We know being a UW student can be very stressful. Mindfulness can help you become more calm and focused while experiencing less stress and distractions.
“Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. internationally known scientist, writer, and meditation teacher
UW physician Claudia Finkelstein further describes mindfulness as “...a means to train the mind. It is more of a process than an actual product. It can be thought of as the deliberate practice of cultivating presence and turning off autopilot. It is not about escaping reality, achieving bliss, or an altered state. It is about being fully present to reality.”
Danny Arguetty, M.A., mindfulness program manager at the UW says you can informally practice mindfulness by aligning thoughts with behavior, that is putting your attention on what you are doing: washing the dishes, going for a walk, sitting in silence, listening to someone in conversation, taking a shower, focusing on the first few bites of your meal, etc.
Formally, you can practice mindfulness through meditation. One simple meditation practice (and simple is all you need) is described here:
That’s it. Meditating or any mindfulness practice a few times a week for three minutes is a great start. As you get familiar with the technique explore if five to ten minutes is doable. Eventually practicing three to four times a week will keep your mindfulness muscle toned. Give it a try.
You can practice anywhere, and by yourself or with others. UW has many valuable resources — groups, lectures, and articles — that you can use to learn more or to get support in your mindfulness practice. The Wellness site lists most mindfulness opportunities, but you find a few more at the resources below.
The Husky Experience Toolkit is designed to help you make the most of your time at UW, wherever you are in your university career. The articles address four interconnected dimensions of the Husky Experience: Know Yourself, Know the World, Make Your Way, and Weave it Together.