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Health and Wellness


Mindfulness and how we can start practicing it.


Have you ever been extremely stressed and overwhelmed? Have you ever felt as if the world was moving too fast and you had a lot of items on your to-do list with little to no time to actually complete the tasks? Practicing mindfulness might be something that you can do to help keep you cool, calm, and collected as you complete your tasks.

Mindfulness is being completely present when doing something. Being mindful helps your brain prioritize and gives you a chance to enjoy the activity you are engaging in. When you are consciously aware of your movements and actions, you will learn to enjoy the little things and get over the stressors that may be caused from an overworked brain. Learning to become absorbed in one activity takes time because it is something that you may not be used to. However, with practice, you will be able to focus, settle down, and be present as you complete the task at hand.

One way you can begin practicing mindfulness is by making a list of the items that you have to complete and starting with the first thing on the list. For example, your list may be to cook dinner, do laundry and complete your Anatomy homework. As you are doing your first activity - cooking dinner, do not think about anything else on the list except for what you are currently doing. Be aware of how you are preparing to cook. Be aware of the ingredients and cooking utensils you are using. As you start to cook, notice the aroma coming from the meal. Be aware of how you plate and everything that goes into actually getting yourself ready to take the first bite of food. As you continue to prepare and go on with the other items on the list, be aware of how you feel as you are mentally present. Take in the sensations you feel and realize how different you feel as you pay attention to every aspect of every action.

Another way to begin practicing mindfulness and avoid feelings of stress is to take a few minutes out of your day to breathe. There are 1,440 minutes in the day; take the time to use at least one of those minutes to practice mindfulness. Take a seat and as you begin to take a breath, inhale from your stomach. Count a few seconds before exhaling and do not allow your mind to wander. Close your eyes and allow yourself to focus solely on the breaths you are taking. Bring your attention to the how you feel as you are relaxing. Notice the seat beneath you and notice any twitches you may be unconsciously making. Allow your body to relax and try to avoid shaking your hands, legs, or feet out of boredom or habit. As the minute comes to an end, keep the same positive, relaxing energy as you work. Dive head first into the rest of your day.

You can also practice mindfulness while listening to music. Most of the time, you are doing more than one thing when you listen to music. I am guilty of listening to music while doing a lot of things at once, including cooking, doing homework, and even reading. Instead, lay or sit down with your eyes closed. When listening to the song, absorb the lyrics, beats, and melody. Notice how you feel when listening to the song. Does this song make you feel happy, sad, excited, calm? Try not to let your mind stray to the future or past. Instead, just be fully present.

While practicing mindfulness, some songs you can listen to are:

- Let It Go by James Bay

- Be Alright by Kehlani

- I Was Here by Beyonce

- One Step at a Time by Jordin Sparks

- Moment4Life by Nicki Minaj ft. Drake

There are several ways you can practice mindfulness. Use every opportunity you can to practice mindfulness and be fully aware in the moment. It will allow you to really complete the task at hand without stressing over the other things you have to do. It will allow your body to relax with time and you'll be more appreciative of the time you do have to do things, instead of spending that time stressing over other things.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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