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Cultivating happier and healthier college campuses

We are educators concerned with the mental health of our fellow instructors, our students, and our community. On this site, you will find resources to help you alleviate stress, practice self-compassion, and improve your overall wellbeing.

What is mindfulness?

  • Mindfulness is the state of being aware of the present moment, rather than being preoccupied with the past or future.
  • It is the practice of calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment without judgement.
  • It is a secular and therapeutic technique, rooted in Buddhism, used to improve mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.

WHAT IS self-compassion?

  • Self-compassion involves being kind and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or criticizing ourselves.
  • It is the willingness to observe our negative thoughts and emotions with a non-judgmental, receptive mind state.  To feel them as they are without suppression or exaggeration.

Who will benefit from mindfulness and self-compassion?

Everyone can benefit from greater mindfulness and self-compassion because we are all susceptible to stress, anxiety, shame, and feeling overwhelmed.  In fact, most Americans are suffering from moderate to high levels of stress, with 44 percent reporting that their stress levels have increased over the past five years, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).

Stress is also taking a toll on children and young adults.  According to the APA, almost a third of children reported that in the last month they had experienced a physical health symptom often associated with stress, such as headaches, stomach aches, or trouble falling asleep.  College students are becoming increasingly stressed and depressed as well.  For example, 36 percent of undergraduate students sampled by the American College Health Association reported feeling in the past year “so depressed it was difficult to function.”

Exacerbating the problem is our lack of self-care.  Instead of managing stress in healthy ways, Americans are indulging in unhealthy behaviors:  Almost a third of adults say they skipped a meal because of stress in the past month, according to the APA. Two-fifths reported overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress. And more than 40 percent reported that they had lain awake at night.

We are in desperate need of help!  Practicing mindfulness and self-compassion is a small but significant step towards greater peace, health, and happiness.  Let’s take these steps together.

A tree against a beautiful blue sky. The Peaceful Professor works to incorporate mindfulness and meditation practices into higher education to help improve the wellbeing of professors and students.

Are you a Scholar, practitioner, educator, or student who would like to contribute to The Peaceful Professor?

Contact us!  We’re looking for guest blog posts about personal mindfulness practices or efforts to incorporate mindfulness into education.  Student bloggers welcome!

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