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18: Optimize Stress to Boost Focus with Eding Mvilongo MScE, MD, FRCPC

Today we are reframing stress with Eding Mvilongo, an Anesthesiologist and Clinical Professor from Montreal Canada. Eding’s work is defined by the need to maintain focus under extreme pressure. She understands from both theoretical and practical standpoints which tools and techniques we can employ to help us maintain our attention despite distraction, even under duress.

In this episode, Eding shares her favorite short- and longer-term tools for managing stress and maintaining focus – some of which may surprise you. Rachel and Eding also discuss how attention is linked to the stress response, how the brain allocates attention, and the importance of sleep. Eding also weighs in on the value of Black History Month and her experience of micro-aggressions in the medical world.

Listen in to learn how the right balance of practices around movement, breath, meditation, hydration and sleep can help us optimize our stress levels, and to hear Eding’s hopes for the future.

“Stress is not always a bad thing.” – Rachel Land

YOU CAN SUBSCRIBE AND LISTEN TO THE PODCAST ON APPLE PODCASTS. AND BE SURE TO LEAVE US A RATING AND REVIEW!


“To be a yogi you don’t have to practice for hours every day. Five minutes will do it.” – Eding Mvilongo

Show Notes:

  • What drew Eding to the study of science and her career in medicine [5:06]
  • Yoga as stress relief and an opportunity to focus purely on herself [8:40]
  • Curiosity leads Eding to yoga teacher training [10.45]
  • What we should know about the pandemic [12:40]
  • An anesthesiologist’s experience during COVID-19 [14:44]
  • Focus under pressure – the break down of an anesthesiologist’s role [18:10]
  • How the brain allocates attention [21:16]
  • The link between attention and the stress response [25:20]
  • Tips to help focus your attention where you want it [29:35]
  • How REM sleep supports attention by resetting the Locus Coeruleus [32:25]
  • Using yoga practice to manage stress, improve sleep and support attention [33:44]
  • Meditation and mantra – release attachment and expectation to manage stress [37:43]
  • Final suggestions – use self-compassion to capitalize on your reward pathways [43:02]
  • Eding’s thoughts on Black History Month [46:57]
  • Hopes for the future – knowledge as power [53:15]

Links Mentioned:

Instagram | Facebook | Yoga Medicine | About Black Lives | Pediatric Anesthesia Research Team

“If I keep focusing on every little micro-aggression, I’d never leave my house.” – Eding Mvilongo












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