With my hectic school schedule, it is more often than not difficult to find a second to breathe. Multiple assignments due at the same time, actually going to class while staying awake even though I’m exhausted, juggling my social life while trying to stay healthy and work out- In reality, who has time and energy for anything else but sleep! In order to avoid burnout through, we must do so and remember that we are humans with complex emotions and feelings. Also, this is the only body and mind that we have, so we must respect it. That is why I am such a huge advocate for mindfulness- because it gives you a moment to reflect inward while putting your emotions, feelings, and thoughts into perspective. Anyone who knows me can vouch for how much I talk about this topic- and I will talk about it to anyone who will listen long enough!!
Before we swan dive into mindfulness, I think it is very important to define what mindfulness is! According to the Greater Good Magazine, a science-based mindfulness online magazine, mindfulness is defined as:
maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.
It is important to note the “gentle, nurturing lens.” Often times, we have a very judgmental and harsh lens towards ourselves. As most people know, we are our own worst critic. The way I think about this is by treating yourself how you would treat a friend- with love, respect, and acceptance. Now let’s address something, while I do believe it is good to be ambitious with many goals, I believe it is not okay to be hard on yourself! Your goal should be progress, NOT perfection!! Any step you make towards your goals is a step in the right direction- Forward.Thoughts and feelings are also included and should not be forgotten. Our minds are a complex network that works very hard, and part of its processes are thoughts. However you interpret your thoughts, as an inside voice, floating words, etc., our thoughts come from within from somewhere. Because they come from within, they can be changed just by nipping negative thoughts in the bud and replacing them with gentle, positive thoughts. I am a chronic overthinker, and one of the best techniques I have for overplaying negative thoughts is “I won’t care about this tomorrow, this weekend, or 5 years from now. So why do I care now?” It usually takes a moment to get myself to snap out of the negativity, but once those thoughts are gone, they’re GONE! We can’t talk about thoughts with talking about those pesky feelings. Both work hand-in-hand and can either be the very best, or absolutely the worst. Positive thoughts are great because they cause potent chemicals like dopamine to be released into the body that causes that great feeling we all know. Obviously, the same thing happens when we experience negative thoughts, and those chemicals are far more powerful, in my opinion. That’s why is it crucial to understand your feelings and thoughts, accept them and shift towards more positive ones
How do you practice Mindfulness day-to-day?
If you are anything like me, I don’t have a lot of time in my day for much and everything needs to be scheduled in my calendar!! What I do is if I have a block of time where I don’t have anything to do, and this could be up to 30 minutes, I schedule in some personal me time. During that 30 minutes, I can do whatever I want- take a nap, meditate, journal, take a bubble bath, or just sit on the couch and watch some YouTube videos. If it’s something that makes you happy, do it and enjoy every moment of it! I believe meditation is a great thing to do if you have time, even if for only 5-10 minutes!! It’s a great way to channel your emotions, thoughts, and feelings while accepting and understanding them. I will do a whole post on meditation very soon. 😉
Another thing I do to practice mindfulness is by practicing gratitude with manifestation. Anyone who knows me can vouch for how much I preach about manifestation and gratitude, but it is only because it works for me and I wish to share my experiences with as many people as possible! If you remember my previous blog post, Learning Happiness, I talked in depth about this topic and even started a gratitude challenge that was awesome!! If you have time, check it out!
To wrap up, always take a few moments to enjoy yourself and appreciate your amazing body and mind. You can start small with once a week and make your way to every-other-day and maybe eventually every day. I currently have a self-care day once a week, but I regularly meditate and practice gratitude with manifestation at least once every 2 days. I know it seems difficult because you just may not have time, but everyone has 10 minutes somewhere in the day that can be just for them.
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