Natalia Velásquez, M.S., Outreach Coordinator | Student Counseling Center, Division of Student Life
Florida Tech’s Student Counseling Center welcomes you to join us in the practice of “being in the now” and sharing in the experience of mindfulness.
Every Monday in March, we will be providing information about what mindfulness is and how you can practice it, as well as offering a brief mindfulness activity for you to engage in throughout the week whenever you want to check in with your body and mind, notice what is coming up for you (thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations), and offer kindness to whatever your experience in the present moment.
You can find these activities every Monday on the Student Counseling Center Instagram.
Mindfulness is defined as the “awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally” by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the creator of mindfulness-based stress reduction.
Mindfulness can help us cultivate the ability to be more attentive to the present moment, both internally and externally, in order to reduce the amount of time we spend in the past and/or future. The present moment is all we have right now, and mindfulness can help us be more in tune with ourselves and engaged in our lives.
For example, have you ever checked the time at the end of the day and said to yourself “Wow, where did the time go and what have I been doing all day?”
I guarantee you, the majority of us, if not all, have had this very relatable experience called “living on autopilot.”
Autopilot is normal, and sometimes very helpful, especially when we have a lot to get done in a short amount of time. However, can you imagine what it would feel like to look back on your life when you are 80 years old and think the same thought? Scary!
Thus, mindfulness allows us to notice what we are experiencing in the present moment. We might be experiencing thoughts such as “I am going to rock this test,” “I am not good enough,” or “I miss my family” and feelings such as excitement, anxiety, and sadness.
This could also be bodily sensations such as increased heart rate, steady breath, or teary eyes and even outside experiences such as the warm sun, beautiful palm trees, and loving people around you. Whatever your experience, it is okay. This greater awareness provides us with information on how we might want to live our lives in the most meaningful way possible, in this very moment.
A major way to practice mindfulness is through regular meditation practice. Typically, meditative practices include sitting or lying down in a comfortable position, closing one’s eyes, and bringing attention to internal experiences, like breathing, for a few moments every day.
However, there are many additional ways to practice mindfulness and we encourage you to try them out and choose the best way for you! To learn more about mindfulness, follow the Student Counseling Center throughout the month of March where we will be sharing different mindfulness meditation practices via our Instagram page every Monday: instagram.com/fltechstudentcounselingcenter
If you find yourself in need of additional support, please reach out for help! The Student Counseling Center is here for you! Our center provides a variety of mental health and wellness services to assist you and other students in successfully reaching personal, academic, and career goals. Please take a moment to visit our website: https://www.fit.edu/counseling-and-psychological-services/ to learn more information about our services and support, as well as resources for psychological health and well-being. Be the healthiest Florida Tech Panther you can be!