Natalie, Student Wellbeing Champion, talks about the Mindfulness course offered by Counselling, Health and Wellbeing.
There are misconceptions of mindfulness as being religious or solely based on meditation. However, there are so many different ways in which you can practise mindfulness such as walking, sitting, eating or doing breathing exercises. Our Mindfulness sessions are all about living life in the moment, thinking less about the past and worrying less about the future.
When we are experiencing stress, distress or anxiety, we may be caught in a cycle of negative emotions and a distorted way of seeing. Being mindful allows you to learn to observe your negative thought patterns and accept them for what they are: simply thoughts. This is done by being aware of your moment-to-moment experience of your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.
Mindfulness is not about trying to control your mind or to empty it. Instead, it is simply observing the thoughts as they come and go, and being able to identify that it is just a thought and it is not you.
Interested in trying a mindfulness exercise? Here’s an activity you could try right now
First, find a comfortable place to sit or stand, without many distractions.
Count to 10 like this. If a thought distracts you, start the 10 count over from 1.
When you get to 10, start over and attempt to count to 10 again. Don’t worry if you never do.
Don’t rush, it’s a slow progress. Practise once or twice a day for a minute.
Do this for as many weeks or months as it takes until you can count up to 10 with little to no effort. Once it becomes easy, stop counting and simply follow your breath.
(Adapted from: buddhaimonia.com)
Who is it for?
Anyone and everyone. Whether you are experiencing stress, depression, anxiety, low mood, low self-esteem, unhelpful thinking habits or just feel like you would benefit from being mindful, the programme is for you.
What can I expect in each session?
The Mindfulness sessions meet once a week to practise different activities. The course runs for 4 weeks, with around 6-12 people in each session. Each session focuses on a different aspect of mindfulness, giving you useful resources to practice outside the workshops to tackle any challenging thoughts you may be experiencing.
Examples of activities done in workshops include: relaxation techniques, body scan exercises and looking at how your breath affects your mood. Activities using your five senses are also practised, such as mindful eating. This includes tasting a satsuma, in an exercise where you are encouraged to feel the sensation of it, the flavour and texture it gives, how your body reacts to it and what it feels like to finally eat it. These types of activities will help you learn about accepting your senses and being aware of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations instead of blocking them.
If you would like to try mindfulness exercises but do not want to commit to the full course, there are also mindfulness drop-in sessions available.
How can I book my place?
Click here to see what’s on and sign up to the Mindfulness course.
Contacting Counselling Health and Wellbeing
If you are struggling to improve your wellbeing, please know Cardiff University Support Services are here for you – there is no problem too big or too small and we would be happy to provide you with some support. We offer a range of flexible support options including:
- Counselling and Wellbeing Appointments
- Face to Face, Online or Telephone
- Wellbeing Walk-in: Drop-in Service running Monday to Friday
- Wellbeing Workshops
- Therapeutic Groups
- Wellbeing Champion Support
- Self-help resources
Bookable appointments are available via our online referral questionnaire. We also offer a Wellbeing Walk-In Service, Monday to Friday, 3pm to 3.45pm and Wednesday mornings, 9.30am to 10.15am, at the Student Support Centre at 50 Park Place. We also hold a walk-in service at our Student Support Centre in Cardigan House at the Heath, on Wednesday afternoons 3pm to 3.45pm.
Watch our video and see for yourself that we have friendly and approachable staff. Staff who are able to listen to you non-judgmentally, in a safe and confidential space.
If talking to a member of staff is something you are not sure about, why not chat to one of our Student Wellbeing Champions. They are trained student volunteers who can signpost you to support, offer you a peer ear and give you basic health and wellbeing advice. If you would like to see our Champions in action, check out their video.
If you are worried that you are experiencing physical symptoms that may be affecting your health, we strongly advise you to make a GP appointment to discuss this. If you do not already have a GP, please contact NHS Wales on 0845 46 47 or check out their website to view all of your GP options. The University also has its own GP Practice – Park Place Surgery for those in their catchment area.
Your feedback and help please
Have you found this blog post useful? Please help us by commenting in the bar below, and note any questions there too.
Natalie, Student Wellbeing Champion.
Your Student Life, Supported.
The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice and Money, Careers and Employability, Counselling, Health and Wellbeing, Disability and Dyslexia and International Student Support.
For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.