NEIU provides Mindfulness Meditation


Brandi Nevarez

Student Counseling Services (B-119) is free for NEIU students and it’s confidential. Their phone number is 773-442-4650

Amina Murati, Writer

Since college students experience a significant amount of stress, the Student Counseling Services at NEIU invites students, faculty and staff to learn how to effectively respond to stress through their Mindfulness Meditation workshops. Assistant director for training Dr. Miki Koyama recently told The Independent, those who attend, learn how to relax their body and remain calm through stress. 

Koyama mentioned how she starts off the workshop with stretches and gentle movements. “I believe that we are always so busy all of the time, and coming in with all of this zeal and suddenly being told to be quiet can be hard. So I think it is easier to start working from our body to relax ourselves, like some slow movements.” 

Koyama explained how she teaches students to raise their arms up to stretch in addition to neck and shoulder rotations to loosen up. These movements allow the person to start directing their attention to their body as they begin to incorporate breathing exercises. 

“I typically teach one of the yoga-based breathing techniques. Often times, I do something called alternate nostril breathing,” Koyama explained. In this breathing exercise, the person is asked to close the right nostril with their thumb and breathe through the left, then alternate, closing the left nostril while breathing through the right. While it also helps lower one’s heart rate, “this breathing exercise is a way of bringing balance in your left and right side of your brain, so your central nervous system becomes calmer and stabilized, and the person feels more at peace.”

“Finally, I will do some sort of guided meditations,” Koyama continued, “and silent meditations. I give some sort of instructions on how to sit and how your posture should be with the hands resting on the thighs. I then find a way to help them let their thoughts escape.” Koyama included a strategy to escape one’s thoughts by picturing your thoughts being attached to clouds and letting them go into the sky. “This way, you are being gentle, and non-judgmental about your thoughts. Let them pass by.”

 What students, faculty, and staff can take away from these workshops is learning techniques to be calmer. “You can better focus on your task because you have more emotional space. People also become less agitated and more collected, and not as reactive.” Koyama also cites how the student body can benefit from attending these workshops. “Students can better focus on their tasks and studies, and it allows the student to navigate their day. By reducing stress, a person can sleep better and have a better appetite. Overall, a person’s well-being will be improved.”  

Mindfulness Meditation workshops are held every Monday and Thursday at 12:10 p.m.; each session lasts for approximately 40 minutes. Those who wish to participate can go to room B-119 to check in and will be instructed by the person at the front desk on where to go. 

Koyama added that students can either walk in or call (773) 442-4650 to make an appointment. Student Counseling Services also offers individual counseling, group counseling, or even couples’ therapy.