Mindfulness and Why You Should try It
Updated: Dec 1, 2020
Mindfulness is a state of awareness that is achieved by focusing on one's surroundings and feelings that is often used as a therapeutic technique. Honestly, when you first read about mindfulness, it seems absolutely ridiculous. Who wants to sit in a room and pretend they are at the beach, listening to ocean waves? I am here to tell you that mindfulness is so much deeper than that.
I started off junior year at a low point of my life. I had zero motivation, basically no social life, and extreme amounts of stress from my classes. There were times when I thought that my life was absolutely worthless and I was no longer present. After a couple months, I decided it was time to speak with my counselor. She recommended that I try out mindfulness techniques once a week. Now, as a teenager I obviously assumed mindfulness was complete nonsense. So I thought I’d thought an app would help, and downloaded some random app where it talks to you and tries to make you meditate and stuff. The app’s scarily calm voice was honestly unsettling and the exercises seemed like a waste of my time. Why would I listen to this 40 year old man telling me to “sit back and relax” when I have piles of homework to finish?
Mindfulness is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It allowed me to center myself which in turn helped me focus and accomplish more. I started to feel more present in my life and felt more motivated to achieve things. Mindfulness gave me a way to get my mental state back to the ambitious, driven person I was before junior year.
I think that practicing mindfulness can be beneficial to any teenager regardless of their mental state. Obviously, it helps with centering and understanding yourself, but it also allows you to feel more present and aware. Even without stress or trauma, it is easy to lose yourself amongst all the movement around you. Being more present in your life will let you feel those moments of joy and laughter more deeply. Not only that, but it will make you want to feel joy and laughter. Mindfulness increased my want to experience the good things in life and create this positive outlook for myself.
Mindfulness may seem like “paying attention” to your surroundings or something, but it's really more than that. I would say it's more like being present in the moment and understanding/processing it, taking it all in and being aware of your actions and thoughts. It's not some kind of “turn on switch;” in fact, I'd say it's really more of a thing slowly built up over time. Being aware of your thoughts and actions while understanding them and knowing how to deal with them all at once is a powerful thing. It is even practiced as a therapeutic technique. It can start with even doing things like meditation.
Personally, I have benefitted a lot from it and suggest you try it out during quarantine!