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12.19.2012

Mental Workout gives millions access to mindfulness meditation - now on iPhone, Android, and the web

Mental Workout today released its new Mindfulness Meditation™ program, the follow-up to its previous bestselling iPhone app. This is the first in a series of program launches utilizing Mental Workout's new technology platform for delivering psychology-based content on mobile devices and the web in a format that is personalized, engaging, and trustworthy.

NEW YORK - December 19, 2012 - Mental Workout®, a company bringing the power of mobile technology and the world of psychology together, today released its new Mindfulness Meditation program for a growing range of mobile devices and the web. The program features six guided mindfulness meditations of different lengths, brief introductory mindfulness exercises, body scans, relaxation exercises, instructions on how to meditate and improve on practice, eight short teachings on the integration of mindfulness into everyday life, and an eight-week intensive meditation plan. The program provides novices with easy-to-use guidance and inspiration, and guides current practitioners in deepening their meditation practice.

Scientific studies have convincingly proven the benefits of mindfulness meditation in reducing stress and promoting happiness and overall wellbeing. Recent research using the latest imaging technology has found that regular mindfulness practice actually grows more gray matter in regions of the brain associated with positive emotions, attention and memory, stress management, empathy, and emotional integration. Mindfulness meditation works because it is not about trying to change who we are. Rather, it teaches us to be unconditionally present and aware of what is happening in our lives from moment to moment.

As holiday stress builds and the New Year brings reflection on new beginnings, people can now use Mental Workout’s program to bring the power of mindfulness meditation into their lives, and gift it to others.

The expert behind the program is Stephan Bodian - an internationally celebrated meditation teacher and licensed psychotherapist, specializing in stress management. He is the author of several books, including the bestselling Meditation For Dummies, and the former editor-in-chief of Yoga Journal.

Stephan Bodian says:

“My primary motivation since I began teaching meditation more than 30 years ago has been to help people reduce their stress and discover greater happiness and peace of mind. By teaming up with Mental Workout, I have already been able to bring the benefits of mindfulness meditation to many more people. With the new program, we can do even more to motivate, inspire, and support people in integrating mindfulness into every moment of the day.”

Over 30 million people are estimated to practice meditation on a regular basis in the US, and many leading employers and schools, such as Google, General Mills, and Harvard Business School, understand the benefits and are supporting and promoting meditation to their employees and students. And yet the power of mindfulness meditation is not being fully tapped because many people need something more engaging than a book to learn to meditate, but haven't felt comfortable enough to join a meditation group.

The new Mindfulness Meditation program is being introduced as one of the first two programs on Mental Workout's new technology platform - the other one is Freedom from Stress™, which was also created with Stephan Bodian and includes stress-reducing strategies that go beyond mindfulness meditation. The next wave of programs will cover topics such as better sleep, weight loss, social interactions, and smoking cessation. Mental Workout enables its carefully chosen experts to create programs that personalize content to fit each user's unique profile and situation. By analyzing aggregated usage data Mental Workout can quickly identify opportunities to improve the programs over time. Users can access their program subscriptions and profile information seamlessly across a growing range of mobile devices - including on iPhone® and Android™ devices - as well as on the web.

Mickey Beyer-Clausen, Mental Workout's Founder and CEO, says:

“Mental Workout wants to create an exciting future for self-help by bringing the power of mobile technology and the world of psychology together. Initially, this will be in the form of programs covering a growing range of topics that can really impact people’s lives and are highly accessible, engaging, and personalized. This becomes more important each year as social and economic realities necessitate that we each take increasing responsibility for improving our own health and wellbeing. By connecting our experts with millions of people, we not only help each person - we create an unparalleled cycle of learning and development that is truly revolutionary. "

Mindfulness Meditation is available for purchase at Mental Workout's online store, and inside Mental Workout's upcoming mobile app for iPhone (later this month) and Android (January 2013). These mobile apps will be free to download, and by using the same account details, program subscriptions as well as profile information will be in-sync across all devices. Each program costs $17 for a one-year subscription. Digital gift cards can also be purchased in the online store and corporate rates are available upon request.

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Note to editors:
Backgrounders

About Mental Workout:
Mental Workout is bringing the power of mobile technology and the world of psychology together with its revolutionary platform for delivering psychology-based content on mobile devices and the web. The platform enables top-ranked experts to create programs on the most impactful topics to improve people's health, wellbeing, and performance. Users can choose how they engage and receive personalized content based on their unique profile and situation. Aggregate usage data enables Mental Workout to identify opportunities to improve the programs over time.

