Mindfulness at CNM

By Whitney Oliphant, Staff Reporter

Mindfulness is beginning to make a presence at CNM, said Dr. Melissa Franklin, full time instructor of the Biology department at CNM.

Mindfulness meetings are held at the CNM main campus every Wednesday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Barr Room which is located in SRC 204, she said.

The meetings are free of charge and are open to students, faculty, staff, and the community.

Mindfulness is a way to help notice what is going on in an individual’s mind and body, she said.

“A lot of what we do in the mindfulness meetings are practices on bringing ourselves into our body and being in this moment, not in our heads thinking about the past or the future,” she said.

The brain has default programs that want it to fire up the body which allow it to go into a state of readiness which some people call fight or flight.

If the body is always in that state of readiness it strengthens those fight or flight pathways that can take away from basic repair, body maintenance, and immune function and that is unhealthy for the body, she said.

Another problem with strengthening those pathways for readiness is that it makes the brain biased to be vigilant of potential threats.

It can then become adaptive to that aroused state and start amplifying anything that might be conceived as a potential threat.

The brain begins running through these little scenarios with that threat and that can keep the body in an unhealthy state, she said.

“So we need to be checking in to see where we are so that we can decide if we want to keep going down a certain path or to switch to a new path,” she said.

When someone feels like they are having an off day they can sometimes stop and check in with themselves, then go a little deeper into what the brain chatter is saying to try and figure out where it is coming from, she said.

There are a few more things people can do to check in with the body and help it to relax; like simple stretches, deep breathing, and being aware of their surroundings, she said.

Mindfulness can be a way to conserve energy and can also be a way to give the body’s energy system a break so it can rejuvenate, she said.

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