A Healthier U

Mind over chatter

By: Kate O’Farrell, M.S., ACSM-HFS
instructor, PEAK Health and Fitness

Take a deep breath. In. Out. And one more for good measure. No doubt you have a lot of chatter going on in your mind throughout your day. That chatter, in most cases, is accompanied by the opinions of, well, everyone. How many minutes should we exercise? What food should we eat or not eat? The to-do list of a healthy lifestyle seems to grow daily and it is easy for our minds to become overwhelmed by the chatter. There is information that serves as a more educated resource, of course, but instead of focusing on that today, there may be a more effective process to get to know first.

Do you remember the breath you took only seconds ago? Did you notice a pause in all of the chatter? Meditation and focused breathing are excellent tools that can be used to quiet the health conversation enough that we can hear what our own body needs. If you are new to meditation, an introduction may be useful to a fantastic website and app that can help you learn the basic steps: headspace.com.


Click to enlarge image


Headspace is a company that has been created for the sole purpose of bringing an ancient practice of meditation to the masses through technology. Don’t worry, you don’t have to sit cross-legged or become a monk to master the process. All it takes is 10 minutes and you will have created a more clear and quiet mind. It is exercise for the mind, strengthening it to face the chatter.

If you are curious and want to learn more, there are all sorts of entertaining clips and articles on the website, or you can watch this 10-minute TED talk by the founder Andy Puddicombe.


We want to hear how meditation works for you. Send us your stories or any questions you may have to wellness@utah.edu.

Good luck and happy meditation.

colins kidneyUniversity of Utah Hosptial received a great response after live-Tweeting a kidney transplant using #ColinsKidney so people could follow every detail of the surgery and recovery of the patients. Read this inspiring story on the U’s HealthFeed blog, here.hospital wedding10Last week the Medical Intensive Care Unit was transformed into a wedding chapel as Maria, a patient at the U, said her vows from her hospital bed. Read this heart-warming story here on the HealthFeed blog.For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.


Did you know the second-leading cause of lung cancer is a gas you can’t see or smell? You could even be breathing it every day without knowing it.It’s radon, a radioactive gas that comes from uranium decaying in the ground. In Utah, 30 percent of homes have levels of radon considered unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency.

January is National Radon Action Month so watch this video produced by Huntsman Cancer Institute to know how you can protect yourself and your family. Click here for more information.