Mindfulness and Your Health
The Mayo Clinic describes mindfulness as a practice originally conceived thousands of years ago that was intended to ease suffering and cultivate compassion. Not tied to any particular religious or cultural belief system, it is a practice that is still relevant in our world today. Mindfulness can be defined as a conscious effort to be completely in the present moment, setting aside worries, expectations and other thoughts or emotions.
Practicing Mindfulness on Monday helps you to begin the week with a positive mindset and manage your stress all week long. Unmanaged stress has been shown to have numerous negative health impacts including loss of sleep, mood disorders, digestive disorders, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and a decreased immune response which can leave us susceptible to colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Research conducted by the Monday Campaigns shows that Monday is seen as a day for a fresh start and if people begin the week with a positive frame of mind, they are more likely to maintain a better mood throughout the week. The Monday Campaign’s DeStress Monday initiative contains great resources from Monday refresh tips to guided audio incorporating evidence-based stress reduction techniques of deep-breathing, mindfulness and positive affirmation.
Here at Healthy Monday Syracuse, we want to help you start your week off refreshed and re-centered by sponsoring in partnership with Hendricks Chapel a weekly Monday Meditation. This practice is open to any member of the SU community and begins at noon on Mondays during the academic year. All skill levels are welcome and it is a chance to practice silent meditation.
We are also partnering with the Contemplative Collaborative to offer a weekly Monday afternoon yoga class to support healthy minds and bodies for our SU students, staff and faculty.
Head over to our Events and News page for more information about the Healthy Monday weekly meditation and yoga practice schedule and read on for other ways you can be mindful on campus.
Below we’ve shared some audio files of guided meditations and practices to help you strengthen your ability to focus and bring more mindfulness to your life. These sources are recommended by the Contemplative Collaborative and are beneficial to all listeners, whether you are a beginner or seasoned practitioner.
- Free guided meditation from UCLA Health offers several meditations of varying lengths and topics in both English and Spanish. Listen here.
- The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society offers several brief meditations (5-10 minutes) that you can download for free. Listen here.
- Meditation in Motion– a brief video created by SU students and faculty.
Love Your Body
Healthy Monday Syracuse is partnered with Ophelia’s Place and 44 Hearts to bring you the weekly video series, Love Your Body. Who would have thought that some of the most basic forms of love, love of self and love of that self’s body, are actually the most revolutionary? The exhausting amount of mental, emotional, and spiritual energy it takes to tune out floods of messages that counteract this primal force on every given day is overwhelming. This is where we come in. The “Love Your Body” web series provides a weekly affirmation designed to guide us on the journey of tuning in. Begin your week with a brief video that sets your intention for the week around a particular word.
An Introduction to Love Your Body
Watch all the weekly videos in this series on our Healthy Monday YouTube page: