I've been practicing mindfulness lately.
Whether it "works" or not, I'm not sure, but taking on a new challenge is always fun. I have to constantly bring my mind back to the present…must be a "moon in Pisces" thing. I've always been a daydreamer and to this day find it hard to focus; in fact I was convinced I had ADHD for the longest time. School was extremely difficult for me for this very reason (lack of concentration) even though I was taking AP Honors English as a high school freshman. Writing has never been hard for me to do as all it consists of is your heart bleeding before a keyboard or journal.
Practicing mindfulness helps me stay in reality; something I've always prided myself on is that I'm a realistic person. So realistic that I've been criticized for being too negative (which I took with a grain of salt because that comment was from a person who lives with rose-colored glasses on). While I'm very level headed and call things for what they are, at the same time my head has a tendency to get lost in the clouds…which I find both strange and humorous.
I catch myself thinking of incredibly random things and wonder if I'm the only person who has such crazy thoughts and ideas (the good kind of crazy, not morbid or anything). I try not to get lost in false realities though, because I'm still learning to be content with the things already in my life at the present moment. Don't misunderstand me, I don't think we as people should settle and be content with that (settling), but I do believe that, to an extent, it's in our power to change our lives. Certain things can't be changed, but most things are in our control. Who's to say what our limit is?
One cool feature on the Apple Watch is the reminder to breathe. I got the watch around the same time I first started practicing mindfulness so it worked out perfectly, and I was even more excited to take on something I've never consciously done before. I believe it's every two hours that my watch will vibrate with the reminder, and it prompts you to inhale and exhale about eight times total. For me personally, doing it brings a calmness that is so hard to obtain in NYC. Even if it's just a temporary moment of bliss, hey, I'll take it!
I'm not sure if writing technically qualifies as a mindfulness technique, but it's certainly a healthy habit that I recommend all people should do. From what I remember, I was about twelve years old when I received my first diary from my favorite school teacher, Ms. Limperopulous (Greek much)? It was a birthday gift and I was elated to have my first official journal (not an ugly zebra-printed school notebook); I felt very legit and started writing in it immediately. Something else to note about Ms. L is that she was the person who introduced me to Coldplay, so yeah, she was damn cool. Fourteen years ago…that's when I first fell head over heels in love with writing. Bleeding before a journal. Pouring my entire being out on paper with a pen in my left hand. And how beautiful it was. The fresh memory alone serves as a glorious blissful moment.
Practice being in the present moment. It can be scary at first especially if all you want to do is avoid your present reality (trust me—I'd LOVE to right now), but truth be told, there's always something in our current situation that we can appreciate, enjoy, and find beauty in.