Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment, aware of your surroundings, actions, and emotions – a simple concept, but a challenging state to achieve.

There are some things we can do to get better at being mindful. In fact, mindfulness can be improved by practicing mindfulness meditation for just a few minutes a day in a quiet and cozy space.

What is mindfulness meditation?

Mindfulness meditation is a mental practice during which you focus on your experiences (thoughts, sensations, emotions) in the present moment using:

  • Deep breathing
  • Mental imagery
  • Muscle relaxations
  • Body and mind awareness

Experts believe that mindfulness works by helping people to accept their experiences, including painful ones, rather than reacting to them with aversion and avoidance.

The benefits of mindfulness meditation include:

  • Improved sleep
  • Lower stress levels
  • Improved attention
  • Improved mood
  • Increased gray matter in brain. Gray matter is responsible for memory, impulse control, and executive functioning.

How to Meditate

  • Find a quiet and relaxing place to sit in a comfortable position on the floor.
  • Focus on one aspect of your breathing, such as the sensations of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.
  • Once you’ve narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and your ideas.
  • Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judgment. If your mind starts to race, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.

Don’t get stressed out if it is a challenge right away. Mindfulness meditation takes time to get used to, so stick to it.

Applying Mindfulness to Student Life

Being mindful during each moment of your student life allows you to carry what you learn from mindfulness meditation practice to your daily life.

  • Be aware of nature on your walk to school. What sounds do you hear? What does the sun feel like on your skin?
  • Limit distractions when eating. Try not to eat a meal in front of the television, which can foster mindless eating, and eating more calories than needed. By limiting distractions, your attention is on chewing your food and enjoying the satisfaction of nourishing your body.
  • Start journaling. At the end of the day, record your feelings, gratitudes, and your future goals. Taking time to sit back and reflect on today allows you to be more mindful the next day. The Centre for Student Academic Success offers workshops in Bullet Journaling.

Mindfulness Apps

Headspace

Omvana

Calm

KORU

Mindfulness Websites

Mindfulness and Wellbeing

Mindful

Tiny Buddha

Monday, October 5, 2020 in
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