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  • Writer's pictureMindy McCarthy

Mindful vs Mind full

Congratulations! You have made it a full week in 2021! How does it feel?

I think many people were wanting 2020 to end so badly that they forgot to think about what they truly want to see happen in 2021. The calendar changing years, unfortunately, does not mean that things will suddenly change or your motivation will suddenly be there to achieve your goals.

We certainly saw this in 2020 wanting to rush the time by, and now that many people are setting new year’s resolutions, they may be wanting time to go by faster, so they are closer to achieving their goal than they were before. I think with that being said we are forgetting one of the lessons that 2020 taught us: the benefits of slowing down.

Have you ever found yourself wondering how you got to a certain destination while you were driving? Us humans seem to have this ability to turn on auto pilot. Even as a student walking across campus, I constantly found myself heavily involved in my phone or some kind of conversation I was having. Even if I wasn’t engaged in a conversation, I was thinking about what the next thing is that I am going to do whether I was walking to the gym planning my workout or walking to my class thinking about what we may learn that day. I was never just focused on the task at hand like the actual walking or the actual driving or the actual whatever.

Have you ever made a to do list and then are so focused on how long your to do list that you don’t actually get the things done on the list? We can get wrapped up in all the things that we have to do or hope to accomplish that we don’t slow things down enough to get through the process or the steps that we need to in order to check those things off the list.

When our mind is full, we forget how to be mindful and enjoy the present moment. Many people think they do not have time to stop and practice mindfulness. I encourage everyone to stop and take a breath to relax your mind. You can see great benefits from doing so, especially when it is time to tackle different items on your to do list.

If you do struggle with taking a true break from your to do list, try being mindful while you are doing something else. For example, most of us bathe regularly. When you are in the shower or in the bath, think about what you are experiencing in that present moment. What odors are you smelling? How does the water feel on your skin? What do you feel when you are massaging the body wash/soap/shampoo onto your skin or hair? Be in the present moment and be mindful during a task that you do frequently.

If you are driving somewhere or walking somewhere, be in the present moment. What are the things that you are seeing while you are moving? What are you hearing on the radio? Do you feel the air conditioning or heat from your car? Instead of thinking about what you are going to do when you get to your destination, enjoy the journey for how you are getting there.

This can also be helpful when thinking about the goals that you have set for yourself this year. Instead of thinking about how the journey may be difficult or long, think about the process and meet yourself where you are at the present moment rather than thinking about where you are hoping to be in x amount of time.

Believe in yourself in the present moment. Appreciate what you are learning in the process.

When your mind is feeling full, try to be more mindful.

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