29 May 2019 | Student Advice

Being mindful is the art of awareness. Whilst not an easy task to constantly maintain, mindfulness works to develop concentration, lower stress levels, and help you focus on your studies when in an intense situation.

As students, we are expected to maintain a constant social life as well as perfect grades, and whilst this is seemingly unattainable for any human, being mindful helps to make your time, energy, and outlook on life much more positive.

Being mindful doesn’t happen overnight, it can take time to grasp the concept, and to really understand how to slow things down and focus on the now. Whilst the future is a daunting and important aspect to consider as students, remember the future is merely what you make of the present.

Top tips for being mindful

Breathing exercises

Whilst this may seem a fairly obvious and unnecessary tip, it is undoubtedly the first step to being mindful. Get this; your body needs oxygen. Your brain needs oxygen like your stomach needs food, and if your studies are becoming overwhelming and you are yet to take your eyes away from your laptop screen, breathing exercises are highly recommendable. All it takes is just breathing in for 8 seconds and out for 8 seconds to slow down your heartbeat and give your brain the energy boost that it needs. Breathing exercises also help you to focus on the now, and work to make you more aware of your personal state of mind when studying. So take a step back, and breathe for a minute.

Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management technique that helps to balance out workload. The structure is as follows: work for 25 minutes, have a 5-minute break, and then repeat four times. Once you have done this start extending the working time and resting time. It works remarkably well when it comes to studying or writing essays, as the smaller chunks help to make work much more doable and less daunting. This is key to mindfulness: take it all one step at a time. Remember, it’s not a race! (Unless you’ve left everything until the day before, in which case just remember: Diamonds are formed under pressure.)

Chat with students but don’t compare

It is common knowledge that talking about your problems makes that problem a little bit easier. Talking to friends on your course about assignments can not only reassure you with your own work but can also help you to understand the topic further. Its vitally important to remember to not compare yourself to your course-mates, however. Everyone is good at something, especially a niche topic in their degree. Reminding yourself that nobody is going to judge you for asking questions or for getting a low grade, for example, is a huge step to being mindful.

Mindfulness means you focus on yourself and when to celebrate your own successes and learn from your weaknesses. It is easier said than done, but you can really only do your personal best.

Written by Imogen Killner


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