This article certainly isn’t an answer or a theory. It’s a weighted question. And in a world that is so consumed with hatred and negativity and destruction, it is a journey. How does one practice mindfulness? Recently, in lieu of finals week, the volunteers at my campus’s wellness center hosted a party in which they gave away tea and pamphlets on being calm. One of the pamphlets had instructions on how to be mindful when eating and showering. When showering, pay attention to how your skin feels in the air before the shower and then how each warm drop feels on your skin. Hear the water hit the floor, and listen for each individual drop. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Though helpful in some of these small aspects of life, bringing peace to my mind before class each morning, I now seek a pamphlet that teaches me how to lead a more mindful lifestyle. Constantly I find myself getting angry at the smallest things and my anger sends me spiraling towards anxiety and depression. I get tenser as time passes and I struggle to make my body function as it would if it were healthy and happy. My heart tightens and my breathing feels weighted and I hate the world and the people in it. If I catch a happy moment, or even a series of happy moments that stretch into a week or a month, my body never fails to repeat the cycle of hatred. I want to know how to me more mindful. I want to not only feel mindful and appreciative when I am happy, but all of the time. When my vision blurs and I gasp for air, I want to know how to resurface. Meditation only works for so long and comfort fails to present itself in times of need. Netflix recently released a documentary called Minimalism. It was really good and provided a different perspective on happiness and what lengths people go to in this capitalist world to achieve it. The philosophy of the featured men was to only own products that added meaning or purpose to your life. Now, picture your own happy future through rose colored sunglasses. Lots of money? A cute house and a nice car? Love? Now picture a sad future. It probably looks desolate and lacks material goods. This is because the American Dream has been modeled around money and STUFF. Working hard and finding happiness at the end of the road. You either have it or you don’t, apparently. But if this goal is so unachievable for so many people, why is it still practiced? Happiness isn’t supposed to come from goods, it’s supposed to come from within. Mindfulness helps you find happiness from within and helps you appreciate what you already have, and shows you what gives you real happiness in your life and separates it from what brings you negativity. So now the revised American Dream is mindfulness. Is it just as unachievable as the first or is it something that can be taught? I’d like to find out.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.
Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.
You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.
You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.
You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.
They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.
You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.
You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.
You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.
You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.
You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.
Instead, they will be at yours.
You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.
You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.
You won’t turn another year older.
You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.
You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.
This will be the last sunset you see.
You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.
If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.
This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.
This is who will care about you when you are gone.
You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.
We care. People care.
Don’t let today be the end.
You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.
Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.
Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.
For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Everyone gets anxiety attacks whether you will admit it or not. Seven little things that help me find my inner peace are ones I feel everyone should be aware of.
1. Try the "5, 4, 3, 2, 1" grounding exercise.
Answer these five questions out loud for sensory awareness:
What are five things you can see?
What are four things you can feel?
What are three things you can hear?
What are two things you can smell?
What is one thing you love about yourself?
2. Try out this breathing .GIF.Breathe In Help GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy
3. Listen to a song that reduces your anxiety.
4. Use some lavender oil.
Rub it on your temples.
Put some on your wrists.
5. Tense up your muscles (and then relax).
This may sound counter-intuitive, but just give it a try:
Start tensing at your toes and move up through your body — legs, abdomen, arms, neck, and jaw. Hold it for four counts. Then, relax your muscles. Feel the tension melt out of you.
6. Download an app on your phone.
There are my top apps for helping with anxiety (and they are FREE):
"Recolor" (a coloring book app).
"Wordscapes" (like a crossword puzzle).
"PicrossLUNA" (kind of a play-off of sudoku).
"Words With Friends 2" (just like Scrabble).
7. Reach into your freezer and grab an ice cube.
Just one of many distraction methods.
Reach into the freezer and grab an ice cube or an ice pack.
Hold it firmly in your hand.
Place it on your toes.
The idea is to distract your mind from anything else.