On September 14th, the Counseling and Psychological Center organized a transformative event that brought students and professors together, both in person and via Zoom, to delve into the world of meditation and breathing techniques. The Mindful Yotes event was designed to provide a wealth of resources aimed at clearing the mental clutter of stress and anxiety that often plagues our lives.
Participants were introduced to various mindfulness tools, including the Headspace app, Insight Timer, and the Unwinding Anxiety app. With impending stress from assignments, exams, and the daily grind, this event served as a reminder to focus on the present moment and adopt healthy relaxation practices.
The core theme was simple but profound: Be present in the moment. Instead of drowning in overthinking, the event encouraged attendees to take notice of everything happening around them. The interactive approach of the event involved active participation through discussions and polls. Many students who joined, either in person or via Zoom, earned extra credit for their courses.
The event was facilitated by Wendy Brower-Romero, a practitioner of mindfulness who wanted to share her meditation journey. She began by defining mindfulness as “the informal practice of living in the moment.” The event was highly interactive, allowing attendees to engage with one another and openly discuss the stressors in their lives.
Ms. Romero conducted polls that probed students’ mental health and the barriers preventing them from being fully present. Common responses included the burden of assignments, incessant overthinking, and the weight of future concerns. Ms. Romero shared her own struggles with similar thoughts and emphasized how meditation had significantly aided her.
She described mindfulness as the most accessible form of self-care, requiring nothing more than your body and awareness. According to her, mindfulness fosters self-awareness and emotional regulation. Ms. Romero guided participants through a meditation exercise where they focused on sensory experiences like feeling the air and their fingertips, emphasizing their presence in the moment. Many expressed profound relief and relaxation, some noting that they hadn’t felt this way in a long time.
Ms. Romero underscored the importance of mindfulness and its myriad benefits, including making better choices, boosting self-compassion, increasing self-confidence, and establishing healthier boundaries. The core principle of mindfulness begins with embracing each moment with a beginner’s mind, as if experiencing it for the first time, ultimately leading to peace of mind.
The Mindful Yotes event served as an invitation for participants to engage actively in the present, connect with their surroundings, and understand themselves better. It not only addressed mental health but also demonstrated that students are not alone in their struggles. The event revealed that many share similar stressors and anxieties, fostering a sense of unity among students and professors alike.