Mindfulness is widely credited as a practice that reduces stress and relaxes—but what does it offer to the other aspects of your life, like your closest friendships? A refreshing practice in Upstream’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class can answer that.
Outside of class, Dr. Hilda White, co-founder of Upstream and longtime mental health expert, encourages experimenting with a fun mindfulness practice that helps you to better appreciate and get to know your friends. When hanging out with a friend, she says, pretend you are meeting them for the first time. In each of Upstream’s 8-week MBSR classes, students complete an in-class practice called Loving Kindness. This exercise encourages students to wish a stranger, someone they know, a loved one and themselves good wishes for happiness, health and more.
“Open up to this moment with them and notice how they smile; the sound of their voice; how they engage you in conversation. Look at them ‘for the first time’,” says Hilda. “See what surprises are in store for you!”