In these challenging times marked by uncertainty, it’s natural for anxiety to creep into our minds. But in the midst of ongoing change, being kind to our mind can make a world of difference. In his latest episode of the “Healthy Brain, Healthy Mind,” series, Director of Contemplative Practices and Wellbeing Jay Kumar, Ph.D., discusses the many distractions our mind faces and how we can start being kind to it by getting rid of all the clutter. “It takes discipline, practice and a few tools to bring stillness to our mind,” says Dr. Kumar.
The following are Dr. Kumar’s tips to ease stress and quiet the mind:
Meditation is a great tool to begin to declutter the mind. It allows for cognitive detachment, meaning we detach from our thoughts so we’re not consumed by them, says Dr. Kumar. For a guided meditation with Dr. Kumar, watch the full “How to Be Kind to Your Mind” episode.
2. Take time to care for yourself
“You need to be there for yourself,” says Dr. Kumar. Sip your morning coffee, go for a walk or exercise. Whatever it is, make self-care a priority. To be a resource to others, we must first learn to carve out time to replenish, rejuvenate and nourish our mind, he says.
3. Learn the importance of social connection
“Our brain evolved as a social organ for connection,” says Dr. Kumar. Although we’re still in the midst of a pandemic that has made socializing a challenge, it’s vital to nurture our social brains and maintain those connections. Whether that’s jumping on a zoom call with your friends or bonding with those in your home, give your brain that much-needed “Vitamin S – Vitamin Social,” he says.
Led by Dr. Kumar, the “Healthy Brain, Healthy Mind” series is just one of the various resources offered to the Chapman Community during the coronavirus pandemic. The weekly webinar, hosted by the Fish Interfaith Center, offers advice, Q&A and tools for applying science-based strategies and spiritual wisdom to promote emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. Visit the FISH Facebook Playlist to watch the full episode of “How to Be Kind to Your Mind” and browse through additional offerings.
All faculty, staff and students can also find more wellness resources by visiting The Working Remotely website and the Chapman Hope webpage.