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“Mindfulness sounds great, but I have no clue how to get started.” I hear that a lot, and I get why. There’s a ton of (deserved) buzz around mindfulness as a way to reduce stress, improve focus, and become happier and healthier. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen much in terms of simple, trustworthy, “start here” kind of instruction, so hopefully this post will help.

In the video below, I share the easiest way I know to get started with mindfulness practice: a fun, easy “mindfulness game” you can do anywhere. If you enjoy it and want to go a bit deeper with mindfulness, I encourage you to try meditation and some other ways to bring mindfulness into daily life.

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Student review: Calm By Calm.com cofounders, Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew

Read review here

Enrique, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

 

“Finals approaching, papers to write, a social life to maintain—sometimes it feels like it’s a little bit too much. Sound familiar? This is what our lives may feel like, but sometimes it’s great to take some time, walk away from all the things that drive us crazy, and be calm. This sounds hard, but believe me, it isn’t! Just take a 10-minute break from your packed schedule, pick up your phone, click the lovely blue Calm icon, and enjoy a relaxing meditation session, a hypnotic sleep story, or even just comforting background sounds while you study. Calm is the amazing app that helped me make it through this crazy last week, and I’m sure it will help you too!”

USEFUL?
5 out of 5 stars
Come on, do 10 minutes of relaxation actually make a difference? I know, it’s hard to believe. I won’t tell you this is the magical solution for all of your problems, but I can tell you that after the first session you’ll at least feel more relaxed and focused.

FUN?
4 out of 5 stars
The background fireplace sounds are oddly satisfying, the meditation sessions are awesome (I love the voice of the host), and the sleep stories are super relaxing. The music section wasn’t my jam, but I’m sure some people will like it.

EFFECTIVE?
5 out of 5 stars
I finally fixed my sleep schedule (kind of), and now I feel I’m much more productive and calm. I wonder if that’s where they get the title of the app from…

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..you will apply to everyday life?

..caused you to get involved, ask for help,
utilize campus resources, or help a friend?

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Article sources

Addley, E. (2015, May 29). Planet’s happiest human—and his app. TheGuardian.com. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/29/planets-happiest-human-and-his-app

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Goyal, M., Singh, S., Sibinga, E. M., Gould, N. F., et al. (2014). Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174(3), 357–368.

Hofmann, S. G., Sawyer, A. T., Witt, A. A., & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(2), 169.

Hughes, J. W., Fresco, D. M., Myerscough, R., van Dulmen, M., et al. (2013). Randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based stress reduction for prehypertension. Psychosomatic Medicine, 75(8), 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3182a3e4e5. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e3182a3e4e5

Klimecki, O. M., Leiberg, S., Lamm, C., & Singer, T. (2012). Functional neural plasticity and associated changes in positive affect after compassion training. Cerebral Cortex, bhs142.

Stahl, J. E., Dossett, M. L., LaJoie, A. S., Denninger, J. W., et al. (2015). Relaxation response and resiliency training and its effect on healthcare resource utilization. PLoS ONE, 10(10), e0140212. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0140212

Zeidan, F., Johnson, S. K., Diamond, B. J., David, Z., et al. (2010). Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training. Consciousness and Cognition, 19(2), 597–605.