Mindfulness is something I have always struggled with. As an ambitious college student, most days “stress” is my middle name. Focusing my awareness on the present moment is a crucial practice I’ve had to teach myself. Accepting my feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations in a calm manner has allowed me to achieve mindfulness.
The most effective therapeutic technique I use is carving out time for myself to hike every week. While most people hike solo as a way to mull over their thoughts, I do it to mull over everything but my thoughts. Walking alone in nature allows my brain to completely shut off and focus instead on my surroundings. I observe every sound I hear, every color I see, and the rhythmic beating of my own breath.
Another activity that allows me to attain mindfulness is reading. Books are written for the sole purpose of allowing people to escape from their own realities and enter into a fantasy world of their choosing. When I read, every thought from my brain disappears and I center my attention on the story’s plot alone. Reading literature classics, browsing through magazines, or even taking a quick splurge on my phone allows me to get out of my own head and meditate.
Mindfulness is definitely not something easily obtained, but with practice it can be achieved by anyone. Walking, reading, and writing are all simple ways to spend time in peace by yourself. All of these activities can be completed in the span of a couple of minutes or hours, depending on how much time you reserve. Ultimately, whatever allows you to find your inner peace and take a calming breath is all you need to successfully submerge in mindfulness.