Hello! I have been selected to participate in a research group on mindfulness and I am VERY excited to start! I have done yoga, meditation, journaling, etc. in the past and I know it helps my brain feel less tight, yet I lack the motivation to keep doing a lot of things I really enjoy. But that is for a different post! ANYWAY, not only will this help my raging anxiety, but it will give me motivation to continue (a group of people).
Mindfulness is a relatively new thing in the psychology world and I’m still not sure it’s widely accepted. I’m pretty sure if your therapist told you to do some mindfulness exercises you would feel silly and think it’s strange. Why would I sit with my eyes closed and listen to the sounds outside? What’s the point?
Well, friends, I’ll tell you the point. As a society, we tend to do many things at the same time. We call it multitasking. We think it’s great and useful and that it saves time because we have so much to do and so little time to do it! So we multitask. Eating while watching TV. Homework while listening to music. Replying to emails while texting a friend. Writing blog posts while snacking on some jellybeans (totally not what I’m doing right now). We do these things thinking that we are getting multiple things done at the same time. And we are, but we are not doing those things to the best of our abilities. Many studies have been conducted over the years scientifically proving that multitasking is a myth and no one can successfully do it. In an ideal world there would be so much time to do all the things you want to do, however, that ideal world does not exist. So people multitask to get a lot of things done in a small amount of time. Most of the time something slips through the cracks because we are not paying close enough attention to what we’re doing. While writing that really important paper, you may not notice all of your grammatical mistakes that spell check didn’t catch because you were also trying to beat that level in bejeweled blitz. Not cool. Why can’t you concentrate on that lecture your professor is giving while you mindlessly scroll through Instagram? Because your brain cannot handle two tasks at once. MULTITASKING IS A MYTH. You need to pick ONE thing and focus on that. From the wise words of Ron Swanson:
Don’t half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.
That quote is going to be my new mantra for the rest of my life.
So back to the mindfulness. I think that mindfulness is a very important tool to prevent the multitasking itch. When you are mindful you are in the present moment thinking about the present. Not what you are going to do next, not what you’re going to have for dinner, not that bag of jellybeans sitting in your room. You are centered, grounded, and present. I personally believe that practicing mindfulness will absolutely help force the multitasking part of my brain out, which will allow me to focus on one thing at a time. Which will also ease my anxiety that creeps up when I am doing other things. If I train myself not to multitask then I will not have time or space in my brain for those anxious thoughts because I am focused on something else.
I will be going on a journey and I am bringing you with me. The sessions are once a week and our homework is to practice mindfulness at LEAST 45 minutes a day. We will also have a journal to track our progress and write down all our feelings. This is actually a research study through my primary care so I will also be submitting surveys to see how the mindfulness is helping my anxiety and depression. I will be doing triple duty with the surveys, journal, and this blog. Some of my anxiety/depression manifests itself in lack of motivation and I WANT this to work and I WANT this to be helpful for me. In my own personal experience having a specific audience that’s not my own head helps keep me motivated. HELLO SPECIFIC AUDIENCE THAT IS NOT MY OWN HEAD!
I will also be giving away free mindfulness tips and tricks for anyone who is thinking about trying it out!
Have you tried mindfulness? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you think it’s just a new version of meditation? When you think of mindfulness do you think of Miss Grotke from the cartoon Recess? Because I do.