As a way of proactively cultivating emotional well-being on campus, Mindful USC was launched in 2014 as a secular, university-wide initiative focused on positive health outcomes and productivity improvements for our campus community by reducing stress, anxiety, depression and self-judgment and improving workplace happiness, emotional intelligence, creative expression, resilience, clarity of vision, and critical thinking. Mindful USC serves as a resource for those to connect with themselves in mindful practice, and to connect to the campus community.
Mindful USC offers free open enrollment classes 4 times each year (2 in Fall, 2 in Spring) for all faculty, staff and students of USC. Most classes last for 5 consecutive weeks with one hour/week of instruction. You can find out when the classes are offered by signing up for the Mindful USC newsletter or downloading the Mindful USC mobile app at http://mindful.usc.edu.
Open Enrollment Classes
Our current open class offerings are as follows:
Mindfulness Lab – entry course focused on the basic practice of mindfulness, working with difficult emotions, cultivating positive emotions, and working with difficult thoughts.
Mindful Self-Compassion – Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported 8-week course designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Self-compassion involves the capacity to comfort and soothe ourselves, and to motivate ourselves with encouragement, when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate.
Mindful Writing – explores the use of mindfulness within the context of writing. The class consists of mindfulness meditation practice, open sharing, creative writing exercises, and sharing of individual written work and developing projects.
Mindful Creativity – using mindfulness, meditation, and visualization, as well as creativity exercises, this 5-week class (1 hour each week) invites students to experience limitless creativity for application in whichever medium of expression they choose. The focus of the class is to open the channels of creativity through mindfulness and meditation, while learning to overcome self-judgment, and develop skills to use in practice.
Mindfulness at Work – this class uses mindfulness to address various subject that occur in work environments, including burnout, dealing with difficult people and conflicts.
Mindful Photography – with everybody taking photos these days, this class uses mindfulness to explore new and enhanced ways of seeing and taking pictures. Students share their photos on our Instagram account.
Mindful USC is also pleased to provide a range of training services to departments and schools. In these cases, we send our teachers to your department or school for customized classes for faculty, students and staff. Our list training offerings are the same classes as for our open enrollment specified above. The main difference is that our training is more customized to the specific problems and needs of the department or school.
The following groups are examples of the types of targeted department/school mindfulness training we have conducted:
- Work clusters like ITS
- Specific colleges requesting training for their students, e.g. Viterbi, Keck School of Medicine of USC Physician Assistant Program
- Hospitals, including the entire staff at Children’s Hospital and LAC+USC Medical Center and Emergency Medicine
- Student groups like Athletics and specific teams therein
- Issues-based groups such as student clubs
- Affinity groups – students who would like to receive training in safe, self-selected groups, such as the Cultural Centers
There is strong potential for Mindful USC to reach out to the online students at USC. Mindful USC offers an online mindfulness program which allows USC to offer a unique service to our distant learners that other schools do not provide. An online mindfulness program also provides the opportunity for Mindful USC to reach faculty and staff who prefer a more flexible approach to mindfulness training. The current online classes are the Mindful Lab and Mindful Self Compassion.
Mindful USC offers practice groups all around campus, where are drop-in (no registration) weekly group meetings for faculty, staff, and students. You can drop in for all or part of each session. Typically, a brief introduction to basic mindfulness practice starts each session. Practice groups are a wonderful way to meet others and practice together.
Mindful USC Mobile App
Mindful USC provides a mobile app that is free and, unlike all other meditation apps, is tailored to you and your USC experience. In addition, the Mindful USC app focuses on building a supporting community rather than isolating you on another mobile app. With the Mindful USC app:
- be the first to hear about mindfulness classes, retreats and events on campus
- sign up for Mindful USC classes on the app
- find practice groups on campus – the app will let you know where the closet practice group is
- “Check-In” to get meditations tailored to your current mind and heart
- use a meditation timer (choose nature sounds and singing bowls)
- see if you are living by your core values
- compete in USC mindfulness challenges
- connect with others on questions most important to you
- track your journey
- listen to guided meditations (provided by Mindful USC teachers – mostly from InsightLA.org – who have taught tens of thousands of people), that help you:
- Manage Difficult Emotions
- Calm Down When You’re Overwhelmed
- SoundScapes that Connect You with Nature and Help You Calm Down
- 2 Minute Meditations for quickly calming down
- Concentrate Better
- Cultivate Happiness
- Help You Fall Asleep
- Be Nicer to Yourself
- Gain Resilience
- Lower Performance Anxiety
- and much more