Practicing Mindfulness for a Healthy Mind, Body, & Spirit

Our mindfulness programs are led by Trinh Mai, LCSW. Trinh is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and a mindfulness educator for the Office of Wellness & Integrative Health and the Resiliency Center.  She is a MBSR (mindful-based stress reduction) teacher and has received training in other evidence-based mindfulness therapies like MORE (mindfulness-oriented recovery enhancement) and Yoga nidra (yogic sleep or entering a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping).  Trinh conducts classes and presentations on mindfulness and wellbeing for university faculty, staff, patients and community partners. Prior to this position, Trinh served as faculty in the College of Social Work at the University of Utah for 13 years. 

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is living with awareness and intention. This practice allows us to savor the good, bounce back from stress, and show up for what matters. The Resiliency Center offers a variety of ways to access this inner resource for living and working well.

Mindfulness-Based Therapy Programs

Mindfulness and Compassion: Caring for Ourselves and Others

Rest, reflect, and reconnect with ourselves and others. We will engage in practices that support our bodies in their natural capacity to restore balance, and cultivate clear minds and compassionate hearts. These qualities are needed to sustain and grow during challenging times.  

WellnessNow and WellU Credit-Approved
Open to all University of Utah employees
4-hour workshop via Zoom

Mindfulness in Medicine

Enhancing Quality of Care, Quality of Caring, and Resilience. Mindful Practice® programs were created by the University of Rochester Medical School to help advance the quality of health care, improve provider relationships with patients and colleagues, and enhance self-awareness, wellness, and resilience of health professionals.

Participants have shown improvements in burnout scores, presence, attentiveness, and curiosity, which allow for greater awareness and insight into their work. Narrative medicine, appreciative inquiry, and mindfulness are the three approaches used to acquire the skills that transform participants’ overall clinical approach.

CME (continuing medical education) and social work CEUs (continuing education units) are offered for this class.

WellnessNow and WellU Credit-Approved
Open to University of Utah Health providers 
This program is offered as a day retreat or as a four-week series (currently virtual).

Everyday Mindfulness

Participants will practice accessing their own innate capacity for mindful awareness and self-compassion. These practices will support living life with more health, happiness, and wisdom. This course incorporates principles and practices of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion, and Positive Psychology.

Through mindful practices, we will reconnect with ourselves and our lives. This four-week course serves as an introduction or a refresher to the full eight-week MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) course, which covers:

  • primary MBSR lessons,
  • shorter meditations, and
  • how to integrate these practices into daily life.

Social work CEUs (continuing education units) are offered.

WellnessNow and WellU Credit-Approved
Open to University of Utah employees and the general public
U of U employees, please email resiliencycenter@hsc.utah.edu for the employee discount code.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

MBSR is an intensive training in developing mindful awareness and accessing our innate capacity for health, healing, and growth. Guided instruction in various practices is provided, including:

  • sitting and walking meditation,
  • body scan,
  • gentle yoga,
  • and mindful communication.

CME (continuing medical education) and social work CEUs (continuing education units) are offered for this class.

Interested in U of U Group Workshops & Presentations for Resiliency?

Fill Out the Resiliency Center Request Form

Mindfulness Exercises

S-T-O-P Practice

The S-T-O-P exercise takes anywhere from 15 seconds to five minutes of your day to do. Find a comfortable place to sit or stand. Perform the following steps:

  • Stop or pause to take a breath.
  • Take a breath
  • Observe your body, thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations.
  • Proceed with more awareness. 

R-A-I-N Practice

  • R — Recognize what is going on.
  • A — Allow the experience to be there just as it is.
  • I — Investigate with interest and care.
  • N — Nurture with self-compassion.

Three Breaths

Pay attention to the physical sensations of three breaths five to10 times a day. Set up several alerts on your phone, watch, or other device to prompt you to practice this technique. You can even use apps like Mindfulness Bell.

