Photo by Jonah Hokit

Students are empowered to destress at mindfulness workshops hosted in the Reflection Center within the Student Life and Wellness Center March 1 through April 12.

These workshops were designed to help students relax, destress and try to center their focus. Dallin Bruun, a mindful-based stress reduction instructor, hosted the event March 8.

“[A] lot of people think mindfulness is about mind control or feeling better,” Bruun said. “A lot of times those things happen, just as natural side effects, but what we’re here for is what is happening right now, right here.”

Bruun explained that being mindful means to let go of the control one has over a certain experience. As one releases that control, one is able to be in the moment and come closer to awareness. In these workshops, Bruun instructs the students on multiple ways to actually achieve such.

During the workshop, he focused on the body scan meditation technique where he had all students lie down on the floor and get comfortable. Many removed their shoes and instantly relaxed on the mat and pillow. The lights were dim and their eyes were closed while focusing on Bruun’s words as he directed them through the body scan.

“The body scan is intentionally moving your attention through your own body,” Bruun said.

During the body scan, he would guide the students to focus their attention on different parts of the body. He began by directing participants to focus on their toes, moving up to their ankles, knees and eventually making their way to the crown of their head.

The purpose of the body scan is to communicate what one’s body is saying at that exact moment, as well as to bring one’s attention to that specific part.

Jessica Burns, a senior majoring in community health education, has attended several mindfulness workshops and shared her experience on the recent one.

“I loved it,” Burns said. “It’s not something I do or I feel many people do very often, so it’s really cool to be that aware of things that you just never think about.”

Later in the workshop, Burns commented on an epiphany she had during her body scan.

“I think one thing I noticed the most was there were some parts of my body that I felt really grateful for and really thankful towards. Shifting to other parts, I felt a little more resentment, which caught me off guard…”

Bruun mentioned that the body scan is a way to learn to love oneself, love one’s body and build a relationship with one’s body.

Mindfulness workshops will run through April 12 every Thursday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., each session lasting 50 minutes.