Tag Archives: Mindfulness

The key to a stress free life

Image result for mind over matter

Feel like you have a lot on your mind? Do you ever feel forgetful?

I believe as college students we need to do what we can to keep our minds sharp but reduce our stress as much as we can at the same time. Lately I have felt like I can’t remember anything. I have been taking 4 classes and training in a new full-time job. I actually forgot my laundry in the community washer for two days last week before remembering I started the load and left them there. I have been forgetting basic words that I use on a daily basic such as washing machine; I just figured my brain was too exhausted to keep going. Then I researched and discovered that strengthening your brain and mind are just as important as getting physical exercise or sleep. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed or forgetful like me then I have some exercises for you!

https://www.brainmdhealth.com/blog/use-it-or-lose-it-your-mind-is-like-a-muscle-12-ways-to-strengthen-your-brain/

Strengthening our mind in different ways can positively impact our lives on so many levels. Not only will it keep our memory but it can aid our body in running more smoothly and keep our body’s systems healthy so we can live longer. From just trying a new shampoo to calling up an old friend, the tips are easy and can be fun!

Our minds recover our bodies and our bodies decreases our psychological pain. Therefore it only makes sense to keep our minds at ease but challenged enough where it has a positive effect on our bodies. This is key to reducing our stress! Sometimes all it takes is perception to trick our minds. My first sign of stress was my forgetful memory followed by headaches and the struggle to sleep. I have found that the more I work on my mental health the more everything else around me improves. One thing in particular was starting a gratitude journal where I found here:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201611/7-ways-use-your-mind-strengthen-and-heal-your-body

This has forced me to keep a positive attitude and leaves me in a peaceful mood for bed. I have started waking up in a better state and those optimistic thoughts are the first thing that come to my mind when I start my day.

Keep that stress away by focusing on your mental health and the rest will come. Keep positive!

Your Mental Health, You Should Care

Being a college student is stressful in itself due to deadlines, major projects, and weekly assignments. Many students work a full time job while juggling multiple courses and some students have families too that they need to take care of. Personally, I have had a terrible past year for my mental health due to a stressful job and major life events but I have recently been working on bettering my mental health by leaving that stressful job and starting a new one that is a lot less stressful with a lot of fulfillment throughout my day.

When trying to understand how to improve my mental health, I stumbled upon a study from the University of Michigan (www.uhs.umich.edu) that provides 10 ways to better your mental health and they include sub points as well. Such as, take care of your body by drinking more water, get enough sleep, or eat nutritious meals. There are so many important aspects to improving your mental health and even the littlest of steps can make a huge difference.

As a college student, I often stay up late working on homework or writing papers and then I work early in the morning so my sleep schedule gets ruined during each semester. Sleep is a very important factor in maintaining a adequate mental health routine. There are a lot of other factors associated with not getting enough sleep which are laid out in www.livingly.com

I wish you all the best of luck with improving your mental health because there is always room for improvement especially during the semester. I wish you all the best of luck and hopefully these links come in handy.

Mindfulness Matters

The past few weeks I’ve been feeling stressed from the demands of working full-time, going to school, volunteering, and staying connected with our four children (two live on the east coast). Adding to the mix is the need to clean the house, do laundry, and other obligations that pull my attention in too many directions. But, today I realized what was missing. I need to get back to practicing mindfulness meditation! When I practice mindfulness regularly, no matter what is going on in my life my stress level dissipates.

What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of being. When you’re mindful, you purposefully pay attention to your thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad. Instead of rushing from one thing to the next, being mindful means you’re living in the present and awakening to your experiences. The practice of mindfulness meditation teaches you how to cultivate awareness, which reduces stress.

My introduction to mindfulness was through my employer’s wellness program. At work, they offer a weekly mindfulness meditation class over the lunch hour. The mindfulness training is compatible with the aim of the wellness program—to enhance employees’ well-being.

A small group of people meets weekly for a one-hour session of guided meditations, compassion practices, and breathe awareness. The instructors provide examples of ways to integrate mindfulness into our daily lives—which trains our brains to live in the present moment. Because the class is not offered over the summer months, I’ve gotten out of my routine.

Principles to start your day off on a positive note
While I’ve abandon my mindfulness practice for the last month, I continue to use the tips from The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living by Dr. Amit Sood, MD, to start my day with good intentions.

Dr. Sood says, “Your attention is like a muscle; working it out makes it stronger” (53).  He recommends beginning each day by focusing on one of the Stress-Free Living principles. So, I added them to my google calendar. I receive a reminder every morning at 8:15 a.m. They help me to start the day off on a positive note. The following list includes the assigned principle for each day:

Day of the week Theme
Monday Gratitude
Tuesday Compassion
Wednesday Acceptance
Thursday Higher Meaning
Friday Forgiveness
Saturday Celebration
Sunday Reflection and Prayer

 Benefits of Mindfulness
There are both physical and emotional benefits from practicing Mindfulness. The techniques help to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Lower pressure
  • Improve sleep
  • Improve symptoms of anxiety

Practicing mindfulness has been a positive experience, and many of the group members agree. When I practice regularly I am able to focus on and enjoy everything that I’m involved in. I feel more like I’m living life, rather than rushing through it.

For the Writing and Designing for the Web I course I designed a “Mindfulness Matters” website. We needed to provide a handout for the class on presentation day, so I created this one-page Mindfulness Matters Tip Sheet.

When I meditate, I find the practice beneficial for juggling a busy schedule. Give it a try! You, too, can reap the benefits of mindfulness meditation.

What tips do you have for dealing with the stresses of a busy schedule?