Wellness Tuesdays Provide Meditation

Guided meditation event hosted by Counseling Services


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

On Feb. 15, University Counseling Services hosted Mindful Minutes in Royce Hall room 223 from 4 to 4:30 p.m.. The session was an opportunity for students to experience a guided meditation practice led by a university counselor.

The guided meditation began with deep breathing and was focused on how the breath feels within the body.

This was followed by a body scan, which started at the top of the head and went all the way down to the feet. Then participants tried to notice any emotions within themselves, if possible. This was an additional strategy to become present in the moment.

The short meditation went by quickly. At the end of the session, the meditation guide suggested to participants that they thank themselves for taking the time to meditate and become more present.

Students were encouraged to open their eyes, but only when they were ready. The guided meditation was followed by a brief discussion for students to talk about what came up for them during the meditation and if anything during the practice was beneficial.

The university counselor who led the meditation mentioned that including the body scan element was a very important part of the process. The body scan technique focused on areas of tension to release them with each breath out.

This technique released tension in places where it may have otherwise gone undetected. Body scans physically helped by preventing unnoticed tension, which could lead to painful body ailments like stress headaches.

Every Tuesday this spring semester, University Counseling Services invites students to participate in stress-relieving activities.

Other Mindful Minutes sessions will be on March 29 and May 3. Other relaxing activities University Counseling Services offers for Wellness Tuesdays are Journaling on March 22 and April 26; Mindful Movement on Feb. 22, April 5 and May 10; Craft and Chat on March 1 and April 12 and Coping Skills on March 8 and April 19.

There are other stress-relieving resources on campus for students to utilize. One example is a peer support group, led by a peer educator, which meets every other Wednesday from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Bridgeway Multipurpose Room for students seeking peer support. The next peer support meeting will be held on March 2. Additionally, Royce Hall offers traditional mental health counseling.

Wellness app options are also made available by the UW-system. The SilverCloud app is available for students, faculty and staff. To use SilverCloud, UW credentials are required to sign up for an account.

The app offers different modules for different managing techniques including stress, sleep and a digital journal option. The Healthy Minds Program app, another free resource available to UW campuses, was created by a UW-Madison professor who specializes in meditation research, according to University Counseling Services.

UCS advocates that even three to five minutes of meditation a day can be beneficial. This could be as simple as thinking, “I’m breathing in” as you breath in and, “I’m breathing out” as you breathe out.