The Struggle to be Mindful

Practice what you preach.

This is my goal for the next 46 days. While again and again I have said “be mindful” to other people, it is extremely difficult to accomplish. Every time I say it, I think I am reminding myself at the same time, because being mindful means thinking about your actions all the time.

With the start of Lent that TOTALLY caught me off guard, I am trying to be more mindful. Coming into college I wasn’t really religious. I stopped going to services and only prayed when seeking comfort in difficult times. However, on Ash Wednesday I realized how much I appreciate the ideology of some of the Catholic traditions. Lent is a season that is based off of giving up overindulgence and being spoiled and living simply and mindfully, and I think that is an amazing way to completely purge the unnecessary things out of your life.

Although usually I just give up something for the season like “no sweets” or “no chocolate” (and I usually break it before the season is over), I want to be mindful. I am trying to eat as unprocessed as possible, but my ultimate goal is to be aware of what my body is telling me. I need to focus less on “how much have I worked out today?” and “how much have I eaten?” and more on “how does my body feel in response to the actions I took today?”

I want to learn to be at peace with my body and mind. This starts with being honest with what your body needs. I am an inherently driven and self-motivated person — and it can push me too far at times. Being mindful for me is taking a step back and seeing what is truly best to keep me happy and healthy. When I try to be too extreme, I fall into dangerous old habits. But staying mindful will help me become a better person and be at peace with where and who I am.

Not only am I looking at nutrition and fitness, but I also am trying to be a nicer person. At times I do things without thinking about others, but being mindful also encompasses thinking about your actions and how they affect those around you.

For all my readers: even if you aren’t participating in Lent, try to make it a goal for 21 days to be a little more mindful. It takes only 21 days to form a habit. When you wake up, evaluate your day and how you feel and check in with yourself at various points in the day. Do what makes you feel the best — self reflection will make you see just what makes you happy and will help you continue those things so that you, overall, will be a happier person.


photo credit: 1, 2


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