Mindfulness: Living Peacefully in the Present Moment
Mindfulness, which is often associated with yoga and meditation, is a practice that allows one to be more fully engaged in the present, encouraging the individual to let go of regrets about the past, worries about the future, and allowing one to focus in on the present moment (Rogers and Maytan 7). It often involves meditation, a time in which one spends time with oneself in a quiet comfortable environment while attempting to clear and quiet the minds, helping to alleviate stress, tension, worry, and anxiety. Check out this excellent resource to learn more. In the book Mindfulness for the Next Generation, Holly Rogers, MD and Margaret Maytan, MD discuss how practicing mindfulness can help shape a person’s well-being, especially that of young adults.
Emerging adults (as the authors describe college students) are often at a stage in which they feel pressured to make important decisions that may impact the rest of their lives. They worry about their futures in terms of jobs, significant others, success, and failure. With these worries comes an impending fear and uncertainty of the future (6). But when one begins to practice mindfulness, “[W]e can learn to see things more clearly, and we are able to find ways to bring pleasure and interest more fully into our daily experiences. We can begin to see that often our thoughts about our experiences—rather than experiences themselves—produce much of our stress and anxiety” (Rogers and Maytan 7). Our minds and our thoughts are often the culprit of stress, anxiety, fear, and worry. We fear the future and worry if we are making the right choices. With mindfulness, the focus of living in the present moment helps to alleviate stress heavily associated with worry about the “what if’s” in life and anticipatory anxiety of what’s to come. While this practice can be incredibly helpful, it is important to note that it takes time, effort, practice, and patience.
But, there are resources and workshops out there that can teach you how to live a more mindful life, and with this practice and guidance, you can become a person who lives a more in-the-moment, less worrisome, overall healthier life. The following are a couple of helpful websites to educate you on the art of mindfulness, and how to help you begin to practice living in the present moment, especially as a busy grad student.
Heidi Ashcroft is a recent graduate of Central Michigan University’s English Language and Literature Master of Art’s Program. She lives in Midland, Michigan with her husband, Steve and their two dogs Rollie and Rudy. She enjoys walking with her dogs, snuggling with her dogs, and petting her dogs. She also enjoys the outdoors, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
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