This year has successfully taught me the definition of mindfulness while slowly pushing me into realising how important it is to practice this skill on a daily basis. To be honest, up until a couple of months ago during my previous term of university, I had a vague idea of what being mindful was, and I would describe it as being thoughtful to others, and it a certain way that idea is right but as I said before- vague. In my opinion and experience, being mindful is the practice of being thoughtful to yourself so that you can be the best you possible, and in consequence the most thoughtful you can be to others and everything around you.
You must all know how easy it is to get caught up in the daily noise and buzz, we are living time-demanding lifestyles while not having enough time in the first place. I personally tend to get so wound up with simple quotidien things, such as coursework, the daily struggle of
living surviving on a student budget in the world’s most expensive city, rushing from point A to point B and making time for my loved ones, all this makes it so easy to forget that I need to make time for myself! If I don’t take out at least ten minutes for myself out of my packed day, chances are I’m not going to make it until the end of the day acting as the nicest person who ever walked on Earth- I will become a monster, a very grumpy and tired monster.
The older and busier I get the more I comprehend that I can’t be genuinely caring and thoughtful of others if I don’t take care of myself first. I know, some of you must be thinking that this is the deluded rant of a selfish person (because that’s what I used to think before), but it is so important for us to take care of our mental health, our bodies and our feelings in order to flourish and offer the people around us the best version of ourselves. The best example I can offer is a situation I’m currently finding myself experiencing with my partner. As we are both operating under rather demanding schedules, we have gone from full three hour Skype conversations to one hour *TOP* conversations in which we kind of have to make a summary of our day and highlight the most interesting parts. Yesterday I got home really late, tired and hungry and instead of having a moment to myself, to gather my thoughts and relaxing, I called him and I caught myself acting strangely defensive and rowdy, which is not at all what I wanted OR needed from our goodnight conversation.
I learned four important lessons from that one call:
- I need to practice mindfulness in order to be in touch with my true feelings instead of getting carried away by circumstantial crankiness.
- The more I accept that I need my space to flourish, the easier it is for me to accept and respect that others also need their space and time in order to offer the best they can give to others.
- Mindfulness does not mean that I am going to block all my problems, it is simply a way in which I can connect to myself and become aware of who I am, what I want and what I need. I don’t necessarily need to engage in full meditation or yoga, I can practice mindfulness by just disconnecting from all media for ten minutes and having a cup of coffee.
- Mindfulness teaches me to live in the moment, to become centred but also fluid enough to know when to let go.
I hope I have inspired some of you to practice mindfulness, you do feel so much more relaxed and aware afterwards, and come on! you know you deserve some self-pampering!
Thinking of you all,