MODULE 2: HARNESSING THE MIND

While a pandemic, quarantine, and physical distancing can and will make an impression on the psychology of human beings, the mind is also a tool with the capacity to cultivate resilience, presence, optimism, and solutions to problems.  This module delves into the psychology behind advice and practices for utilizing the mind as a tool during hard times. In this module you will: 

  • Evaluate your personal stress score
  • Contemplate and discuss psychology-based insights and recommendations related to coping, resilience, mindfulness, and mental health during a pandemic.
  • Apply the science of resilience and psychology of gaming by playing SuperBetter
  • Practice mindful meditation and recall empirically supported benefits
  • INQUIRE: What stressors are you accumulating? Take the questionnaire by joining our Free Canvas course. We often experience numerous challenges in life. Some are negative, some are positive. Both may influence how stressed we get. Surprisingly, even events that we do not consider stressors, could influence well-being. 

What does mindfulness - an incredibly popular and frequently used term - mean in practice?   While the practice and meaning of mindfulness has many layers, because this is a mere introduction, we'll utilize Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn's definition to frame our practice.  Dr. Kabat-Zinn expresses mindfulness as the awareness that arises when one....

  1. Pays Attention
  2. On Purpose
  3. In the Present Moment
  4. Without Judgment or Elaboration

Jon Kabat-Zinn: Citation

Bear in mind that mindfulness meditation is a mind-training, so you need not worry if you notice that your mind wanders quite frequently.  In fact, if you notice the habit of the mind to wander, you've discovered the first insight of mindfulness: the mind wanders!  Without harsh judgment or self-criticism, kindly, bring your attention back to the instructions anytime this happens. This is the moment that the mind-training actually occurs! Use the links below to explore several mindfulness techniques. Try to practice either relaxation or mindfulness for about 10 minutes, once per day this week, and then collect personal data from your "mindfulness experiments." 

  • PRACTICE
  1. Body Scan  (A) 11:15
  2. Soles of the Feet  (A) 10:32
  3. Mindfulness of Sounds  (A) 10:36
  4. Focused Attention on the Breath @ Nostrils (A) 12:21

 

  • REFLECT
  1. How did the mindfulness practices this week go for you?  What did you notice?  What did you find challenging and/or helpful?
  2. Did you notice your mind wandering during the practices?  How did you feel about it?  Were you able to begin to notice mind-wandering without judgment and eventually bring your attention back? 
  3. What other types of activities or practices might you engage in to cultivate mindfulness, as it is defined by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn?