Stress Less with Mindfulness; new curriculum being offered by MSU Extension
Michigan State University Extension has partnered with West Virginia University Extension to offer Stress Less with Mindfulness in Michigan.
Mindfulness means to consciously choose to step back from the busy thinking mind to a quieter place in your mind. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn a noted mindfulness teacher and scholar, states, “mindfulness is not about paying attention but paying attention more wisely-with the whole mind and heart and senses of the body.”
Stress Less with Mindfulness is made up of five sessions, however they are being offered as stand-alone sessions or as a series. The sessions include:
- Begin with breath: Participants will learn about the benefits of mindfulness, pinpoint behaviors which can make you vulnerable or resilient to stress, learn how the brain can reduce or increase stress and experience mindful movements.
- Mindful eating: Participants will learn benefits of eating with mindful awareness, create a personal hunger/fullness scale as a guide for sensing when and how much we actually need to eat and experience paying mindful attention to eating.
- Mindful walking/thought surfing: Participants will practice mindful walking, identify how letting go of control can improve mental physical happiness and learn thought-surfing to gain perspective on negative thoughts, sensations, worries and urges.
- Be kind to your mind: Participants will learn the importance of self-compassion for your thinking, learn how to de-fuse harsh thinking, practice mindful attention to your thoughts and learn the power of acceptance and gratitude to relieve stress.
- Laughter is good medicine: Participants will learn, mental and social benefits of laughter, experience laughing for the health of it, learn ways to include laughter in life, review mindfulness skills and create a plan for continuing mindful practices.
Mindfulness is learned through practice. Cultivate the habit of gently accepting unpleasant thoughts or feelings. Anything in your daily life can be an opportunity to practice mindful attention. All that it requires is a desire to feel more content with your life and the actions of others and a commitment to practice the simple exercises.