Healthy Habits: Chapter 2: Mindfulness

By Riya Munot (’21)

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The world is changing at a rate we have never seen before. Our technology, economy, infrastructure, and even emotions are changing at a fast pace. Now you may be thinking to yourself that emotions have always stayed the same for centuries. However, as we progress into this modern world, our emotions have adapted to society. For example, nowadays, the norm is to wish people a happy birthday with a simple text. Do you remember when people used to actually pick up the phone to say a couple of words that could make someone’s day? No. Probably not. This shows how as society changes, our values and emotions have changed alongside it.  Emotions play such a large role in our lives whether it be our love for someone, our love for food, or even our love for cats. As society progresses towards a more modern culture, it is important that we don’t lose our emotions or values. Looking back, people seemed to genuinely care about someone’s life, but these days it looks as though we are all hung up on ourselves and our self worth which is tied to how many likes we received on our Instagram post. This is why it is important for us to be mindful. Being mindful involves being conscious or aware of something at the present moment. You might think to yourself and say, “I am super mindful. I always compliment my coworker on her new blouse all the time”. However, a mere recognition of a co worker’s new blouse just isn’t enough. An example of mindfulness is if you’re walking at the park and you see, smell, and hear a lot of things. It is important to slow down and focus on all of them to live a calm and peaceful life. So in chapter 2, we will discuss what is mindfulness, why is it important to be mindful, and some helpful techniques to help you become more mindful. 

If we search up the definition of mindfulness we get the following definition: “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something”.. In simple terms, mindfulness means awakening your senses to feel the natural world and the Earth around you. Mindfulness can be as simple as thinking about and reflecting on your day. However, like any other daily activity, being mindful should be a positive activity. It has been proven that being mindful can actually be very stress-relieving. By being able to focus on your soul and feeling energy flow throughout your body, you are able to channel your energy towards yourself. Now, this may sound a bit selfish, but sometimes self-care is important. Although mindfulness may seem like it can’t be self-care, it actually is one of the best tools for self-care. Sometimes by unplugging from yourself from the social world, you give yourself an opportunity to think about the simple things going on in your life. So try to reconsider your decision when you check your Snapchat for the latest trends or your streaks and try to focus on yourself and your emotions. 

Before you start becoming mindful just for the sake of everything, try to consider why you are doing it. It is so important to be mindful in this world because just one smile and expression of positivity can spread good vibes throughout the universe. By being appreciative of what the Earth has given you, you can feel fresh and relaxed. You are able to access your creative outlet. In today’s society, we are so hung up in the virtual world that we may even text the person sitting right next to us. However, letting a few words come out of your mouth can spark discussion and may help you become more mindful. At this point, we are not aware of our surroundings. Just as you may want happiness for yourself, it is important to recognize that others are equally important and want to be happy too. Still, it is important to bring a smile onsomeone’s face. As cliche as it may sound, but it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown. So, basically what I am trying to get at is that it is important to look after yourself but also others no matter what it takes. 

Now you may ask yourself the question if just complimenting someone is enough to be mindful. Well, it is a start but there are several different ways to be mindful. One common way is deep breathing. By being able to forget your surroundings for just a couple of minutes can be very beneficial. A helpful breathing exercise is to breathe in, hold for six seconds, breathe out, and hold for 3 seconds. An additional thing to do while you’re breathing is to tell yourself positive things so that way you can focus on your surroundings and also be calm and appreciative of the natural world. Another helpful way to be mindful is to go for a walk. Sometimes by forgetting your stress, you are able to focus your positive energy on others and yourself. Another great tactic to help you being mindful of others is to forgive and let go. Sometimes by holding on we can never let go and we aren’t improving as people. By trusting others, they can trust you and it can positively affect not only your energy but someone else’s as well. The last thing that can really help you become more mindful is to accept. Accept that sometimes things are just the way they are and appreciate that too. By accepting, you allow yourself to be open to your surroundings and the people around you. 

Being mindful may seem like rocket science, but if you can try to be positive whenever you can, being mindful is a piece of cake! Just remember that sometimes you have to let go and just accept the situation. Living a calm, peaceful life is very important in this fast-paced world. By taking time to focus on your surroundings and giving attention to yourself and others can be extremely beneficial. So even if our emotions are changing, we can always adapt. After all, you are the sky. Everything else is just the weather. 

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