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Counseling And Psychological Services

Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is defined as the “awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgementally” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994). Mindfulness helps us cultivate the ability to be fully attentive to the present moment, both internally and externally, in order to reduce the amount of time focused on the past and/or future. Our ability to be fully present through mindfulness practice can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety/depression and enhance our psychological and emotional well-being.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmEo6RI4Wvs

How Can I Practice Mindfulness?  

The main way to practice mindfulness is through regular meditation practice. Typically, meditative practices include sitting or lying down in a comfortable position, closing one’s eyes, and bringing attention to internal experiences, such as the breath. However, there are many additional ways to practice mindfulness, such as mindful eating, walking, or coloring. You can literally use mindfulness whenever and wherever you are...that’s the beauty of it!

 Please consider the following when practicing mindfulness: 

  • Intention: Mindfulness is a purposeful activity that is practiced with intentional awareness. Try to schedule out 10 minutes a day for your mindfulness practice. Just as in any new activity, the more that you practice, the more natural it will become.
  • Presence: Although mindfulness is the act of bringing your full attention to the present moment, it is not expected that you are present 100% of the time (that is impossible). Instead, it is the practice of leaving the present moment and intentionally bringing yourself back to the “now”, even if it takes you an infinite amount of times. 
  • Nonjudgmentally: One of the most important components of mindfulness is self-compassion. There is not a “right” or “wrong” way to practice mindfulness, just as there is not one way to be breathing. Mindfulness just “is”, without trying to change anything about the experience. This includes any thoughts, feelings, and/or bodily sensations that may arise while you’re practicing. Remember to be kind to yourself!

Mindfulness Activities to Practice

Mindfulness Apps

 

Calm

Calm Website LogoCalm is a website and application that provides different types of peaceful audio to improve sleep, relaxation, stress, anxiety, and depression. For example, “The Daily Calm” is a 10-minute meditation that focuses on a different mindful theme every day. The app also provides bedtime stories (for adults!), peaceful music to encourage sleep, lessons on meditation, and sounds of nature. It is free to download and use the app for a 7-day trial. Afterwards, a 12-month subscription is $69.99. Calm also provides free resources at https://www.calm.com/together.

Headspace

Headspace Website LogoHeadspace is a website and application that provides a variety of mindful resources. It provides information on what meditation is and techniques on how to effectively meditate. The app provides meditations on topics such as sleeping, waking up, stress, anxiety, social anxiety, exercise, eating, self-esteem, and more. Within these topics, Headspace provides a multitude of meditations for different activities and mood states. For example, the app provides 18 guided meditations to use while running to facilitate mindful exercise. The app also provides peaceful music to aid in sleep and relaxation. The first two weeks are free when signing up for a yearly subscription for $69.99. The first week is free when signing up monthly for $12.99 a month.

Smiling Mind

Smiling Mind Website LogoSmiling Mind is a not-for-profit website and application targeted for younger individuals to improve anxiety, depression, attention, and social and academic functioning. There are a variety of meditation topics to choose from, such as sleep, technology detox, stress management, relationships, studying, exercise, and more. You can also track your mood. This app is free when you sign up.

 Insight Timer

 Insight Timer Website Logo is a website and application that provides a variety of audio and videos for stress reduction and sleep aid. Guided meditations, inspirational talks, calming music, and educational courses are provided. In October, live yoga classes will launch. The app is free, and premium content can be accessed for $60 a year with a 30-day free trial.

 Abide

Abide Website LogoAbide is a website and application that provides Christian meditations based on Biblical teachings and personal reflection to aid in stress reduction and better sleep hygiene. Abide is free to use with limited features such as a daily meditation, two minute meditations of different topics, two full-length guides, two full-length sleep stories, and journaling. The premium subscription of $39.99 provides additional resources, such as longer meditations, more sleep stories, and more guides.

Jour

Jour Website LogoJour is a guided journaling application. This mindful journaling app guides you to write about different topics such as self-affirmations, dreams, travel, and future goals. It also allows you to track your mood, successes, and challenges. The app will suggest areas to journal about based on that. The journals are encrypted to protect your private thoughts, and the app is free.  

Silk 2- Generative Art

Silk 2 Generative Art Website LogoSilk 2- Generative Art is an application that allows you to create art mindfully. The brush creates bright, colorful art against a dark background. You can create mandalas, symmetric images, abstracts pieces, or detailed portraits that can be used as a digital wallpaper. This app is $2.99 on the Apple App Store, and it can also be accessed for free at www.weavesilk.com.