By Adrianne Del Rosario
You hear the word “mindfulness” a lot around campus. If you’re a CONHI student, you often hear the word being used in some of your classes, Facebook posts from our RCSLs or CAs, or even from your CONHI Senators. We get tips and tricks that help us to be mindful, but what exactly IS mindfulness?
Even though we are taught to be mindful, it would help if we had a clear idea as to what it is. “Mindfulness” is is a state of active, open attention on the present. For example, we are told it is important to be mindful when we’re listening to someone talk about their perspective on a certain topic that might be in opposition with your own. This also applies when we’re studying and even eating, but why? When you’re mindful, not only do you observe your own thoughts and feelings, but you also do it in a manner without judging them from bad or good. Being mindful of yourself and others around you helps you to live in the moment. Who doesn’t want that? No one wants to have a scream-off when presenting their opinions, no one wants to gain a ton of weight from eating too fast or eating when you’re not even hungry, no one wants to study all night and end up failing the test just because they didn’t fully retain the information…long story short, be mindful of everything you do! Being mindful will help your relationships with others and also with yourself!
So, how do you practice mindfulness?
- Make time for it. If you don’t set aside time to be mindful, then you’re never going to achieve it. Believe it or not, mindfulness takes practice and doesn’t just happen overnight.
- Start where you are. When you’re walking to class, to your car, or wherever you may be, look around you. Notice how the wind feels on your skin, the sound of cars, the smell of a coffee shop. Notice everything around you and what is going on in the world.
- Let your judgements disappear. Often times, we get caught up in our own judgements that we find ourselves being closed minded. Just let those negative thoughts roll in the back of your mind, but acknowledge that you have things to work on. Make sure you don’t judge yourself, also!
- If you’re distracted, try again. A main point of being mindful is to allow yourself to come back into the present and cease the wandering mind. If you find yourself having difficulty achieving this, try again. Like I said before, it doesn’t just happen overnight. Be in constant practice of it.
- Meditation. For many people, mediation is an essential part of their mindfulness journey. Meditation is focused on you and your breathing, Your attention is set aside just for you, another important part of being mindful!