Mindfulness

“Guess what? When it comes right down to it, wherever you go, there you are”  

Jon Kabat-Zinn

When I started my first semester of college, I threw mindfulness and self compassion right out the window. Which I can say was not a good idea. My first semester of my freshman year was a wack load of mess after mess. I was always drowning in stress, anxiety surrounded me in a bubble, and I was and was barely getting by each day. As the second semester came around I decided that needed to change. 

After the massive tole from first semester, I knew I did not want to go through that again. I no longer wanted to be that girl who didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, and wanted to be the girl who was finally at the end. And guess what? It turns out practicing mindfulness and self-compassion made me succeed more in my classes, as well as my social life. 

So for my first blog about the mind and body, I wanted to focus on mindfulness.

Now before we get into the practice of mindfulness, we need to understand what it means. Jon Kabat Zinn defines mindfulness as: “The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.”

So basically… YOLO

Do kids still say that?

The hardest part of mindfulness is getting started. A lot of people don’t realize that mindfulness is available to us in every moment. Whether you do it through meditation and yoga, or simply just taking time to pause and breathe. 

Here are 5 ways to practice mindfulness in your everyday life.

Mindful – The Basics of Mindfulness Practice

  1. Set aside some time. You don’t need a meditation cushion or bench, or any sort of special equipment to access your mindfulness skills—but you do need to set aside some time and space. 
  2. Observe the present moment as it is. The aim of mindfulness is not quieting the mind, or attempting to achieve a state of eternal calm. The goal is simple: we’re aiming to pay attention to the present moment, without judgement. Easier said than done, we know. 
  3. Let your judgements roll by. When we notice judgements arise during our practice, we can make a mental note of them, and let them pass. 
  4. Return to observing the present moment as it is. Our minds often get carried away in thought. That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment. 
  5. Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up, just practice recognizing when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back.

Hope this was a nice start to your week! Let me know your ways of mindfulness below and I’ll see you all on Monday for another Mindfulness Monday post.

-ARR

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