Monday, March 27, 2017

How I Achieved Mindfulness

mind·ful·ness
noun
  1. 1.

    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

    "their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"
  2. 2.
    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.

The past six months have been a bit of wreck. My seasonal depression was right on time this year along with my regularly scheduled November breakdown in which I question everything in my life and drastically change them impulsively and obsessively, ultimately plummeting into loneliness and isolation. I haven't been doing too hot to say the least. Usually when I get into these funks, my method is to ride it out. Wait for the storm to pass. Anticipate the moment in which everything comes together and I become fascinated that I ever felt so down. Though this method has worked multiple times, it's long and painful and quite honestly, a waste of time. Why wallow for six months? Undoubtly the worst part of this wave of self loathing is my lack of productivity. Since December, it feels as though I've been highly unproductive to a whole new level and it really sucks because I have all these ideas but can't seem to find the motivation to execute them and instead, spend hours watching Netflix, snacking, and generally feeling bad for myself. Kind of pathetic. As I finally addressed this issue, I realized that though my depression can't miraculously be cured, I can surely change my habits and general mindset, along with taking my energy elsewhere. Since I began this process, I have mentally and physically felt my best, along with being marginally more productive. It's not a cure, but it's a start.

-STOP HANGING OUT WITH PEOPLE WHO DON'T MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF. When you are with friends, you should not only feel comfortable, but also viewing yourself highly. Though social anxiety is definitely a huge block towards this, if someone or a group of people make you feel lower or trigger you to think negative traits of yourself, drop them!! Stop wasting your time with people who don't care about you, use you, or just make you feel like shit. Being social should be something fun and enjoyable, not a chore or self pity sesh.
-DUMP THEM! UNFOLLOW THEM! BLOCK THEM! DELETE THEM! My biggest issue was purposely following accounts on social media that would make me feel low. No post, text, or status should have the power to ruin your mood. You have the power to unfollow and are in now way obligated to stay connected with someone via the internet. Unfollowing the people that triggered me felt so cleansing and gave me such a sense of power.

-STOP WAITING. When I quit waiting for opportunities and/or people to approach me, I was amazed at how much larger my circle became. Reach out to friend crushes, contact old friends you fell out of touch with, and just keep an open and confident mind when it comes to social interaction. I used to cancel so much due to anxiety but now highly regret it because I've had some of the best times with people I wouldn't normally spend time with. One thing that comforted and encouraged me to take these social risks was planning out an "escape plan" if things got awkward (ex: "my mom wants me to be home in twenty minutes").
-RADIATE POSITIVE ENERGY. This is going to sound really fucking crunchy granola but I swear it was the best advice I've gotten. You get what you give. By carrying negative energy, the only thing you will get back is more negativity. Keep an open mind and you'll be in awe at how much positivity will come.
-SET GOALS/PLAN. Every morning, I write a checklist of all the things I need to complete by the end of the day, from tidying up to reading a chapter of a book. Another one of my goals is to write one piece a day, be it a three line poem or a five page editorial, it doesn't really matter as long as I'm working. By constantly pushing myself to do what I love and put more work out into the world, writing gives me a sense of purpose. I have recently added reading at least three poems and three blog posts to this set since I can't stress how important it is to stay connected and read other's work. Along with this, I make sure to journal at least one page every night as a way to wrap the day.
-MEDITATE. Meditation definitely will not cure any mental illness but it's important to have time for reflection and to yourself. Though curling up with The Office is quite a good bout of "me time" I find it vital to have at least fifteen minutes every morning and night of truly focusing on myself without any distractions.
-APPRECIATE AND TREAT YOURSELF. As much as it can sometimes suck, you are the only vessel you will have in this lifetime and once you accept that, you can move forwards. Embrace the things and people you love and appreciate the beauty in your life. I try to add new things that I love around me every week to a collective list, just by seeing these notes visually, it can really change my mindset when I'm down.
-DON'T LET NEGATIVE SITUATIONS CONSUME YOU. The other best piece of advice I've gotten is from this 2013 Rookie post titled, "The Wallow". Whenever I hear something I don't want to know or find myself focusing on one single thing and spirling off of it, I set a twenty minute timer and simply do my worst. May this be crying, letting anxiety bubble up, or simply mulling over how much my life sucks at the moment, there are no rules to the wallow and you should savor that. Once this moment is up however, it's now time to pour your energy into the logic and solution to the issue.
-FOCUS ON YOURSELF. I have spent far too much time comparing myself to others and it's honestly the biggest waste of time. First off, a person's exterior appearance can be drastically different from how they feel. Along with this, these ventures are pointless. Jealousy is a toxin and letting it eat at you is going to do nothing to benefit you. I stopped indulging these thoughts as much and instead of using these people to make myself feel inadequate, I took my admiration and used it as healthy inspiration (that sounds horribly cheesy I'm sorry).
-Annie

3 comments :

  1. Lovely post, very eye-opening to read xx

    Hannah | trustinvogue.com

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  2. Hey, I love your blog! I tagged you in The Mystery Bloggers Award, I'd love to see you have a go at it!
    -Cait xx
    www.passionatemindblog.blogspot.co.uk

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