Sometimes we go on autopilot with our busy life, and it is important to take a break and practice mindfulness to express gratitude for the little things. I attended MAG (Mindful Awareness Group) hosted by the University Counseling Center to learn about the techniques to stay mindful. Here are three tips to practice the techniques to become mindful and stay mindful over chaos. With less than a month of semester left, I want to encourage you to finish strong while eliminating unnecessary stress. You got this, collegiette!
Try to slow down your pace in walking. Enjoy your view as you walk around and feel how your feet are grounded with each step. Instead of rushing to your next destination as fast as possible, try to connect with your senses. The more you pay attention to each step you take, the less anxious you would feel rushing from classes to meetings and everything in between.
Enjoy the texture and taste of the food. In the exercise for MAG, we tried to taste a piece of Hershey kiss and let it melt away instead of actively chewing it. In this way, we were able to connect with our senses. Take this moment as a chance to connect with all your senses instead of rushing to finish your food. Take a second to slowly process the sound and feelings when you eat. In this way, you are able to practice the “here and now” in the mindful exercise.
Enjoy the present. Breathe in slowly, absorb the air and stop for two seconds, then slowly release the air. Let go of the chaotic thoughts of always making plans and worried about your next assignment. Let this time be your space to stop the chaotic noise and connect with the peaceful now. For instance, when I lay on a beach and hear the beach waves, I find myself connected to my senses and find a way to focus on the present. This is really helpful because it would stop the thoughts racing inside you which could cause anxiety.
Hopefully you will find some time to practice these techniques and gain skills of mindfulness! As this semester is quickly approaching to its end, don’t forget to strive for a work-life balance!
(Photo Courtesy: Caroline Dai)