Practicing Mindfulness

I don’t remember what day it was when I realized that the world is a crazy place. As in buckwild. As in for every moment of peace, there is a moment of chaos somewhere. For me, it felt like I was reaching the end of yet another fairy tale. I realized never again could there be universal unicorns and rainbows, at least in my world. Honestly, I don’t know why I ever though those things existed in the first place.

But in some sense, we all likely go through this at some age. For me, it was when I started to read the news on the regular basis. And instead of being excited that I was finally old enough to understand it, I was horrified. Did growing up, adulting, and being aware mean that I had to regularly read, internalize, and reflect on catastrophes, inevitably launching my anxiety about life and death into full gear?

I had to find a way to manage this between the people who want to talk about every disaster constantly and wanting to be in the know without feeling down.

And the thing is, like most things, it’s all about balance. There are days where I feel like I’m close to being pushed beyond my limits, but on average, I have ways to manage stimuli.

And that means that despite being a blogger in this space, I go offline sometimes. I turn off my notifications. I rarely scroll through Facebook without a purpose. I’m cautious about what I let into my mind, similar to way that I’m careful about what I’m eating.

I will admit, it can be isolating at times. It means that I haven’t watched every single disturbing video that goes viral and ends up on the 6pm news or read every single article on topics that are tough to digest. Because I’m not going to encapsulate myself in something that’s causing me stress.

Practicing mindfulness is not a sign a weakness. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I know what I need to do to ensure that I’m operating at my fullest potential. And I can’t do that with a distracted mind that’s clouded with feelings of despair and helplessness.

Whenever I enter a situation that is going to leave me with a bit of emotional uneasiness, I ask myself a few questions: Why am I here? Have I been in this situation before and is it becoming a pattern? Will dealing with this uneasiness make me a better person in the long run? Am I doing something actionable or am I continuing to harp on present emotions? What will be the impact of this continued stress?

Depending on my answers to these questions, I decide on my next course of action. Mostly because I refuse to believe that things can’t be balanced. I will not equate adulthood with feeling crazed. We all have options. And it’s time to start exercising them.

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