Mindfulness

                                                                                                Photo by Steed Yu & NightChina.net

Mindfulness Resources

Found on CAPS Website

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

One way to reduce your stress can be through meditation exercise. Meditation means many things; it means turning inward; it means quiet observation, reflection and awareness of ourselves.
One of the ways to meditate is to practice just watching your breathing.  Since we breathe every moment, it is easy to concentrate on our breathing.  When you breathe, try to breathe from your diaphragm (the muscle that separates the lung cavity from the abdominal cavity).  Now, take a long deep breath and slowly exhale.

THE GOAL OF MINDFULNESS

The goal of mindfulness is for you to be more aware, more in touch with life and with whatever is happening in your body and mind at the time it is happening - that is, in the present moment. If you are experiencing a distressing thought or feeling or actual physical pain in any moment, you attempt to see it clearly as it is and accept it because it is already in this moment.
Acceptance, of course, does not mean passivity or resignation. On the contrary, by fully accepting what each moment offers, you open yourself to experiencing life much more completely and make it more likely that you will be able to respond effectively to any situation that presents itself.

Mindfulness Space

We now have a permanent, cozy, location that will be open to anybody during regular building hours. It's an old grad student office up on the 4th floor of Learned Hall. The room number is 4165G (on the west side of Learned next to the elevator).

Feel free to use this room as a Room of Requirement. It can be a place to relax between classes, for group or personal meditations (should fit 4-6 people fairly comfortably), personal mindfulness, etc. Need a place to pray before a test, pray for Friday Prayer, cry after a test, just clear you head in a quiet place for a few minutes- this is the place to do it!

Here are a couple of pictures of the hallway/room so you have a better idea of what to expect:

The room will generally be first come, first serve, but if you or a small group would like to reserve the space, send a request to Martha Kehr at mkehr@ku.edu or search for the room via Outlook and submit a request directly. There will be a printed calendar on the door as a guide, but feel free to write yourself or your group in as well. Please be respectful of others and limit personal room usage of the room to about half an hour and group reservations to an hour. 

Outside the door will be various signs to indicate what is going on in the room (see below). Pillows, yoga mats, and a few chairs will be kept in the room for your use. There is also an older laptop in the room that you can log on to and play quiet music. The bookshelf has items such as paper towels, hand sanitizer, handouts, and other potentially useful things. 


We hope you find this space helpful to your relaxation! If you ever have suggestions, please send them to mkehr@ku.edu


 

Research has shown that there are undeniable benefits to being mindful and practicing active relaxation. Too many of us go through our days with tense bodies and minds, and that can cause long-term negative side effects. By taking the time to practice mindfulness or some sort of meditative practice, we can begin to heal those imbalances. According to this TedxYouth presentation, mindfulness is one of the most important factors in predicting success in life.

Here are some research articles that goes into more detail:

 

Benefits of Mindfulness for Students

Solhaug, Ida, Thor E. Eriksen, Michael de Vibem Hanne Haavind, Oddgeir Friborg, Tore Sørlie, Jan H. Rosenvinge. “Medical and Psychology Student’s Experiences in Learning Mindfulness: Benefits, Paradoxes, and Pitfalls. Mindfulness; Vol 7, Issue 4, 2016. 

Abstract

Mindfulness has attracted increased interest in the field of health professionals’ education due to its proposed double benefit of providing self-help strategies to counter stress and burnout symptoms and cultivating attitudes central to the role of professional helpers. The current study explored the experiential aspects of learning mindfulness. Specifically, we explored how first-year medical and psychology students experienced and conceptualized mindfulness upon completion of a 7-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Twenty-two students participated in either two focus group interviews or ten in-depth interviews, and we performed an interpretive phenomenological analysis of the interview transcripts. All students reported increased attention and awareness of psychological and bodily phenomena. The majority also reported a shift in their attitudes towards their experiences in terms of decreased reactivity, increased curiosity, affect tolerance, patience and self-acceptance, and improved relational qualities. The experience of mindfulness was mediated by subjective intention and the interpretation of mindfulness training. The attentional elements of mindfulness were easier to grasp than the attitudinal ones, in particular with respect to the complex and inherently paradoxical elements of non-striving and radical acceptance. Some participants considered mindfulness as a means to more efficient instrumental task-oriented coping, whilst others reported increased sensitivity and tolerance towards their own state of mind. A broader range of program benefits appeared dependent upon embracing the paradoxes and integrating attitudinal elements in practising mindfulness. Ways in which culture and context may influence the experiences in learning mindfulness are discussed along with practical, conceptual, and research implications.

Benefits of Mindfulness at Work

Hülsheger, U. R., Alberts, H. J. E. M., Feinholdt, A., & Lang, J. W. B. (2013). Benefits of mindfulness at work: The role of mindfulness in emotion regulation, emotional exhaustion, and job satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(2), 310-325. 

Abstract

Mindfulness describes a state of consciousness in which individuals attend to ongoing events and experiences in a receptive and non-judgmental way. The present research investigated the idea that mindfulness reduces emotional exhaustion and improves job satisfaction. The authors further suggest that these associations are mediated by the emotion regulation strategy of surface acting. Study 1 was a 5-day diary study with 219 employees and revealed that mindfulness negatively related to emotional exhaustion and positively related to job satisfaction at both the within- and the between-person levels. Both relationships were mediated by surface acting at both levels of analysis. Study 2 was an experimental field study, in which participants (N = 64) were randomly assigned to a self-training mindfulness intervention group or a control group. Results revealed that participants in the mindfulness intervention group experienced significantly less emotional exhaustion and more job satisfaction than participants in the control group. The causal effect of mindfulness self-training on emotional exhaustion was mediated by surface acting. Implications for using mindfulness and mindfulness training interventions in organizational research and practice are discussed in conclusion.


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