Mindfulness and Stress Reduction
Mind-Body Approaches to Stress Management
The pressures of school, relationships, work and other obligations can be overwhelming. You may begin to feel on edge, that you are constantly juggling, that time is speeding up and slipping away from you and that there is simply too much to do.
Notice how your body is feeling right now, as you are reading these words—are you picking up on any changes, such as a heart rate and breathing quickening, muscles tensing?
Mind-body approaches to stress reduction are based on the understanding that the mind, body, and emotions are deeply connected and, together, impact our well-being on personal, physical, social, and academic levels.
Scientific research has demonstrated the benefits of mind-body approaches and meditation practices in stress reduction. Mind-body interventions can have a profoundly healing effect and help improve your mood, focus, concentration, memory, and productivity.
But don’t take our word for it—find out firsthand! Follow the simple meditation instructions offered at the bottom of this page. You may choose to watch the videos linked under Resources for inspiration before you practice. Then check in with your body again to see how it feels?
At Lehman College Counseling Center, we offer various mind-body approaches to stress reduction, including individual sessions, Zen Space, Meditation Group, workshops and in classroom presentations.
Please join us in the exploration of our inner landscape and discovering a place of peace, wholeness, and contentment within.
All meditations and mindfulness practices are taught in a secular way without any religious affiliation. No prior experience or special attire is needed. Just show up!
Mind-Body Stress Reduction at The Counseling Center
Meditation Mondays & Fridays
Mindfulness means being present with what is actually happening in the moment, while letting go of our biased interpretations or judgments. The results? A new outlook and experience of life! Mindfulness and meditation have been clinically shown to help reduce stress and cope with strong emotions, anxiety, and depression. Among its many benefits are an improved ability to relax, greater energy and enthusiasm for life, and increased self-esteem.
No prior experience, special attire or equipment necessary. Bring an open mind.
Meditation Group is offered Mondays and Fridays at 12pm
The Stress Less weekly drop-in group is available on Fridays at 11 am Here students can learn ho to let go of things they have no control over, where to put energy and skills to reduce stress in their lives. Mindfulness, distress tolerance, grounding techniques and emotion regulation will be taught. Students can learn how to breathe deeply with their diapragm and harness nervous energy to help them succeed. Come to one group or attend all ten.
Stress Reduction Resources
Below we have included a few resources for those who are interested in exploring the path to wellness through mind-body-spirit integration practices, such as meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and others. There is an abundance of diverse resources online that you can tap into on your own by using these key words in searchable Internet databases, such as Google or Youtube.
Jack Kornfield “Meditation for Beginners”
Basic meditation instructions are offered in this 4 min video by Jack Kornfield, a clinical psychologist and insight meditation teacher since 1974.
Jon Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn pioneered integration of yoga and meditation with Western medical science by developing the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. MBSR has been clinically shown to help people with chronic pain, stress, depression, anxiety, and an array of physical and emotional difficulties. You can now participate in this program at the Counseling Center!
Elizabeth Lesser is a co-founder of the Omega Institute of Holistic Studies. She wrote a book “Broken Open” – a collection of stories of people’s transformation through the challenges in their lives. In this video, Lesser speaks about how difficulties we face may present opportunities to get in touch with our true self.
Mindful Breathing Meditation*
Your breathing is the stable, solid ground in which you can take refuge. Regardless of your internal “weather” - your thoughts, emotions, and perceptions - your breathing is always with you like a faithful friend. Whenever you feel scattered or worried, overworked or overwhelmed, anxious or agitated, you can return to your breathing to collect and anchor your mind.
Mindful breathing meditation is easy: simply tune in and feel the flow of air coming in and out through your nose. Feel how light and natural, how calm and peaceful your breathing is. You do not need to control your breath; you can simply feel the breath as it actually is. The breath may be long or short, deep or shallow. With your awareness, your breath will naturally become slower and deeper.
You can set aside a special time to practice mindful breathing or you could do it any time – as you are walking down the street, doing your schoolwork, riding the train, reading thiswebsite. At any moment, you can tune into your breath and return to the peaceful, calming feeling of breathing.
Mindful breathing is the key to uniting body and mind and bringing the energy of mindfulness into each moment of your daily life.
* These meditation instructions have been borrowed and adapted from the teachings and writings of Thich Nhat Hanh