Mindful in the Museum – a wellbeing trail for Adults (accessible version)
The frantic demands and over-stimulation of today’s modern world can leave us overwhelmed and stressed.
Mindfulness is a science-backed skill that helps us cultivate positive mental health. It involves paying attention through our senses and taking notice of the present moment and the world around us.
Using our senses in this way activates parts of the brain that soothe us and help lower stress in the body.
This trail is designed to help you move through the building and notice the beautiful and curious interiors using your senses of touch, sight and sound. Enjoy!
How to be mindful
Choose one of your senses to focus on.
Pay attention to that sense.
Notice the details of the experience. Your attention will inevitably wander off during this process. That’s natural.
When you’ve noticed that this has happened, gently escort your attention back again to the sensory experience. Repeat as necessary. That’s it!
Hallways and Stairs
Spend some time noticing the natural forms in the architectural motifs.
Savour the surroundings.
What different patterns can you notice?
Don’t forget to look up. Some of the most beautiful details in architecture are often above us.
In the Galleries
Take a seat in one of our gallery spaces.
Notice the sounds in this space. What can you hear?
Over time your mind will get drawn away by thoughts.
When this happens simply gently return it back again to listening.
Find the four columns in gallery 1.
How do the colours and shapes differ at the top from the bottom?
Notice where the light lands on the surfaces.
What about the other objects in the room?
Pick one and try some slow looking with it.
Noticing curious detail and its formal elements.
Set a timer on your phone and do this mindful listening practise for five minutes.
Take notice of nature
Research into green wellbeing has shown that spending time in nature lowers stress and boosts mood.
Be inspired by the natural forms in the gallery’s lush architecture and collections. Spend some time being mindful in other green spaces around campus.
Notice the sounds around you.
Taking notice is one of the 5 ways to Wellbeing.
The 5 ways to wellbeing are 5 evidence-based actions that have been proven to improve your wellbeing.
Can you feel your feet making contact with the ground as you walk?
Can you feel sunlight, rain or wind on your skin?
Take notice of the changes of the seasons.
What is the light like?
Are flowers beginning to bloom?
Have they changed colour?
Are the leaves still on the trees?