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What is mindfulness?

Mackenzie Malone and Madalyn Dishman

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In a world where things seem to be moving a mile a minute and there is hardly any time to take for ourselves, it can be hard to remember the bigger picture of life. The word “mindfulness” is pretty self explanatory in itself. The concept is all about the awareness of your surroundings and attentiveness to life.

When mindfulness is being practiced, we practice the ability to create space for ourselves. Space to think, breathe, react, and live. It allows for the connection to what’s going on around us and an understanding of a larger perspective on life.

In recent years, the practice of mindfulness has become very mainstream. Big and small companies are now taking advantage of the practice to promote productivity in their workers and a better overall well-being.

Corporations like Target, Google, and General Mills have been among the many that have advocated for mindfulness programs among their employees.

A lack of mindfulness can result in a life lived with many anxieties. Which is why scientists are now seeing a connection between practicing mindfulness and improvements in both psychological and physical health.

Living a life of mindfulness has shown impacts on memory retrieval, decision making, and better emotion regulation. Those who exercise mindfulness find it beneficial to practice yoga and meditation.

JOIN THE CLUB

With thousands of thoughts running through students’ minds every single day, it’s especially difficult to find a time to relax and live in the moment. These anxious thoughts are the target of counselor Kelly Bronski and teacher Melissa Kevonian. Together, these two have created Mindfulness Club.

“We are trying to teach the students the skills to managing emotions, anxiety, and every day stress through short activities and meditations,” Kevonian said.

The club has been a project Bronski and Kevonian have been planning for a year, but have finally made this club a reality at the beginning of this school year. The goal of Mindfulness Club is to teach students different methods of meditation and relaxation that they can take into their everyday life. Although the attendance for the club hasn’t been large, Kevonian and Bronski are hopeful that this club will make a difference in the school’s community.

“I think the more students know about it, the more students will attend because everyone is so stressed out,” Kevonian said, “it’s about creating a barrier to deal with stress.”

Some tools the students have been presented with include learning techniques to deal with stress before tests, and apps they can download and use when not at the club’s meetings.

“I use the Calm app, which is an app that helps you relieve stress and anxiety if you’re ever having a bad day,” senior Verena Farouk said. “It really helps me stay calm throughout the rest of the week, it has given me new techniques on how to meditate and balance my life.”

The mindfulness Club is a club that is open to all. They meet weekly on Wednesdays during all lunches.

“Students are more overwhelmed than they have ever been before,” Kevonian said. “Using these techniques can lead to a calmer, less reactive state of mind.”

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What is mindfulness?