Anyone that is living the trial and error that is adulting, most likely has had a run in with: stress, exhaustion, self doubt, tears, learning curves, anxiety, and did I mention exhaustion? Juggling a life that revolves around the daily grind can take its toll on all areas of your health. When you look at it, life is simply one experience after another and how we participate in these experiences is key. These daily occurrences can become obstacles, void of meaning and enjoyment if you don’t take care of yourself. And what I mean by ‘yourself’ is the well-being of your mind, what I feel is the most important step to being the healthiest ‘you’. And this is something I regretfully wasn’t taking care of the way I should have.
Over the past six months, I have gotten to a place in my head that has made a significant impact on my mind health. Now, when I say ‘mind health’, I am talking about everything that encompasses a mind that functions as efficiently and effectively as possible. Thus, leading to a better sense of balance and self. I am in no way educated and licensed to diagnose myself or someone else’s mental well-being, I just know what has worked for me to just feel better from day to day. Mental health, on whatever level, is such a personal and important topic and should always involve loads of research and even medical attention, if needed. My practice here, is simply small steps that have vastly improved my outlook on life and how I recognize all the amazing things my mind and body are capable of, when given the mindfulness they deserve. I feel calmer, more in control, better focused, and just an overall happier person.
By practicing mindfulness, a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique, I have been able to start a work week with a clear and motivated head. I have been able to better handle myself in situations that would typically cause me anxiety with that nagging sense of “I need to get out of here”. I have been able to better handle the learning curve of starting a new job in a new state. I have been able better to handle all those thoughts that run through my brain, whether positive or negative. Basically, mindfulness has given me a sense of clarity when handling any situation, large or small, that may come my way.
The two things that have gotten me to this place of practicing mindfulness on a daily basis are below. Now, every day is different for me. Some days, attention to my minds well-being is at the forefront of most decisions I make. Other days, it only happens when I devote time to it. Regardless, it is a practice and I’ve enjoyed it every time. I’ve provided images and links to everything that has helped me practice mindfulness to live what I feel is a much more satisfying life, for me, and I like the direction that mindfulness is taking me.
Almost every evening, the last thing I do before bed is to pour myself a steaming glass of water and steep this tea. I relax on my sofa, lights off, and take time to breathe in the aroma. I always add a bit of honey to mine and just unwind into a warm beverage, in a huge mug, and a comfy seat. The taste is light and being non-GMO and caffeine free gives me a good feeling about what I’m sending into my body right before I sleep. The best part is the little note the tea bag holds, always different. Not only do you get to enjoy a warm and calming beverage, you get a little worldly quote to wrap your mind around as you start to decompress from your day. This has traditionally been my go-to to begin that unwinding process after a long day and I follow up my cup of tea with Headspace.
This transformed the way I looked at my mind and overall well-being. You can create a free account online or download the app, and participate in 10 free 10 minute guided meditation exercises. They all concentrate on the basic skills of meditation: breathing and your thoughts. Beyond that, you have the option to purchase an entire plethora of series, ranging from kids meditation to food meditation to grief meditation. I always thought meditation was goofy. Like, who would sit there and just breath, don’t we do that every day anyway? It is SO much more than that. You really get to sit in your thoughts and help your mind do what it needs, ranging from thinking, to being quiet, to bouncing all over the place. It really helps you acknowledge the mind. If you are a skeptic, just like I was, I HIGHLY encourage you to try the 10 day free trial. You’ll probably get hooked as you learn how to breath and take time for you…hence the name, Headspace. The designer and former Buddhist monk, Andy Puddicombe, also wrote a book titled: The Headspace Guide To Meditation & Mindfulness (How mindfulness can change your life in ten minutes a day). I’ve picked this up and I’m so excited to start reading! I’ll keep you posted.
As we all continue on in this awesome thing called life, I hope you take a minute to practice mindfulness. The clarity, calmness, and overall sense of “I can handle this and so much more” is quite addicting. As I read more and start searching for a local meditation class near me, the more I’m intrigued by how mindfulness can transform my daily outlook. I love feeling “present”.
Until next time…
**all opinions, screenshots, and images are my own – this post is not intended to be a medical diagnosis