Be REAL Week 1

Learning to tune in

In our first session, we started with introductions and talked about the program’s goal to help strengthen skills for well-being. Each week we will share practices and tools that can help us:

  • Reduce stress
  • Manage emotions
  • Navigate challenging situations
  • Build connections and compassion

The basis for these skills is learning to tune into ourselves, including our feelings, reactions, and experiences. We also reviewed key concepts including resilience, mindfulness, compassion, and self-compassion. Finally, we talked about the stress response as being a normal, physiological system that can send us into hyperarousal (i.e. fight or flight mode) or hypoarousal (i.e. freeze mode). 

Our stress response is our body’s way of alerting us to danger. But sometimes our body might be on high alert, keeping us in one of those states when it’s not helpful. In this program, we will focus on learning skills to respond instead of react automatically. Watch this 3-minute video for highlights on how mindfulness can help us learn to respond. 

 

Tuning into the Breath

The breath can be an excellent anchor for awareness. Try our 5-minute guided practice Tuning into the Breath, which can help in learning to identify the breath’s patterns. You can also follow the cues below. 

 
 

Mindful Listening

Deep listening is one way to practice mindfulness. When we provide our full attention to someone else, we let them know that they are important to us and what they say matters. Mindful listening is also an excellent way for us to stay grounded instead of being distracted by our own thoughts. Read this article on Mindful.org for additional background on mindful listening. 

 
 

Yoga

Mindfulness is a foundation in all Yoga practices. This session we practiced a breath and movement focused sequence that can help release tension and reduce stress, as well as tune into our habitual movements. 

The right image is the sequence that we shared in this week’s session. The sequence was inspired by the teachings of Sir T. K. V. Desikachar, the founder of Viniyoga. Click on the image for a downloadable PDF.

Additionally, below are a few free yoga resources from a variety of traditions:

Remember, even a few gentle poses can make a significant difference in how you feel throughout the day. See if you can find time to pause and do two poses between classes or meetings. Another great time is taking 5-10 minutes for gentle movement before sleeping since Yoga can help settle the mind.

Be Real Yoga Week 1

   
 
 

Home Practice

Noticing Practices

  • Your stress response. Can you identify times when you go into fight, flight or freeze mode? Can you identify triggers that caused that stress response?
  • How stress affects you. How does stress impact your body, mind, emotions, or attitude? 

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.