Mindfulness workshops help students practice healthy habits

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The University of Indianapolis Student Counseling Center is currently hosting mindfulness workshops for students. Staff psychologist at the Student Counseling Center James Rice believes that workshops provided are beneficial to students and are in need on campus.

“These [workshops] include a series of strategies that may help students with a number of different things, including increasing their focus and concentration,” Rice said. 

Workshops are available to all UIndy students, and they can sign up online and do not need an appointment or have to be a client in the Student Counseling Center. According to Rice, workshops are non-clinical, are meant to practice learning skills and take place over four sessions on Mondays from 1 to 2 p.m. It is taught by Director of the Student Counseling Center and psychologist Kelly Miller. 

“Mindfulness deals with, ‘How do we focus on the moment? How do we stay present in the here and now?’” Rice said. “We’re not regretting all the bad things we did in the past. We’re not worried and fretting about all the things that might happen in the future. We’re focusing on the moment, and now that moment is gone. Now we are focusing on this moment, now that moment is gone… And when we are able to do that, our ability to stay focused, alert, quiet, less anxious, a number of positive things begin to happen when we are able to do that.”

Sophomore criminal justice major Holly Overton is currently utilizing the Student Counseling Center services and has been attending the workshops offered.

“We practice exercises on breathing, slowing our mind down, thinking of things and letting negative thoughts go,” Overton said. “It has benefited me. I’ve been able to do the exercises in the meetings and then also put them into use during the week.”

Rice said that the workshop is beneficial to university students in gaining the ability to concentrate and stay focused, which can help students academically. According to Rice, mindfulness helps with controlling distractions and becoming aware of one’s own thoughts and behavior.

“… There have been some research studies that suggest it also can facilitate athletic performance and can also help with things like managing anxiety,” Rice said. 

Overton believes the workshops have helped her with her academic life and she would recommend them to other students. 

 “The main thing I’ve learned that would help me mainly with school is about how to deal with distractions and how to deal with your mind running a million miles a minute while you are trying to focus on one thing,” Overton said. “Just learning how to breathe through that and accept that they’re there and move on from that.”  The Student Counseling Center is located in the Health Pavilion in Suite 109 for students interested in looking into services. They are open for appointments Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m to 4 p.m.

Graphic by Olivia Cameron

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