Mindfulness 101

What is Mindfulness?

The underlying belief is that when we approach life with openness, remain present, and non-judgemental, we are able to better understand ourselves (including our emotions and behaviors). Mindfulness helps us reconnect with our emotions and body by accepting who we are at the given moment. Additionally, mindfulness helps us take the steps as well as doing the work to achieve our highest potential. 

Mindfulness encourages us to be present and non-judgemental during personal experiences throughout our lives.

What Does It Mean to be Mindful:

1- Focusing on the present moment: Practice bringing your thoughts back to the present moment where you are. This helps with wondering and anxious thought patterns. By bringing your mind back to the present can be challenging at first but repetition can help this over time. Having awareness when thoughts are wondering is important as well because it helps stop them while bringing your mind back into the present moment. 

2- Compassion: Treating yourself with kindness and patience is very important when avoiding negative self talk and/or thoughts. Mindfulness can be challenging at times especially when you are trying it for the first time. Be patient with yourself. It is a slow but beneficial practice. 

3- Non-Judgment: Feeling through all feelings without judgment and accepting them with an open mind is important for mindfulness as well. It can be hard to not judge ourselves for feeling certains ways but accepting and honoring our emotions is beneficial for our healing as well as understanding ourselves deeper. 

Ways You Can Be More Mindful:

1- Meditation: Meditation is a great way to reconnect with your mind and body. Meditation helps us relax and tune into what’s going on inside of us, which is a great self awareness experience as well. 

2- Being in Nature: Something about being outside in nature helps us recharge our batteries. Breathing in the fresh air and experiencing life all around us helps ground us in a mindfulness practice. 

3- Acceptance: Being able to accept where we are in our life is beneficial for our mental health. Accepting and honoring our hard work and dedication throughout our lives up until this point is powerful. Additionally, accepting emotions as they come and go can be difficult as well. Imagine the emotions displayed to you like a T.V advertisement, observe/watch them, sit with them then watch the emotions leave just like you are watching a T.V advertisement. Ask yourself what are these emotions teaching me about myself? 

Helpful Tools:

Guided meditation: Insight Timer App

Guided Yoga Flow: With Kajal, a licensed therapist at Simply Thrive Therapeutic Associates or youtube

Nature walks in nearby parks or travel to our North Carolina mountains 

Madison Reynolds

Mental Health Student Intern

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