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Flagler to offer mindfulness training to students

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March 17, 2014

When Joe, a Flagler College senior, started waking up in the middle of the night with a racing heartbeat, he knew stress was starting to get to him.

The Orlando native, a Natural Sciences major, is balancing a full load of classes, a part-time job, and leadership positions in a number of clubs—all of which, he says, are important to help him build the skills and professional networks he’ll need to succeed after college. But these commitments also add up in terms of time and emotional energy. Joe often finds himself pulling all-nighters to catch up on work, skipping his planned workouts due to time constraints, and eating poorly while on the go.

The result? Health-eroding stress levels.

Joe is not alone. In fact, according to an online survey of 2,020 responders conducted by the American Psychological Association, 39% of millennials (defined as those ages 18-33) say their stress level has increased over the past year.

To help address this problem on the local front, Flagler College is offering a training program this semester to help students learn mindfulness techniques that will help them reduce stress, improve concentration, and enhance emotional well-being, all of which contribute to academic performance.

Mindfulness—the state of careful, non-judgmental attention to the present moment—offers clear benefits for mental well-being.

But not everyone knows how to practice mindfulness. Enter Flagler’s new four-week series, entitled “Quiet the Mental Chatter: An Introductory Training in Mindfulness.”

The program, led by Dr. Adrienne Baggs of the Flagler College Counseling Center, will be held for one hour each Tuesday at 5:15, starting March 25. The sessions will be hosted in the Ringhaver Student Center, Room 215.

“College centers across the nation are seeing increasing numbers of students coming in for counseling, and the intensity of symptoms related to anxiety and depression seem to be more severe,” Baggs said. “At Flagler College, we want to help them cope with these challenges, and the mindfulness training is a great place to start.”

The goal, Baggs added, is to provide students with the tools to gain a positive awareness and appreciation of the present moment, thus finding a healthier way to manage the ups and downs that accompany college life.

To learn more about the “Quiet the Mental Chatter” mindfulness program, contact Dr. Adrienne Baggs at abaggs@flagler.edu or (904) 819-6305, or visit the Counseling Center at 8 Valencia Street, between Wiley Hall and Lewis House.


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