Linda Coutant is Being Mindful

by Monica Hoel
When Linda Coutant, Class of 1989, heard that Appalachian State University (ASU) was aiming to be a “mindful campus,” she felt an electrical jolt go through her whole body. “I felt it on a cellular level.”

She was pursuing a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership at App State and was interested in exploring topics outside her career experience in public relations and communications. When one of her professors asked her to get involved with bringing mindfulness to ASU, she said she felt renewed energy because the opportunity combined her professional investment in higher education and personal interest in mindfulness meditation.

The idea of being involved in this movement changed the direction of her studies. She is now a certified Koru Mindfulness Teacher and has been intricately involved in the work ASU has undertaken to bring practices of mindfulness to the students, faculty, and staff at the university.

“We offered classes in the practice, but sometimes it could be as simple as inviting students to take a moment at the beginning of class to become focused on the topic at hand.” Linda says there are many studies that show benefits of mindfulness practices – from lowering blood pressure and heart rate, reducing stress, treating anxiety, and improving academic performance.

Linda served as App State’s Senior Writer, Editor and Public Information Officer in the University Communications office, overseeing much of the University’s website, writing materials for admissions, and producing the university magazine during her nearly 30-year career there. In summer 2021, she retired from the university, and she is hopeful that this might allow her more time for teaching workshops on mindfulness.

She is quick to point out that practicing mindfulness isn’t as complicated as we may have once thought. “People have seen a dramatic improvement in their focus and mental health after even just four weeks of mindful activity – even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day.”

You can enjoy a conversation with Linda where she explains more about the benefits of mindfulness in a WEHC interview. Find it in the archives: https://archive.org/details/OntheDuckPondWall/Linda+Coutant.mp2

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2179-alex-versen-training-for-a-lifetime"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,9,284,294/10774_ALex.rev.1643815998.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,9,284,294/10774_ALex.rev.1643815998.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,9,284,294/10774_ALex.rev.1643815998.jpg" alt="Alex Versen E&H Class of 2012" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="284" data-max-h="285" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2179-alex-versen-training-for-a-lifetime">Alex Versen: “Training for a lifetime.”</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> A lot of students play sports in college but after school is over so is that athletic endeavor. But the E&H Outdoor Program trains young people for the sorts of active endeavors that will follow them their entire lives. <a href="/live/news/2179-alex-versen-training-for-a-lifetime" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1348-got-a-new-york-minute-find-out-what-matt-whitenack"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,635,635/8472_StatenIslandHeaadshot_3.rev.1598281525.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,635,635/8472_StatenIslandHeaadshot_3.rev.1598281525.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,635,635/8472_StatenIslandHeaadshot_3.rev.1598281525.jpg" alt="Matt Whitenack, E&H '96, on the Staten Island Ferry." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="635" data-max-h="635" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1348-got-a-new-york-minute-find-out-what-matt-whitenack">Got a New York Minute? Find out what Matt Whitenack is doing in the Big Apple.</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Matt (E&H ’96) is a travel advisor in New York City…and he’s finding ways for us to travel virtually during the pandemic! <a href="/live/news/1348-got-a-new-york-minute-find-out-what-matt-whitenack" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>