All Kinds of News for December 06, 2017
Since EDGE Learning and Wellness opened its doors in 2011, it has been a priority to introduce the practice of mindfulness into its students’ lives. Although mindfulness is a concept that seems vague and confusing to some, it’s really as simple as being in the present moment.
With mindfulness, individuals focus on being aware of the effect their thoughts and emotions are having on their daily lives. This practice helps people manage their negative emotions instead of shoving them to the side and letting them build into something even more antagonistic and unhealthy.
In addition to processing emotions, mindfulness can help increase self-image and compassion. In the experience of EDGE Mindfulness Therapist Maria Bidelman, LCSW, she has found that this can be especially difficult for people who have mental illness.
“As soon as I ask them to, they’re very, very resistant,” said Maria. “So, one of the things we try to teach with mindfulness is that when you’re in a situation and you’re in the present moment, you want to regard the situation without judgment toward yourself as best as you can, and instead view it with kindness and curiosity.”
Mindfulness doesn’t just improve how individuals view themselves, however.
“When you pay attention to yourself and you are being in the present moment, it helps you become more aware of your surroundings,” said Maria. “Therefore, you naturally end up being more empathetic toward others, more conscientious of your environment, and you extend more love and kindness toward people.”
When Maria works with EDGE students, she makes sure to emphasize that mindfulness is a tool they can access at any time. She begins her mindfulness lessons by teaching students how their breathing effects their mind and body, as well as techniques that allow them to be more in control of their breath. Through her teachings, Maria has found that mindfulness has made a positive improvement on many students’ lives.
“EDGE students are finally in a space where they’re getting support, and yet they can still be independent and figure things out by themselves,” said Maria. “Mindfulness really works well with that journey, as it helps them feel less anxious and self-conscious about whatever they’re going through.“About EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate CommunityEDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community is an accredited transitional living program located in Chicago, IL. EDGE offers therapeutically supported residential and non-residential options for post-treatment young adults. The participants, ages 18 -24, are striving to excel academically, while creating a life of balance, joy and wellness.