Stress Management and Mindfulness
Why is this important?
Stress can impact your ability to learn and can make it difficult to concentrate and remember new information. Through stress reduction and mindfulness, you can find ways to reduce your stress and increase your ability to learn
Mindfulness can help you:
- Decrease stress
- Decrease negative mood symptoms
- Increase your self-compassion
- Improve your general health
- Increase emotional regulation
- Increase focus
- Improve your capacity for empathy (the ability to see things from others’ perspectives)
- Increase your resilience
- Increase social and relational skills
- Increase academic performance
- Improve your sleep
Mindfulness and stress reduction techniques come in a wide variety. No two people will use the same exact stress reduction or mindfulness tools because everyone’s brain is different. As a result of this, the techniques you use will be unique to you.
Here are some examples:
- Meditations: clear your mind and reset
- Mandala’s: designs that represent the interconnectedness of all things which can be used to relax and be present through coloring
- Deep breathing: deep breathing floods the body with oxygen and through that, help you relax
- Journaling: allows you to get your internal thoughts out
- Exercise: exercise can decrease stress and increase positive feelings
Below are some links and resources which you can use for free to explore different mindfulness and stress reduction techniques
Free Mindfulness Apps:
- Smiling Mind
- Available on Apple and Android devices, this app is 100% free, no subscription required. Children, teen, and adult friendly, meditations range from 5 minutes to 45 minutes and cover a variety of programs which cover topics such as: sleep, relationships, workplace, and mindfulness foundations. They also have specialized programs for children and teens.
- UCLA Mindful
- Available on Apple and Android devices, this app is 100% free, no subscription required. Meditations are offered in English and in Spanish. Meditations range from 3-19 minutes long and focus on topics such as your body, working with difficult emotions, and cultivating loving-kindness. This app also features a “Getting Started” section which includes and explanation about mindfulness, a guide on how to pick a mediation, and a guide on how to pick your meditation posture.
- Available on Apple and Android devices, this app is free to download and can be used without a subscription. The app allows you to create a personal journal to help you reflect on how you felt throughout the day and track trends and emotional highs and lows. This app can help reduce stress, gain perspective, develop gratitude, and gain kindness and empathy.
- Stop, Breathe, & Think
- Available on Apple and Android devices, this app is free to download and can be used without a subscription. This app allows you to have daily emotional check-ins, reflect on you day via guided journaling, gives you daily inspirational tips, and offers meditations, sleep tracking, breathing, and yoga.
- The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California has on their YouTube channel, calming MeditOceans which are free guided meditations with visuals of different oceanscapes. Also on their channel, are some very calming live videos which include footage from their tanks. Here is the link to the MeditOceans: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLq_DVMr7CmlJ3DJothjCJNylwgyrB72V6
- Goodful has short meditations on their YouTube channel which are free and available for anyone. They range from 5-15 minutes. You can find them here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQiGxGHwiuD1kdxsWKFuhE0rITIXe-7yC
- Calm provides short, 10-minute meditations for free on their YouTube channel as well as music for relaxation and sleep, soothing sounds, and short videos aimed at helping you take a moment for some deep breathing. You can find these videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/calmdotcom Calm also comes in app form but not all aspects of the app are free.
- These journal prompts from Journal Buddy are designed for children but can be used at any age. There is no time requirement, you can write for as long or as little as you like. The focus is on getting the thoughts on the page. You can find them here: https://www.journalbuddies.com/journaling-resources/mindfulness-journaling/
- These 18 prompts from Healing Brave focus on reflecting on and discovering ways to honor, embrace, and identify emotions. There is no time requirement and can be used at any age. You can find them here: https://healingbrave.com/blogs/all/honor-your-feelings-journal-prompts
- These 105 prompts from Reflections from a Redhead focus on self-reflection and discovery. Each prompt is different with many of them not requiring a certain amount of time, however they may require a list of a certain length or a short activity which you will reflect on afterwards. You can find them here: https://reflectionsfromaredhead.com/writing-prompts-for-self-reflection/
- Mandalas are circular designs that represent wholeness that goes beyond the human body to the vast universe and all it
- It derives its name from the Sanskrit word for circle. In the western world, a mandala often comes in the form
- of printed design on paper or depicted in artwork that is admired for its intricate details and vivid colors. For more historical
- information, explanations of symbolism, and some free, printable Mandala designs visit: https://www.mandalasforthesoul.com/
- For more free, printable designs visit: https://mondaymandala.com/
- Smiling Mind