Bringing Mindfulness to You
This project is a requirement of the GOA Abnormal Psychology Course. Using the process of design thinking, a challenge in the world of mental health was identified, interviews and research were undertaken, and a solution prototype was developed. Below you will find information about the identified area of concern and my proposed solution. Please feel free to provide feedback on this prototype, using questions such as “How might we…”, “What if….?”, “I wonder….”, “I like…”, and “I wish.” Keep the comments positive, please. For more information on the process of Design Thinking, click here.
What is Mindfulness?
“No one can listen to your body for you… To grow and heal, you have to take responsibility for listening to it yourself.”
– Jon Kabat-Zinn
I know this video seems kind of silly, but it does a really good job of explaining what mindfulness is.
Most of the times, when people think of mindfulness, they think of meditation. Meditation can be an important part of mindfulness (click here for more information and here for a video on guided meditation), but mindfulness is so much more then meditation.
Stress can have negative impacts on everyone, but it especially affects teenagers. When asked about how their stress affected them:
- 31% of teens reported feeling overwhelmed
- 30% reported feeling sad or depressed, as a result of their stress
- 36% of teens report feeling tired
- 23% report skipping a meal due to stress
This is the result of my interview with Joanna Curry-Sartori, an LMFT at the Bridge Family Center in West Hartford, CT.
We talked about the way stress affects everyone, although she mentioned that teenagers often feel overwhelmed by stress because of all the things they have to juggle despite having less control over their lives than adults do. So, I wanted to focus on creating something for teenagers (although anyone who feels that they can benefit from it is welcome to use it).
I grappled with the idea of making either an app designed to promote mindfulness or a guide for bullet journaling, but I eventually decided trying to make an app because I thought it would be more widely used. The purpose of the app is to encourage people to reflect upon their day, their stress, and their gratitude. The act of recording this information is an act of mindfulness, and will (hopefully) allow people to let go of their stress before they sleep.
Would you rather record information on an app or in a journal?
On Your Mind:
Plans for Promotion
This project is not aimed at changing school policy or moving massive crowds of people with one stroke. My goal is to make a difference in the lives of individual people by encouraging them to become more mindful of their actions. If you know someone who could benefit from mindfulness, point them in the direction of some of these resources! Once I get the app up and running, I plan to show it to my guidance counselor and other mental health professionals in my community, who could spread the word in their networks (which often span schools, universities, and clinics in the area and around the country). Eventually, hopefully my app will spread to schools and other communities around the country.
Feel free to ask me questions and/or provide me with constructive feedback in the comments section, either about my app or the project as a whole.
Davis, Daphne M., and Jeffrey A. Hayes. “What Are the Benefits of Mindfulness.” Pardon Our Interruption. American Psychological Association, July 2012. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
Taylor, Jane. “20 Quotes for a Mindful Day.” Life Coach | Leadership Mentor | Mindfulness Teacher – Contact Habits for Wellbeing Today to See How We Can Support You! Habits for Wellbeing, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.