College of Dupage Nursing Student Kenia Chamorro shared that she is guilty of it and she thinks we all are. Kenia relates that most of the time, she goes about her day without truly pausing. Next thing she knows, she is in bed exhausted and ready to sleep, only to wake and let another day pass by like nothing. It’s time to break the cycle. Mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. There are simple things you can do to practice mindfulness so that you can feel like you are truly living instead of feeling like a robot while life flies by.
You can start at this very moment by simply pausing. Take a deep breath right now and realize what you are doing. You are reading a blog on a topic that you found interesting and would like to know more about it; think about how lucky you are to have the life you have and to be able to educate yourself on whatever topic you desire at the click of a button. This should make you realize that you can do anything you want to do. You can even make a wish list of all the things you wish to learn about and all the new things you are curious to try out.
The author realized something not too long ago because her boyfriend pointed it out during dinner together and it really got her thinking. She was so hungry after a long day, as soon as my plate of food was placed in front of her, she scarfed it down without thinking much about it. She has always been a very fast eater. Her boyfriend giggled at the fact that it looked like she was slurping up my pasta noodles without swallowing “ as cartoon characters do”. Then Kenia realized that she wasn’t really chewing my food. This was the first time she actually thought about the fact that she didn’t take the time to enjoy her meals or the company she has during mealtime. Kenia was just so impatient and hungry, that it made her forget about the pleasure of eating and that Ishe should be grateful for it. A simple thing she now started doing to practice mindfulness was to start chewing my food properly. Try this, even when you are in a rush or you feel like you are starving. It truly will make a difference.
Kenia recently started a new job as a patient care technician and during hospital orientation, they taught a strategy to be more present and calm in tough situations; to pause and ground oneself physically. They recommended to pause for a moment, feel your feet on the ground, and recognize your environment. Believe it or not, this actually works; it helps one to feel secure and provides clarity necessary to reassess what is happening at the moment. This was especially helpful for Kenia at work because she experiences stressful situations on a daily basis in the hospital setting, and needed to make prompt decisions. However, this strategy is relevant in nearly any situation to help to relieve anxiety and negative emotions to react better and more positively.
These methods are just a few ideas to encourage thinking about the power of practicing mindfulness. There is more available to encourage living in the present and enjoying life to the fullest. In addition, there is much research as well as many available books written or online resources on this topic to help understand how to practice mindfulness to improve mental and physical health. This is a strategy that is extremely simple but may change your life!
Strowger, M., Kiken, L. G., & Ramcharran, K. (2018). Mindfulness meditation and physical activity: Evidence from 2012 National Health Interview Survey. Health Psychology, 37(10), 924–928. https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000656