Be REAL Week 2

Being where you are

In our second 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. Additionally, we learned skills for tapping into our own wisdom though Wise Mind. 


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, thus strengthening the mind-body connection. It is can also strengthen the mind’s ability for sustained focus by shifting awareness throughout the body. Finally, the Stress Check allows us to notice different feelings or thoughts that might arise (e.g., feeling bored) and practice being with those experiences without judgement. 

Try our 10 minute or 5 minute audio practices.

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”? Sensations are physical feelings we experience inside (and outside) of our bodies. They are signals that the body sends to the brain. E.g. the sensation of thirst tells your brain that you need to drink water. The sensation of being cold tells the brain that more heat is needed. This image lists a few examples of sensations. 

When doing the Stress Check, remember that there may not always be a sensation present at each part of the body. If you do not observe a sensation then simply make a note, without any judgement, that there is no sensation.


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. 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.

Connecting with Wise Mind

Wise Mind allows us to tap into our intuition. Wise Mind balances both Emotional Mind and Rational Mind. In Wise Mind we ask what is needed and what will be effective in a situation. Wise Mind can also be a powerful tool to recognizing what is needed to support and nurture ourselves. 

We each experience Wise Mind differently. For some people, it is finding a still quiet moment. Others describe it as a “gut feeling” or a voice that guides them. Try these practices to see how you can tap into your wisdom:

Wise Mind Breathing (5 mins) and Be in the Pause Breathing (7 mins), which helps you align Wise Mind with values. 

This 3-minute song about Wise Mind sums up how it can guide decisions


Home Practice

Noticing Practices

  • Thoughts: What types of thoughts do you notice the most? Can you label those thoughts?
  • Wise Mind. Observe when you are in Emotional or Rational Minds, and when you’re able to find balance with Wise Mind. What helps you connect with Wise Mind?

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.