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October 1, 2018 | by  | in SWAT |
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SWAT

Mindfulness. What is it? Before I really understood it I thought it was just another of the absolute plethora of buzzwords that people threw around in the never-ending quest to live an unrealistically healthy lifestyle. Yoga. High intensity workouts. Clean eating. Meditation. Mindfulness.
Pass! I thought. I’m living my best life with my pizza and video games! Oh yeah!
…And then I crashed pretty hard. I burnt out, and it’s taken me almost a year to feel like myself again. I had to postpone a lot of plans that I’d really been looking forward to, and learn to drastically restructure my life so that it won’t happen again. It was tremendously frustrating and I started really looking into these “buzzwords” with the thought that there had to be something in them. Out of all of them, mindfulness is the one that resonated with me.
I think we can all agree that university can be pretty challenging at times. All the unstructured time often means every hour could be a productive one. When you do relax, it can be difficult to let go of your work and not have it niggling in the back of your head.
Mindfulness, put simply, is just the practice of being aware of each moment as it happens. It does have a lot in common with meditation, but you don’t need to stop everything and quiet your mind. Instead, you just focus on what is happening while it is happening. It can just be focusing on what you are feeling physically or emotionally, or what you are thinking. The tricky bit is not to do anything with those sensations, but just observe them. Am I tired? Hungry? Sad? Happy?
Practicing mindfulness can stop us from living in the future, and bring that awareness to the present.

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this