The Suicide Prevention Committee works throughout the year to plan events and share important information about suicide prevention with the University of Connecticut community. Suicide Prevention Week is taking place this week at UConn, and the committee is encouraging people to take this time to have conversations about, and attend events, centered around suicide prevention to communicate that hope, help and healing are possible.
Love & Kindness meditation is one of the events held during Suicide Prevention Week and focuses on self-love and surrounding yourself with people who bring happiness and positivity to your life.
This virtual community meditation session, held by the Women’s Center and the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC), is centered on love and kindness and teaches participants the benefits that meditation has to offer.
We are currently facing uncertain times, which can provoke high levels of stress and anxiety. Meditation can help you refocus your mind through the use of breathing patterns and other mindfulness techniques. The ultimate goal is to achieve mental clarity and a calm, stable emotional state.
“Especially in college when life can be so stressful, we can often forget the big picture,” Sarah Ibrahim, a third-semester allied health sciences major and programming committee member at the Women’s Center, said. “Remind yourself that you are worthy, and you are loved, and send that love to others.”
Ibrahim led participants through a guided meditation practice focused on love and kindness. She instructed participants to imagine themselves surrounded by the people who love them and those who have loved them in the past. Imagining that your loved ones are sending you warmth and encouragement during a challenging time can create a welcoming environment where you feel supported by the people who are closest to you.
By imagining an environment where you and your loved ones are simultaneously sending well wishes to one another, Ibrahim allowed participants to seek a clear, happy mental state, free from the stresses of everyday life.
According to Ibrahim, one of the most important components of meditation is breathing.
“The most important part of meditation is the breath. Often times our mind wanders and we start thinking about other things,” Ibrahim said. “The breath is always something we can go to to find peace and meditation.”
The overall practice of meditation is aimed at focusing the mind to train attention and awareness. Once this is achieved, meditation can be used to help control anxiety, reduce stress, improve sleep and increase focus. For college students, meditation can also lead to increased academic success, greater productivity and heightened focus during class.
Meditation can allow you to unlock a heightened spiritual wellness. By creating a better understanding of yourself and the world around you, you can connect with your true self and live a more fulfilling life.
If you are interested in making meditation a part of your daily routine, there are many online resources that can help guide your practice. Calm, Headspace, Aura and Insight Timer are just a few of the many meditation apps available on the app store. Most of these apps are either free or offer free trials and are a great resource for beginners.
If you are looking for a way to deal with stress and negative emotions, or if you want to connect with the world around you on a deeper level, meditation can help you achieve this!
Visit the UConn Suicide Prevention website for more information and upcoming events.