There’s a lot of literature on “mindfulness” out there. From books on meditation, to “The best ways to be mindful” web articles, to scholarly works on Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), one can drown in a sea of content promoting waves and waves of its benefits.
Have people really become so stressed in life? Is everyone too glued to their devices to notice all the other—often basic but important—things around them? In a nutshell, mindfulness is all about being aware of the present moment. It entails little acts of awareness directed at one’s self, one’s actions or one’s surroundings. That could mean appreciating the smell of one’s books while preparing for an exam or listening to the strange mix of the city’s sounds on the way to school, to name a few examples of random mindfulness. For what? To simply reduce stress and be happy.
Strathfield College challenges its students to be mindful by launching an action calendar for the month of March called “Mindful March”, borrowed from the website ActionForHappiness. The Mindful March calendar lists one act of mindfulness each day of the month. Some of its tasks include the following:
- Stay fully present while drinking your cup of coffee or tea.
- Stop to just watch the sky or clouds for ten minutes today.
- If you find yourself rushing, make an effort to slow down.
- Take an unusual route and notice what looks different.
- Take three calm breaths every hour.
The initiative won’t be strictly monitored, of course, but Strathfield College encourages its students to try it and commit to it. The school knows how hard its students have been studying and working, so it invites students to unwind from time to time and make a conscious effort to live happily as well as healthily.