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Practicing Mindfulness When Things Around You Are Hectic

One of my personal goals for myself this year is to practice being more mindful. Mindfulness is defined as the “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.” As a college student, being busy with schoolwork and club activities, it’s hard to feel present when your mind is all over the place, thinking about everything that you need to do and places you need to be. It’s been a constant goal for me to be more mindful of my life, decisions, and my surroundings, but it’s not a goal that I have easily achieved, I still don’t think I’ve reached the level of mindfulness I want to reach. It’s not an easy mindset to have when our society is focused on moving forward, pushing towards the new and innovations and never wanting to just be in the present and acknowledge now and the past. 

I have always struggled with being present, finding that even some of my relationships with others have been affected due to my inability to relax and my anxiety for the future and my life. Some things that I’ve done to help ease my mind and attempt to practice mindfulness is going out and being surrounded by nature. Many studies have shown that being around and one with nature can help improve one’s mindset and wellbeing. Riverside has been very windy recently and I really enjoy just sitting outside and being around the trees while the wind is blowing. It feels great and I have an easier time being one with my thoughts, especially when I’m outside alone. 

Something else that I do is try to be more intent while with others, because mindfulness doesn’t just need to be when you are by yourself and it should be something that you often find yourself doing, even in the presence of others. While I’m with friends, I try to be more present with them, trying to listen more closely to what they are saying and what we are doing.  Something else that I do when with friends is I try to be off of my phone for as much as possible. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what’s happening on the Internet and what others are doing instead of actually focusing on the people that are actively with us. Staying off my phone has helped me improve my listening skills but also just feeling more connected to my friends, beyond our phones and the internet but just connecting with them. 

I also began journaling this year and am still trying to stay consistent. Taking a few minutes out of my day to write about things I feel gratitude towards, manifesting things I want in my life, and things that happened for me that day has helped my feel more grounded and has made me think more actively about what I did during the day, to determine what I think is worth writing about. 

Being a person whose anxiety rules their mind, attempting to be more mindful in my actions and thoughts has been very rough. The anxiety of everything makes it hard to truly think without feeling the pressure to think in the grade scope of things. Mindfulness is a journey in itself to achieve and it’s a journey that I am still on. Being present in a time where everyone is always thinking about the future is very difficult and when the mindset is about what you can achieve rather than what you have already achieved, it is easy to get swept up thinking about the future. Simple actions like listening more and sitting with your thoughts are an easy way to start out your mindfulness journey, and I recommend to everyone to be more mindful, because it really does help your mental state and allows you to think more about your life in a more present way, not allowing anxiety about the future to bother you as much. 

One of my personal goals for myself this year is to practice being more mindful. Mindfulness is the “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.” As a college student, being busy with schoolwork and club activities, it’s hard to feel present when your mind is all over the place, thinking about everything that you need to do and places you need to be. It’s been a constant goal for me to be more mindful of my life, decisions, and my surroundings, but it’s not a goal that I have easily achieved, I still don’t think I’ve reached the level of mindfulness I want to reach. It’s not an easy mindset to have when our society is focused on moving forward, pushing towards the new and innovations and never wanting to just be in the present and acknowledge now and the past. 

I have always struggled with being present, finding that even some of my relationships with others have been affected due to my inability to relax and my anxiety for the future and my life. Some things that I’ve done to help ease my mind and attempt to practice mindfulness is going out and being surrounded by nature. Many studies have shown that being around and one with nature can help improve one’s mindset and wellbeing. Riverside has been very windy recently and I really enjoy just sitting outside and being around the trees while the wind is blowing. It feels great and I have an easier time being one with my thoughts, especially when I’m outside alone. 

Something else that I do is try to be more intent while with others, because mindfulness doesn’t just need to be when you are by yourself and it should be something that you often find yourself doing, even in the presence of others. While I’m with friends, I try to be more present with them, trying to listen more closely to what they are saying and what we are doing.  Something else that I do when with friends is I try to be off of my phone for as much as possible. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what’s happening on the Internet and what others are doing instead of actually focusing on the people that are actively with us. Staying off my phone has helped me improve my listening skills but also just feeling more connected to my friends, beyond our phones and the internet but just connecting with them. 

I also began journaling this year, not saying I’m consistent with it (I’m trying to work on it). Taking a few minutes out of my day to write about things I feel gratitude towards, manifesting things I want in my life, and things that happened for me that day has helped my feel more grounded and has made me think more actively about what I did during the day, to determine what I think is worth writing about. 

Being a person whose anxiety rules their mind, attempting to be more mindful in my actions and thoughts has been very rough. The anxiety of everything makes it hard to truly think without feeling the pressure to think in the grade scope of things. Mindfulness is a journey in itself to achieve and it’s a journey that I am still on. Being present in a time where everyone is always thinking about the future is very difficult and when the mindset is about what you can achieve rather than what you have already achieved, it is easy to get swept up thinking about the future. Simple actions like listening more and sitting with your thoughts are an easy way to start out your mindfulness journey, and I recommend to everyone to be more mindful, because it really does help your mental state and allows you to think more about your life in a more present way, not allowing anxiety about the future to bother you as much. 

Jade Zuniga

UC Riverside '24

I am a second-year Psychology major who is looking to improve my writing skills. I love listening to music, watching movies, drinking boba, and playing with my cats.
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