mindfulness meditationHow many of us are looking forward to a fresh start and a new year of good fortune? I imagine that for some, hoping for a better year could be on the top of their wish list. What ever happened to 2014? It seemed to come and go so quickly for some. First fresher’s weekend, then Christmas in literally a blink on an eye, now 2015!

So much has happened in such a short space of time and I wonder how many people have felt that their life passes away far too quickly to take a breath.  If only you had a 36 hour day to cram everything in, if only life could pass by less frantically.

Hopefully you will be coming back after a relaxed break and you are remembering how it felt to think less, do less and rest but how long before you start to run around frantically again?

Well, if there is one thing you can learn this year it is how practising mindfulness can stop you from running around like a hamster in its play wheel and living life in “autopilot mode”, that rushing mode we have where we do things without a thought and stops us noticing the little things in life which used to give us joy and doesn’t help our brains take in information well nor study productively.

I learnt this lesson two years back and was so blown away with the positivity it brought to my life that I have recently studied and qualified as a mindfulness meditation teacher. Now, I would like to share the benefits of mindfulness with you during Midweek mindfulness sessions which will run in the library starting from the 14th of January 2015.

Mindfulness is a concept of living in the moment which has its origins in Buddhism. Non-religious based, the practice involves drawing attention to what is going on in the present moment which has the effect of distracting worrying thoughts about the past or future.

As effective as dealing with depression through treatments such as anti-depressants, which are proven to build resilience to negative emotions and encourage more effective study, practicing mindfulness can promote less stress, worry and improved academic performance at DMU.

By just stopping for three minutes every day to focus on your breath and what is going on in your body, you can teach your mind to think positively, replenish your body and focus better on learning.

Far too often our minds are wandering and not focused on the task in hand such as reading a book. However, next time you are reading, prevent your mind wandering by stopping reading and making a point of taking two to three breaths at the end of each paragraph and really focusing on just breathing these breaths. This will keep your concentration in check and keep your mind focused.

Interested in learning more techniques to help you feel more focused, positive and stress free?  Then come along to all or any of the following short sessions running in room 2.04 in the library.

Rachel Jackson Mental health inclusion officer

Diploma in relaxation, meditation and mindfulness instruction.

MIDWEEK MINDFULNESS!  Ten week programme. Starting January 14th 2015- 18.03.15

30 minute Sessions which will run every Wednesday in room 2.04 in Kimberlin library. 12.00-12.30

Sessions are open to both staff and students and there is no commitment required.

Week 1 pause on autopilot by using the power of your breath!  14.01.15

Empower yourself by realising the potential your very own breath has on slowing down the frantic stressful pace of life. This meditation is a seated meditation so is suitable for all.

Week 2 awakening your taste buds with mindfulness meditation. 21.01.15

Want to learn how you can meditate by eating chocolate, and then this one is for you! This meditation is a seated meditation so is suitable for all.

Week 3: breath and body resilience towards stress  28.01.15

This week, learn the physical impact stress has on your body and learn how you can use your breath to breathe into areas of your body affected by stress. You will be seated for this meditation and it is suitable for all.

Week 4: Revive yourself with mindful movement 04.02.15

Not one to sit down and stay still? Then come along to this movement meditation which calms the mind by being active. Please note that this meditation may not be suitable for people with mobility issues. Any questions about mobility/access issues, please email Rachel.jackson@dmu.ac.uk

Week 5: Stress buster sensory meditation!  11.02.15

This is a seated meditation and will involve using Lavender or Thyme. Please contact mentalhealthadvice@dmu.ac.uk if you have allergies and are unable to undertake the sensory part of this meditation.

Week6. Mindful hand appreciation! 18.02.15

Learn to appreciate your hands like never before during this lovely meditation. This is a seated sensory meditation and is open to all people of all abilities.

Week 7: Sounds and thoughts meditation 25.02.15

Learn how you can use sounds to distract negative thinking and enable you to clear your mind. This is a ten minute seated meditation and opens to every one of all abilities.

Week 8: Appreciating nature mindfully 04.03.15

Meet outside Kimberlin library at 12.30 to go and feed the ducks by Mill Lane Bridge. Bird seed will be available to participants alongside health and safety instructions to ensure safety. This activity is suitable to people of all capabilities. Please note that this session maybe subject to weather conditions and may be cancelled in the event of windy/dangerous weather.

Week 9 befriending yourself and others meditation! 11.03.15

Want to be kinder to yourself and build compassion to the less kind people in life? This is a ten minute seated meditation and opens to every one of all abilities.

Week 10: Dawn of a new day meditation!  18.03.15

This final session looks at positive body language and uses a lovely movement based meditation to help you achieve a clearer and positive state of mind. This session may not be suitable for people with mobility difficulties. However, please contact Rachel.Jackson@dmu.ac.uk if you have any questions related to accessing this session.


By Rachel Jackson