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How to Practice Mindfulness



There’s been a new trend that has caused a boom in the mental health community. You’ve probably heard of mindfulness, but what exactly is it, and how can you implement it in your hectic life?

What is mindfulness?

According to Psychology Today, mindfulness is a mindset that focuses on the present. It’s all about living in the moment and looking inwards to your emotions and thoughts.

Great, tell me more…

You don’t have to be a yoga master to practice mindfulness in your life. Thankfully, there are tons of resources online for how to practice mindfulness meditation, but that’s not what I’m going to focus on.

Unfortunately, college students have insanely busy lives that it seems like even taking five minutes to slow down and breathe is too much. Mindfulness is something that we all do every day, we just aren’t conscious of it. We all have moments everyday when we are fully focused on what’s in front of us and for a few blissful minutes our minds aren’t wandering to our next paper that’s due or thinking about that boy that won’t text you back. Does this sound like something you do? SURPRISE! That’s being mindful.

Being present isn’t as easy as it sounds, but slowing down and focusing for just a few minutes everyday has been proven to reduce stress, negative thought patterns, and boosts your memory, attention, and cognitive processes, just to name a few. If you’re interested in reading more benefits of mindfulness, check out the American Psychological Association.

How can I use this?

Meditation is always a good option. Try it once at if it’s not your thing there are many other ways you can try being mindful. Compartmentalizing is probably one of the hardest things to do, especially in college, but it can really benefit your mental health. Next time you’re in class try to put your phone away, close any other browser tabs, and focus just on the lecture. If you’re at work, just think about your work. It might be difficult to do at first, but eventually it will get easier and you’ll find yourself compartmentalizing without much thought.

Some other ways to relax and stay present are listening to a calming playlist, focus on your breathing, journaling, and visualize your positive thoughts. For a more ideas, check out this article.

Jillian McMahan

Minnesota '19

Jillian McMahan is a senior studying child psychology at the University of Minnesota. She aspires to one day be the Leslie Knope of her workplace. 
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