Be REAL Week 3 (10-week)




Being Where You Are (Part 1)

Being where you are

In this session, we learned a new practice for tuning into our body and mind, the Stress Check. We also discussed the link between thoughts and how we feel, and practices for observing our mind’s patterns.


Tuning in with the Stress Check

Stress Check: Notice without any judgement, physical sensations. Take a few moments observing areas of the body from head to feet.

This Stress Check, also known as a Body Scan, is a practice that can help you pause and tune into physical sensations, as well as strengthen the mind’s ability for sustained focus by shifting awareness throughout the body. Try our 10 minute or 5 minute audio practices (Chequeo de Estrés).

Types of sensations we can have include: cold, relaxed, still, mushy, soft, strong, light, heavy, full, shaky, sweaty, wiggly, hot, cool, tense, hungry, tingling.

What are “sensations”? They are physical feelings we experience inside (and outside) of our bodies. They are signals that your body sends to your brain. E.g., the sensation of thirst tells your brain that you need to drink water. This image lists a few examples of sensations.

Noticing Your Thoughts

Do you ever feel like a lot of thoughts are swirling around in your head? That’s because we have between 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts a day, which is about 38 – 48 thoughts per minute! This isn’t bad – the mind’s job is to think. However, sometimes we can get wrapped up in a story because of a single thought. Thoughts can also impact how we feel. E.g., a constant stream of stressful thoughts could make someone feel overwhelmed. 

One way we can stop from getting wrapped up in our thoughts is to step back and observe them. Labeling the “type” of thought can help. Our Awareness of Thoughts practice (7 minutes) will guide you. Want to revisit this topic? Watch our 6-minute video on Youtube. Below are a few tips as well.


This image shows the different types of thoughts we have so that you can practice labeling them. E.g., planning, organizing, daydreaming, worrying, catastrophizing, blaming, judging, rehashing, rehearsing, saying "what if". Notice thoughts without judgement.


Word Association

There are usually multiple interpretations of a situation or statement.  Today we did a Word Association activity to share that words can have a neutral, positive or negative connotation.  Mindfulness helps us pause to bring awareness to our interpretations and recognize that it is just one possible interpretation – there can be more interpretations.  When we begin to recognize the evaluation or judgement in our interpretations then we can try to bring a greater awareness to observing without judgement.




Home Practice

Noticing Practices

  • Thoughts: What types of thoughts do you notice the most? Can you label those thoughts? Watch the 6-minute Awareness of Thoughts video.
  • Word Association.  Can there be multiple interpretations of a situation or statement? Can we bring the intention of being non-judgmental in our interpretations?

Guided & Reflective Practices


About Be REAL
Be REAL (Resilient Attitudes & Living) was developed at the University of Washington Center for Child & Family Well-Being. The program’s aim is to promote the well-being of college students and staff by building skills to cope with emotions, navigate challenging situations, and strengthening internal awareness. Learn more.






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Center for Child & Family Well-Being, University of Washington · Guthrie Hall 119a Box 351525 · Seattle, WA 98195-1525 · USA