PRACTICING MINDFULNESS ON CAMPUS PROVES CHALLENGING

Living in the present moment is almost completely impossible as a college student in the 21st century.

 

We always have the next test to look forward to, the next party, the next this and that. There’s too much going on to stop and smell the flowers.

 

Well, what if I told you living in the present moment, being mindful, is actually beneficial to you?

photo: creative commons; Cornelius383
photo: creative commons; Cornelius383

 

The research as of late points toward mindfulness as an answer to many of our current problems. So put down the phone for a moment and finish reading this article, and pay attention to it fully.

 

There, now you’re already being mindful.

 

What exactly is mindfulness, you may be asking? Mindfulness is simply living fully in the present moment. No future, no past, only what is going on right in front of you in the here and now.

 

Amy Call is a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW) working in the Counseling Center in Weygand Hall. She recommends mindfulness to her patients, who are students just like you and I.

 

“I talk about mindfulness as a way to help ground them in the present moment,” Call said. “I think it helps students learn to manage the feelings they’re having in the moment, without judgment and in a way to accept what is going on in the present moment, rather than focus on what they wish they could have changed in the past.”

 

It’s become much more popular over the past 15 years for therapists to recommend this. Even companies and schools are bringing in mindfulness instructors to help increase overall mood and productivity.

 

While all this is nice, it is incredibly difficult to really put ourselves into this mindset. Multitasking is what we’re used to. It’s hard to simply slow down and do one thing at a time.

 

“The most basic way is just to start to breathe, and really pay attention to your breath,” said Call.

 

She also recommended going to online resources, such as podcasts, that help teach mindfulness meditation to help you focus on your breath.

 

This process is one I have recently started. It’s difficult, and often trying, but my overall stress level has gone down immensely, even as we get closer to finals.

 

If you’re looking for a way to really relax without any nasty side effects, this would be your best bet. Plus, it would make everyone around you respect you more for putting down your phone and really engaging in life.

 

Kayla Lemay is a Comment staff writer. Email her at klemay@student.bridgew.edu.

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