By Jayna Taylor-Smith
About a year ago I learned about mindfulness for the first time. I spoke to experts in the mental health field and found out mindfulness was a practice similar to meditation, but it didn’t have to be done so formally. Mindfulness wasn’t just a practice, being mindful was a way of being. It’s giving your mind the power to control your thoughts and emotions.
Here are my experiences with mindfulness and why I believe it has the power and magic to make us happier and better off.
As I got older, started college and became the boss of my own life, I got more anxious. Seriously, the more time I spent in college, the more anxious I felt. I didn’t know how to curb the feeling of being overwhelmed.
When I first learned about mindfulness, I participated in an outdoor meditation session. It was weird. Sitting cross-legged in a circle with people I didn’t know with my eyes closed out in public was uncomfortable. The woman in charge told us not to think about ourselves or where we were, rather bring our thoughts to simple things –– like our breathing.
At first, I thought that just sitting around was wasting the time that I could spend on doing things that were stressing me out. What I didn’t realize was that I was clearing my mind to complete my tasks more efficiently, and most importantly, calmly.
To reach this state of mind, transfer the power of you give your mind to think about negatives to revel in the positives of where you are at that specific moment.
I practice this transition of thoughts when I feel in a frenzy about having 100 things to do. I sit at my desk, close my eyes and remember that at that moment I’m only able to do one thing at a time. After I focus on taking deep breaths for about 30-45 seconds, I open my eyes feeling more relaxed and at ease.
I also practice mindfulness is as I am trying to fall asleep. Falling asleep at night can be difficult for me because my mind runs through everything I did that day, everything I need to do and everything I didn’t do. To be mindful, I only think about where I am. I’m in my bed, I can feel the clean sheets under my legs; in this moment the only thing I worry about is sleeping.
Don’t give up power when you feel overwhelmed, stressed or anxious. Instead, change the power you give your mind. If you give your mind the power to stay positive, you’ll feel at peace.