared to 62% of those who didn’t”
Mindfulness Reduces Irritable Bowel Syndrome (2010)
“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