Sanitizer (Avagard) Pause

Set up reminders to take a break. All you’ll need is your hand sanitizer for this exercise. Plant your feet on the ground and pay attention to the sensations of rubbing sanitizer on your hands for five to 10 seconds.

Letting Compliments Land

When you receive a compliment, pause and say, “Thank you. I’m going to pause and really let that land.” Then place your hand on your heart and pause. Breathe slowly in and out then repeat saying, “Thank you.”

Mindful Eating

This exercise encourages you to be aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that food selection and preparation can give you. As you eat, revel in the experience of the food using all your senses such as taste, smell, and touch. Pay attention to any physical queues of hunger or satiety to guide your decision to grab food or stop eating.

Other Mindfulness Activities

University of Utah Resources

Mindfulness in Medicine Retreat Resources

Online Resources

Online Meditation Offerings

Recommended Books

Articles on Developing Habits of Practice

Recommended Apps

Accelerate: Insights for Well-Being

Accelerate article

If COVID-19 is a Marathon, How Do I Get to the Finish Line?

Lifelong runner and psychologist Megan Call shares six practical strategies that work for all of us, non-runners included.

How to Respond with Compassion when Someone is Hurt by Racism

Racism isn’t something that happens “somewhere else.” Mindfulness educators and social workers Trinh Mai and Jean Whitlock facilitated an interracial dialogue on talking about race and racism to learn from local lived experiences. Here they share a scenario reflecting common dynamics and give recommendations for a compassionate and constructive response.

Team Huddle Toolbox

The U of U Health Resiliency Center shares a growing list of resources you and your team can use to continue building resilience together.

Is This Normal? What to Do With the Stress in Your Body

We’re all managing unprecedented stress and fear. What is “normal” right now? How do I cope? The Resiliency Center's Megan Whitlock describes how our body protects us and offers some strategies to help.

How to Practice Self-compassion for Resilience and Well-being

We can be so hard on ourselves. Contributors from the Resiliency Center share how self-compassion, the practice of being kind and fair to yourself during times of stress, can improve your well-being and resilience.

How Humor, Hope, and Gratitude Can Make You More Resilient

In a new monthly webinar series, Duke University psychiatrist and patient safety researcher Bryan Sexton shares practical tips for cultivating resiliency both personally and with your teams.

Psychological First Aid for Your Team

Frequent and meaningful communication is a hallmark of high-performing teams, and it matters even more during a crisis. The Resiliency Center’s Megan Call and Amy Locke share helpful resources and a list of prompts to connect your team.

Why is Behavior Change So Hard?

Health care professionals are unique: Not only do we have to work on our own behavior change, we often have to influence the behavior change of others—our patients. Associate director of U of U Health’s Resiliency Center Megan Call explains why it’s so challenging and provides steps to make it easier.

When Emotions Run High, Here's How to Respond

Health care is full of high emotion—especially right now. Thankfully, there’s a simple framework we can follow to de-escalate with compassion. Hospitalist and UACT co-director Claire Ciarkowski introduces NURSE: a simple mnemonic for responding with empathy.

Making Room for Grief in the Workplace

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and an unexpected earthquake, grief was and is a normal part of the workplace, especially when you work in health care. As a leader, it’s often hard to know what to do. The Resiliency Center’s Megan Whitlock draws from the wisdom of colleagues to share three practical ways to manage grief in the workplace. 

How to Practice Mindfulness

During times of high stress, having skills to manage anxiety is extremely helpful. Mindfulness expert Trinh Mai explains why mindfulness is important and how she and colleagues incorporate it into their daily life.

Practice Emotional PPE

We have personal protective equipment (PPE) for our body–but what about our mind? Huntsman Cancer Institute nurse educator Cassidy Kotobalavu leads training on the concept of emotional contagion–how good (and bad) emotions spread. Here are Cassidy’s expert tips (with slides) on managing emotional contagion in health care.