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Mental Health

Ways to Integrate Mindfulness Practices into Everyday Life

For about a year now, we have been living in a world that seems like the plot of a dystopian novel. With a worldwide pandemic and heavy political stress over the past year, it is easy to feel fatigued by our normal life stressors. One of the best ways to manage stress is by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is characterized by a mental state of living in the present coupled with an acceptance of one’s feelings. Instead of giving up or trying to push through feelings, mindfulness urges us to welcome them. Feelings like to be heard, and once they are heard they tend to shrink. Adding these few simple thought processes to my day has helped me cope with all of the stressors of college, covid, and chaos over the past year. 

Muzzle my Inner Critic  

Everyone has heard that voice in their head that makes them feel like they are not enough. However, that voice is never right. The first step I took towards quieting my inner critic is to acknowledge their existence. My next thought when my inner critic is acting up is “who is telling me these things?” The answer is me. I am telling myself those mean things, which means that I can also stop telling myself those things. By reclaiming control over my thoughts, I am able to break free of my inner critic. 

Express Gratitude  

Gratitude is a form of thankfulness that encompasses the readiness to receive and return kindness. Sometimes the negative things in our lives feel so much bigger than the positive things. However, when I take time to acknowledge all of the positive things in my life I avoid taking the best things for granted. Everyday I create a list of three things that I am grateful for before bed and if something on the list involves a person I make sure to tell them how much I appreciate them. If the past year has taught me anything, it’s to never take anyone or anything for granted. 

Give Myself a Break  

I have recently started making an effort to remind myself that my worth is not defined by my accomplishments. I have learned the importance of recharge breaks to prevent burn out. I have also been more attuned to acknowledging that I am a person just like everyone else. I often give great advice, if I may say so myself, when it comes to self care. However, I never follow my own advice. 

 

It may seem small, but quieting my inner critic, expressing gratitude, and taking breaks has improved all aspects of my health. Little things sometimes make all of the difference, so make sure to tell someone they are important today. Life is full of ups and downs, and through practicing mindfulness I have learned to appreciate every moment.

Jesse is a writer for Her Campus at RIT from Wall Township, NJ. She is a Physician Assistant BS/MS student. Jesse is passionate about all healthcare; including women's healthcare and global health. She previously served as the Chapter Representative for the Physician Assistant Student Association and as a Student Justice for the University Appeals Board at RIT. Jesse is currently the Secretary of the Global Health Association on campus and works for RIT Study Abroad in the social media department.
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