Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness and meditation are effective tools to help college students cope with stress, anxiety, or depression. You may have heard of mindfulness meditation, but you can practice mindfulness in many different ways outside of just meditation. Learn more about how mindfulness and meditation intersect and how to integrate them into your well-being routine.
Mindfulness and Meditation Workshops
Health Promotion and Well-Being offer the Koru Mindfulness program, a 4-week mindfulness program to help students and trainees increase their mindfulness skills, reduce stress, and improve sleep. Look out for more information on upcoming dates. For inquiries, email Molly Hutchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mindfulness meditation can be an excellent resource to manage stress and anxiety during uncertain times. Dr. Neda Gould, the faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Mindfulness Program, will be leading daily meditations. Sessions will be 30 minutes in length and will include a variety of mindfulness meditation practices in a virtual format. Mindfulness sessions will take place on Wednesdays at 12 PM. Use this Zoom link at the scheduled times to join. Meeting ID: 747 490 420. Open to all Hopkins affiliates.
Medical student Vignesh Sadras is leading a 30-minute meditation session via Zoom on Wednesdays from 7:45-8:15 pm EST. Sessions consist of a 5-minute introduction to a meditation technique from one of the Dharmic religious traditions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism), 15-20 minutes of silent meditation, and a few minutes for discussion afterward. If you’re interested in receiving updates about the meditation sessions, please fill out this google form. Email email@example.com with any questions. Open to all Hopkins affiliates.
- Health Promotion and Well-Being offer a stress and mindfulness workshop focused on reflection, stress reduction techniques, and ways to practice mindfulness. For descriptions of our emotional/mental well-being workshops here.
- To request a program, fill out this form.
- If you would like to request a guided meditation, email Molly Hutchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to Holly Rogers, MD, author of the Mindful Twenty-Something, mindfulness is the act of paying attention to your present moment experience with an attitude of compassionate curiosity. Why focus on the present moment? According to Rogers, mindfulness helps you develop the internal conditions that lead to enduring happiness so that you are not vulnerable to the constantly changing external conditions of your life experience. For college students, waves of stress regarding academics, social life, and future careers are frequently crashing onto students’ shoulders. As Rogers mentioned, mindfulness can help you ride the waves of stress in a way that will not lead you to feel overwhelmed.
- Mindful morning. Before checking your phone, sit up in your bed or sit in a chair and close your eyes. Take three deep breaths focusing on exhaling longer than your inhale. Ask yourself what your intention is this morning. Sit with the intention for a moment. Throughout your day remind yourself of your intention.
- Mindful eating. Scarfing down food between classes can become a habit. Try to practice eating one meal a day mindfully or every first bite of a meal mindfully. Follow these steps:
- Before taking a bite, notice your food using your senses. What do you see and smell?
- Then take a small first bite, chewing very slowly and noticing the texture and taste. Chew at least twenty times before swallowing and notice if the food changes in texture or taste.
- Mindful break. Throughout your day when you are feeling stressed, anxious, or bored, take a moment to breathe and pause. Consider closing your eyes and noticing your breathing patterns,
- Mindful movement. Physical activity can feel like another thing to check off the list during the day. As you engage in your physical activity, notice how your body is feeling, how hard it’s working, and the type of thoughts you are having. As you notice and become more aware of your body and mind, alter your exercise in a way that fits your body and your day.
Meditation uses mindfulness to become more aware of your thoughts, body, and attention. Meditation usually occurs sitting or laying down. Some individuals choose to close their eyes during meditation while others have a soft gaze. During meditation, individuals focus on their breath and allow their thoughts to pass by. Meditation is not the act of stopping your thoughts but rather noticing them and not engaging with them. As an individual begins to learn how to meditate they may fall into the thinking mind, where they are engaging with their thoughts. If this happens, just gently remind yourself to focus on the breath. Practice non-judgment and self-compassion during your meditation practice.
- Belly Breathing. Either sitting or laying down, place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Breathe in through your nose and focus on moving your hand on your belly, breathe in for 4-7 breathes. Exhale out your nose slowly and with control. If possible, exhale for longer than your inhale. Focus on belly breathing during meditation to help keep you in the present moment. Try a Koru Mindfulness belly breathing meditation here.
- Belly breathing is a helpful exercise when you are feeling overwhelmed, tense, or need help falling asleep.
- Breath Awareness. Breath awareness meditation is simple, either laying down or sitting, notice your breath. You may notice your breathing is slow, shallow, deep, fast, just remember to observe your breathing patterns without judgment. Try a Koru Mindfulness breath awareness mediation here.
- This exercise is core to mindfulness. Breath awareness is a great introductory meditation.
- Body Scan. A body scan is where you notice how each part of your body is feeling. This meditation usually starts with your feet and ends at the top of your head. Like all meditations, you just want to notice the sensations without judgment. Try a Koru Mindfulness body scan meditation here.
- Body scans are helpful if you need to be brought back into the present moment.
- Guided Imagery. Through a guided imagery meditation you will be asked to focus on a specific location that makes you feel safe or happy. With a place in mind, you explore the senses that would occur in this particular place. Try a Koru Mindfulness-guided imagery meditation here.
- Guided imagery meditations are useful if you are looking to relax, fall asleep, or feel safe.
- For more mindfulness meditations visit Koru Mindfulness.