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Teaching for well-being? Introducing mindfulness in an undergraduate course

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Title: Teaching for well-being? Introducing mindfulness in an undergraduate course
Author: Ingram, Carly; Breen, Andrea V.; van Rhijn, Tricia
Department: Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Abstract: Student mental health and well-being are increasing concerns in higher education. This exploratory study examined students’ learning in a mindfulness program incorporated into an undergraduate class. Six brief mindfulness-based practices were introduced: mindfulness meditation, walking meditation, body scan, mindful eating, loving-kindness, and Tonglen meditation. Fourteen students were interviewed after completion of the course to explore their conceptions and use of mindfulness and other self-care practices. Results of thematic analyses suggest that there were variations in students’ adoption of mindfulness-based practices and students’ preferred mindfulness techniques. Most participants reported that mindfulness instruction and practice were beneficial but this was not universal; some students reported that mindfulness was “not for them”. Findings suggest that mindfulness fostered self-reflection, self-awareness and relaxation for many students and incorporating mindfulness at the beginning of class improved the overall quality of discussion and facilitated students’ learning. Findings further suggest that students incorporated mindfulness into existing self-care practices that included a variety of other preferred techniques to enhance self-reflection, self-awareness and relaxation. Overall, our findings suggest that students should be supported through explicit instruction to develop a “toolbox” of self-care approaches that may include, but is not necessarily limited to, mindfulness.
Date: 2017-12-21
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International
Related Publications: Ingram, C., Breen, A., & van Rhijn, T. (2019). Teaching for well-being? Introducing mindfulness in an undergraduate course. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 43(6), 814-825.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International