My Mindful Ph.D. Journey: From Palestine to Malaysia

Updated: Dec 26, 2019

By Dr. Sajed Ghawadra (Ph.D.)

Yeah, I'm grateful for a mindful Ph.D. journey

I'm an international Ph.D. student from Palestine. My research at the University of Malaya (UM) in Malaysia was about the effect of mindfulness training on nurses' psychological distress and job satisfaction. Alhamdullilah, the study showed that mindfulness practice (MINDFULGym Nurse) is useful for reducing stress and anxiety and improving nurses' job satisfaction.


MINDFULGym Nurse at University of Malaya Medical Center
I chose to study on emotional suffering among nurses because I'm a nurse. I worked as a nurse for about nine years, and it was a very stressful job. I always hoped that somebody could guide me to reduce my stress level.

Before my Ph.D. study, I never heard about mindfulness; it's not popular in Arab countries where I come from. I'm a lucky person when I came to Malaysia. I came to obtain a doctorate degree but achieved more than that.


Alhamdullilah, I can cope better with stress
Through various talks, seminars, and workshops related to mindfulness, I've learned to cope well with pressure.

Besides that, I had the opportunity to attend the one-year MINDFULGym Training of Trainers course by the psychiatrist and mindfulness-based therapist, Dr. Phang Cheng Kar. I'm certified to introduce mindfulness to people in my country and the other Arab nations around me.


MINDFULGym Training of Trainers buddies

I practice the MINDFULGym tools regularly. The exercise that I like most is the 'HTC (Hearing, Touching, C/Seeing)' for focusing attention on the present moment. I use it in my 'Solat' (prayer) to enhance my 'Kusyu' (concentration). It's crucial to me as a Muslim, as we think if we're not concentrated, our prayer may not be accepted.


MINDFULGym with Palestinians in Malaysia

I'm really grateful that I've learned MINDFULGym. I can practice it myself and share the precious training with others to lessen stress and enhance wellbeing.

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