Mindfulness & Journaling

Posted by Sara

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In January, when it came time to make my New Year’s Resolution, I was a little uninspired. The resolutions I had relied on for the past four years (get good grades & be more organized) no longer were as applicable since I’d graduated. I thought about resolving to get a job, but that seemed boring. I knew I wanted something that would encourage me to set up my post-college, adult life in a positive way and ultimately, I decided to resolve to embrace mindfulness in 2016.

College, like it is for many people, was full of ups and downs and I constantly felt like I was letting myself be controlled by outside forces.  Adopting mindfulness seemed like a way to break these not so-healthy patterns and infuse a little balance into my life. I planned to be more aware with my emotions (and what was causing them), establish a more regular sleep pattern, and overall live a healthier lifestyle. In the past two months, I’ve been less than successful in maintaining my resolution. A frustrating job search  has often left me upset and questioning my abilities. With much more free time on a daily basis than I’ve had in awhile, it’s been far too easy to indulge in frequent Netflix binges rather than taking the time to do the productive and active things that I enjoy and that often make me feel far better than being a couch potato does.

Realizing how hard it was to break old patterns, two weeks ago I started journaling daily in hopes that it would help me embrace mindfulness. I’d heard from friends and family how it helped them be more productive and it’s amazing how much better I feel even after this short time. Rather than obsessively over-thinking the things that are bothering me and allowing myself to give in to my anxieties, I’ve been working those emotions out at the end of every day. It’s not always easy to sit down and write – mediocre days don’t exactly lend themselves to pouring one’s soul out on paper and because I’ve been journaling on my computer (wouldn’t want to get a pesky hand-cramp on the cusp of a breakthrough), it’s far too easy to let myself get distracted.

Overall, I feel that my mind is quieter throughout the day knowing that I will have my journaling session in the evening and I’ve found the entire process to be very cleansing ( I cringed a little bit as I wrote that; it sounds hokey, but the benefits of journaling can’t be denied).  I’ve also found that writing every day has made it easier to begin and get in the rhythm across the board, which has been beneficial for job applications and writing blog posts. It feels good to know that I’m taking proactive steps towards mindfulness and a healthier lifestyle, even if I still have a little ways to go.

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