#UGUmbrella – This March we focus on Mindfulness
February 26, 2021
GUELPH, Ontario – This month for the Umbrella Project we are focusing on mindfulness.
Mindfulness is being aware of what’s happening right now without wishing it was different. It means being present in the moment with our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
Practising mindfulness can boost attention and concentration. Some studies have even shown that starting a mindfulness practice can increase brain activity in the area associated with positive emotions.
Mindfulness can be practiced by everyone. There are many different ways that you can bring some mindfulness into your everyday practice with your classroom, department or family.
Some examples include:
- Mindful Listening: Go into your backyard, onto your balcony or porch, into the school yard or go for a short outdoor walk. Focus on sounds. Listen mindfully to everything you hear.
- Mindful Eating: Take your first bites of food and really concentrate on the taste, textures, temperature and feeling of the food in your mouth. If your mind wanders, bring yourself back. Then share around the table what you each noticed.
- Mindful Body Scan: Get comfortable and close your eyes. Notice your body. What do you feel? Travel from your toes to the tip of your head. Concentrate on how your body feels on the surface it is on. If possible, share what you discovered.
- Mindful Silence: This can be really fun but, surprisingly, not always that easy to accomplish! Try and get the whole family or classroom to agree to 1, 2, 3, 5 minutes (whatever works for you! Make it realistic). During that time no one is to speak, communicate, sing or make sounds. Simply go about your day without speaking. This can be very powerful and interesting. When you are finished your assigned time, share back what it was like.
- Mindful Focus: Ring a bell or use an online sound for a bell, close your eyes and listen only to the sound. Focus on the sound until it is completely gone. You will be surprised how long it can last if we really focus our attention onto it.
Share with us how you practise Mindfulness this March by using #UGUmbrella on Twitter or Instagram.