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Being Mindful About Mindfulness

THIS WAY TO MINDFULNESS 

This project is a requirement of the GOA Abnormal Psychology Course. Using the process of design thinking, a challenge in the world of mental health was identified, interviews and research were undertaken, and a solution prototype was developed. Below you will find information about the identified area of concern and my proposed solution. Please feel free to provide feedback on this prototype, using questions such as “How might we…”, “What if….?”, “I wonder….”, “I like…”, and “I wish.” Keep the comments positive, please. For more information on the process of Design Thinking, click here.

 

Before you begin exploring my project, I invite you to take the survey below so that I can get a better understanding of the stress/anxiety that is experienced from the general GOA community.

How many times do you experience stress/anxiety on a daily basis?

0
1-5
6-10
11-20
20+
not sure

Poll Maker

 

A TOUR OF MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness is a meditation-based form of therapy that has been shown to relieve anxiety, stress, depression, and similar mental health disorders. Mindfulness therapy is more accessible than other cognitive therapies, as one can do it on his/her own time without the aid of an outside person. Additionally, mindfulness has been found to have significant positive impacts for the general person, increasing attentiveness, compassion, and emotional regulation.

 

Want to learn why mindfulness is a Superpower? Look no further!

 

Below is a TED Talk on how mindfulness therapy can be used to treat depression. About 1/3 of the way through the video, Zindel Segal walks the audience through a mindfulness exercise, an engagement that I highly recommend you to participate in.

 


THE CHALLENGE

Imagine this scenario.

It is 10 pm at night, and you have two big assessments the next day at school. You just got back from practice an hour ago, and have barely had the time to shower and eat dinner. For the past three years, school has been dominating your life, causing you to shrivel into a shell of yourself, composed of mostly overflowing stress and anxiety. All around you, there is pressure to be that “well-rounded gem” that colleges are looking for, so you try to do everything. 

You know that two hours — because you would never go to sleep past midnight — is not enough to learn all the material that will be assessed the next day. You begin thinking about your dismal, unsuccessful future that will surely result if you do not score perfectly, or nearly perfect; after all, this is a system run on numbers. Rather than managing your stress and anxiety, you let it overtake your entire being, allowing your body to be wracked with dismay, shame, and tears. Depression is not far away.

The next day, you take your assessments. You do poorly. The stress and anxiety continue to build, and depression is on the horizon. You do not know how to get yourself out of this never-ending cycle of stress, anxiety, and failure, so you have no choice but to continue to shrink into a lesser version of yourself.

I am sure that many of you have experienced something similar to the above scenario, if not the exact scenario. The pressure of school and the pressure to do everything, and do it well, is crushing. Most students do not know how to cope with this stress and anxiety. My goal of this project is to raise awareness about mindfulness therapy; in other words, helping others to be more mindful about mindfulness.

 


THIS WAY TO MINDFULNESS

I urge all of you, whether you experience a high level of stress/anxiety or a low level, to begin practicing mindfulness. Just 10 or 15 minutes a day can drastically change your outlook on life and impact your emotional state for the better.

The forerunner of mindfulness training and practices is Mindful Schools.

The video below from Mindful Schools is a wonderful example of how being mindful of your emotions and the impact that they have on your body can help you to stay in control. Just breathe 🙂

 

 

Below are several short videos that walk you through different mindfulness exercises designed to help you achieve the results in the image above. Choose the one that works best for you 🙂

 


SPREAD AWARENESS AND BE MINDFUL ABOUT MINDFULNESS

I plan on incorporating mindfulness into my daily routine, and spreading awareness about this mediation-based therapy by informing my friends and those that I observe experiencing stress and anxiety. Rather than simply acknowledging the stress and anxiety that we all feel in the community, I now have a way to help relieve that stress and anxiety. And so do YOU!

In a more tangible way to spread awareness about mindfulness, I will talk with my Upper School psychologist and school administration to see what we can do to incorporate mindfulness into our school’s routine. Many schools across the world have mindfulness sessions built into their daily schedules, resulting is more relaxed and content students.

You can help by spreading the word! Be #mindfulaboutmindfulness!

 

Are you inclined to use mindfulness therapy to relieve stress/anxiety?

yes
no
not sure

SurveyMaker


SOURCES CITED:

https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/mindful_breathing#data-tab-why_you_should_try_it

http://www.mindful.org/mindfulness-future-therapy/

http://www.mindfulschools.org/about-mindfulness/research/

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/08/mindfulness-education-schools-meditation/402469/

http://www.mindfulschools.org/inspiration/just-breathe-julie-bayer-salzman/

http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/mindfulness-based-programs/

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COMMENTS: 4
  1. April 28, 2017 by Arden S

    Hi Hannah. First off, I wanna say I really loved reading and watching your presentation! I do yoga all the time and find that mindfulness really helps me when I am stressed, but it is something I easily forget to do unless I am at yoga, thus, I completely support your view in how important and crucial mindfulness is in relieving at least some stress. You did a great job in highlighting just how beneficial it can be to anyone, no matter your stress level, as well as provided great videos so that we all can practice alongside reading your presentation. I appreciate that you took something that so many people ignore, and shined light on it as a good outlet for anybody to embrace as a daily practice. Are there ways we as students could incorporate this at school? With such busy schedules, what are good ways to remember to practice being mindful everyday? Really great job!

  2. April 29, 2017 by Lucy G

    Hey Hannah! Your project looks awesome and I loved the videos you included. I think being mindful and practicing mindfulness in our daily lives is so incredibly important and I know for me really helps manage my stress and anxiety. In a moment of panic or stressful state of mind it is not always easy to snap on to being “mindful” in that instant but is something important to work on and practice. I’ve been practicing mindfulness for awhile now and I can say it has been extremely beneficial. What would you say is the most helpful mindfulness exercise you do and how often do you use that skill?

  3. May 02, 2017 by Ryan F

    Hi Hannah, I really enjoyed your presentation. I completely agree with you! My school just started a mindfulness push and it has had a huge impact on the student body. They changed the schedule to help students get more sleep and are offering meditation sessions before school led by teachers. Hopefully, others will see this and their schools will implement it too! It has had a huge impact.

  4. May 03, 2017 by Jaelyn Browne

    I really liked your presentation, I really liked the videos you provided and you made it easy for a lot of students to relate to what you are saying. I really am going to use the methods you described here to help me in my life!

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