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Week 7: Mindfulness

 

"Pay attention to the present moment with intention, while letting go of judgement, as if your life depends on it"

-Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

 

Research shows that there are many benefits of being mindful, including: Shapiro et. al (2006)

  • Reduced rumination
  • Stress reduction
  • Boost in working memory
  • Lower emotional reactivity
  • Increased relationship satisfaction

 

Challenge #1: Visit the UCSB Labyrinth

Schedule a time this week to visit the labyrinth near Campus Point. Put your phone on silent and just mindfully walk the labyrinth!

"Before entering the labyrinth we need only take a few moments to think about what’s worrying us. After that, we should clear our mind, and let it go wherever it may as we walk the path. It is said that in this way we can gain great insight into our concerns. The path is continuous and has only one entrance, which serves as the exit once the path is completed. It is believed that it represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation tools. It is a metaphor for one’s life journey." -Silvia Uribe


 

Challenge #2: Schedule meditations

This week, set aside 5-10 minutes at the start or end of your day to listen to a short meditation.

Aim to do this for at least 3 days of the week and see how you feel afterwards. If the practice below does not work for you, there are plenty of other videos you can find online for free! Also, attend one of Health & Wellness' free, 30-minute guided meditations. Click here for a complete schedule. 

Try to focus your attention on the guided meditation and if you find your thoughts wandering, just be aware of this and guide yourself back to the words in the meditation.


 

 

 

References & Resources

Shapiro, S.L, Carlson, L.E., Astin, J.A, Freedman, B.,(2006), Mechanisms of Mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology. Volume 62, Issue 3, 373-386. 10.1002/jclp.20237

Greeson, J. M. (2009). Mindfulness research update: 2008. Complementary health practice review.