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Mindfulness A Student Guide

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week we’ll be looking at mindfulness and how this can help you during your time as a student at Coventry University

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment. This means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future. Mindfulness has many benefits. According to the NHS, studies show that mindfulness can help with:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

How can you be more mindful?

Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness.

  1. Notice the everyday

As you go about your daily lives, you can notice the sensations of things, the food you eat, the air moving past your body as you walk.

  1. Keep it regular

It can be easier to pick a regular time, like a morning journey to work or a walk at lunchtime, during which you decide to be aware of the sensations created by the world around you.

  1. Try something new

Trying new things, like sitting in a different seat in meetings or going somewhere new for lunch, can also help you process the world in a new way.

  1. Watch your thoughts

Some people find it very difficult to practice mindfulness. As soon as they stop what they’re doing, lots of thoughts and worries crowd in. Remember that mindfulness isn’t about making these thoughts go away, but instead about viewing them as mental events that come and go. This can be difficult at first, but gradually as you do it more and more, it becomes possible. Some people find that it is easier to cope with an over-busy mind if they are doing gentle yoga or walking.

  1. Name thoughts and feelings

To develop an awareness of thoughts and feelings, some people find it helpful to silently name them: “Here’s the thought that I might fail that exam” or: “This is anxiety”.

  1. Free yourself from the past and future

You can practice mindfulness anywhere, but it can be especially helpful to take a mindful approach if you realise that, for several minutes, you have been trapped in reliving past problems or pre-living future worries.

If you need support for your mental health or want to know a bit more about what resources the University has to offer you can always visit the Health and Wellbeing section on the website for more information – Health and Wellbeing | Coventry University


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