Reviews

Review: Mindfulness for Students by Natasha Kaufman

Title: Mindfulness for Students
Author: Natasha Kaufman
Genre: Nonfiction, Self Help
Publisher: Leaping Hare Press
Date published: July 2nd 2019
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 144

Rating: 5/5

Life can be tough. With so many decisions to make at such a critical time, it’s easy to feel weighed down. What’s more, there is the pressure to gain good grades, to find a good job, to be a good person. Your mind may feel clogged up with no way to filter your circulating thoughts and pressures. From a young age we are taught the significance of a solid education and a fruitful career, yet with such an emphasis on academic and monetary success we often fail to prioritize a healthy mind and body. It is essential to know how to deal with life’s many challenges; Mindfulness for Students will help you.

Through insightful ideas and personal anecdotes, this book will introduce you to the many benefits and applications of mindfulness – from mindful breathing, eating, exercising, sleeping, studying and communicating. There will be opportunities within each chapter to have a go at mindful meditations ranging from three to twenty minutes. There is no right or wrong approach, just what works for you. Mindfulness is a way of being, and this book will help you lay the foundations for a mindful future. Choose to be mindful and live your life in the moment, living fully and wholeheartedly, aware of self and others.

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I felt like the book spoke to all my worries and insecurities that I was having about going to college. This handbook is sprinkled with little tidbits of interesting information as well as anecdotes from the author that are so resonant.

I think a reason why we feel so overwhelmed with stress is that we associate it as the entire feeling of anxiety and have no way of addressing it in its separate entities. Kaufman breaks stress apart into components and allows us to analyze our stress at different angles.

The handbooks gives us a brief explanation about why we feel the way we feel, whether its cortisol keeping us up all night or dopamine kicking in to make us take the craziest decisions. I believe having that knowledge of where our stress is coming from conquers half the battle.

The book has so many exercises that are so simple and easy to follow. I really enjoyed trying out the meditations as well as mindful exercises.

Below is a bit of an introduction to the different chapters.

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I recommend starting with the first chapter on how to breathe to help you build a foundation for meditating and being mindful. The following chapters don’t have to be read in order – you can dip in and out of the practices as and when it suits you. You may find that there are certain ideas that you want to revisit at different moments in your life. Whatever you are practising, try to be open-minded and allow your experiences to unfold without judgement.

Summaries of Chapters

Breathe: A focus on using the breath to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. How this can help with exams, concentration and clearing the mind.

Thought for Food: What you eat is of great importance; however, how you eat is equally as important. Learning to eat with intention and attention.

Switching Off: An emphasis on switching off phones, quietening thoughts and encouraging a better sleep and waking routine. Relaying how vital it is to ‘switch off’, especially when you are weighed down by exams and other pressures.

Tuning In: Paying attention to sounds and thoughts to start to calm and focus the mind. How being aware of the world around you and within can prevent negative thoughts. How mindful listening can improve focus and empathy.

Know Yourself: Meditations that focus on body awareness and mindful exercises. The significance of connecting with yourself and being in the moment, even when doing everyday tasks such as walking.

Compassion: Compassion fosters emotional intelligence and well-being. Focus on relationships, kindness and understanding of yourself and others.

Stress-Less: How to deal with stresses and anxieties by using a variety of different mindful meditations, which have been suggested throughout the book. Finding the most useful way to regularly apply these meditations.

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Overall, this was a really insightful read, and I found myself relaxing as I read through. The author’s own anecdotes and experiences adds another layer to the book that resonates with readers.

I’m super glad I got to pick this up this advanced reader copy. It is so so versatile. I’m planning on buying myself a copy to take with me to college and hopefully make use of the advice and tips if I’m ever feeling a little bit overwhelmed.

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