As a signed language interpreter, I must be able to connect with all parts of my brain during interpreting, but much energy is used trying to prevent negative self-talk and managing mental distractors, taking up vital brain space needed to focus on the incoming and outgoing messages. This project will research the effects of mindfulness on cognitive load as a signed language interpreter. I recorded the effectiveness of mindfulness for managing cognitive load by using surveys. The research tracked whether the situation was made more manageable if mindfulness practice was incorporated. Qualitative data was used to investigate my ability to continue interpreting during a stressful situation by using mindfulness techniques, maintaining a balance of cognitive load, and practicing management of incoming personal negative criticism. Quantitative data was taken by using four cognitive therapy surveys and rating blood pressure and heart rate taken before and after Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class (MBSR). Findings showed a lessened cognitive load during signed language performance with greater attentiveness to the task at hand. There was less negative nagging that had been taking up the brain space required for the interpretation process.

Exit Requirement

Action Research

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Committee Chair

Elisa Maroney

Committee Member

Amanda Smith


sign language interpreting, practice profession, mindfulness, cognitive load



Type (DCMI Terms)


Subject Categories

American Sign Language | Language Interpretation and Translation

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