About Stephan Bodian:
Stephan Bodian is the author of Mental Workout's Mindfulness Meditation and Freedom from Stress programs. He is an internationally celebrated author and meditation teacher and a licensed psychotherapist with an expertise in stress management. Stephan is the bestselling author of Meditation For Dummies® as well as the author of Wake Up Now: A Guide to the Journey of Spiritual Awakening, published by McGraw-Hill. Stephan began practicing Zen in 1970 after studying Asian language and culture at Columbia and Stanford. Ordained a Zen priest in 1974, he trained with several Zen masters and directed the training program at the Zen Center of Los Angeles. He also practiced with several Tibetan Buddhist teachers and spent 10 years studying Indian nondualism with Jean Klein. Stephan is the former editor-in-chief of the magazine Yoga Journal, a contributing editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and has authored many articles on meditation and related themes that have appeared in numerous national magazines.

Future programs:
Mental Workout is carefully choosing experts who can create new programs that are engaging, personalized, and helps people get more out of life. The next wave of programs will cover topics such as better sleep, weight loss, social interactions, and smoking cessation. Mental Workout has exclusive partnerships with top-ranked experts to create these programs, including Dr. Michael Breus, Dr. Ann Kearney-Cooke, Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener, Dr. Todd Kashdan, and Dr. Daniel Seidman.

Note to editors:
Mindfulness meditation quotes

  • “For the first time we have shown there is actually a neurological reason for doing mindfulness meditation. Our findings are consistent with what mindfulness meditation teachers have taught for thousands of years.”
    - David Creswell, Ph.D., University of California
  • “Productivity rests on focused human attention.”
    - Jermey Hunter, Ph.D., professor at Drucker School on executive management and MBA
  • “Our findings indicate that a short training programme in mindfulness meditation has demonstrable effects on brain and immune function.”
    - Professor Richard Davidson, University of Wisconsin
  • “The simple process of focusing on the breath in a relaxed manner, in a way that teaches you to regulate your emotions by raising one’s awareness of mental processes as they’re happening, is like working out a bicep, but you are doing it to your brain.”
    - Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., University of North Carolina
  • “It’s fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life.”
    - Brita Holzel, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
  • “Building mind-fitness with mindfulness training may help anyone who must maintain peak performance in the face of extremely stressful circumstances, from first responders, relief workers and trauma surgeons, to professional and Olympic athletes.”
    - Associate Professor Amishi Jha, University of Miami

Note to editors:
Mindfulness meditation research

  • Lazar, S., et al. (2005). Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness. NeuroReport, 16(17), 1893-1897.
  • Lutz, A., et al. (2008). Regulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Meditation: Effects of Meditative Expertise. PLoS One, 3(3), 1-10.
  • Davidson, R., et al. (2003). Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 564-570.
  • Tang, Y., et al. (2007). Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation. PNAS, 104(43), 17152-17156.
  • Carson, J., et al. (2004). Mindfulness-Based Relationship Enhancement. Behavior Therapy, 35, 471-494.
  • Barnes, S., et al. (2007). The role of mindfulness in romantic relationship satisfaction and response to relationship stress. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 33(4), 482-500.
  • Hutcherson, C., et al. (2008). Loving-Kindness Meditation Increases Social Connectedness. Emotion, 8(5), 720-724.
  • Singh, N., et al. (2007). Mindful Parenting Decreases Aggression and Increases Social Behavior in Children with Developmental Disabilities. Behavior Modification, 31(6), 749-771.
  • Singh, N., et al. (2006). Mindful Parenting Decreases Aggression, Noncompliance, and Self-Injury in Children with Autism. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 14(3), 169-177.
  • Bögels, S., et al. (2008). Mindfulness Training for Adolescents with Externalizing Disorders and their Parents. Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 36, 193-209.
  • Teasdale, J., et al. (2000). Prevention of Relapse/Recurrence in Major Depression by Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. Journal of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, 68(4), 615-623.
  • Beddoe, A. & Murphy, S. (2004). Does Mindfulness Decrease Stress and Foster Empathy Among Nursing Students? Journal of Nursing Education, 43(7), 305-312.
  • Shapiro, S., et al. (2005). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Health Care Professionals: Results from a Randomized Trial. International Journal of Stress Management, 12(2), 164-176.