Mindfulness has been a buzz word with many wellness magazines and influencers, yet many people don’t understand what it is.
Firstly, mindfulness and meditation are not one and the same. Mindfulness is a way of life, a journey; meditation is an aspect of that journey.
Mindfulness encompasses two components:
Awareness: acknowledging the inner workings of your mental, emotional, and physical processes.
Acceptance: the ability to observe and accept— not judge or avoid— your present feelings and thoughts.
My mindfulness journey did not start with Headspace or other meditation apps. For me, it began in high school when I decided to go for a run without my earbuds. Instead of listening to aggressive workout music, I listened to my breath, my heart beat, and the noises around me. I became instantly aware of my body’s movement and how it felt within my surroundings. I could feel the weight of the air in my lungs and the impact of the ground radiate up to my joints. I could acknowledge when to push myself or to slow down. When running on trails, I could appreciate the fresh scents of nature, the vibrant colors, and simply nature itself (yes I am a city girl).
In becoming one with my surroundings, the buzzing in my head dimmed. My life stressors, whether it be AP Biology, Organic Chemistry, or CARS, seemed to become less substantial. I could attend to my thoughts and feelings, and accept my discomforts. Through my form of mindfulness, I gained a new perspective; I realized no matter where I am in life or what my present situation is, I will always have discomforts or quarrels. Rather than fighting it or ignoring it, I now see discomfort as an old friend that comes and goes. In reality, the only consistency in life is yourself and the ground you walk on, so it is important to be kind to yourself and the world around you.
For more information about mindfulness, check out these websites: