by Tracey Pingle
Mindfulness is about managing those fears and anxieties using one of two strategies – passive or active. Passive methods are activities done on a regular basis when you are not feeling stressed; activities that you enjoy and that you believe make you feel good about yourself. Exercise, dancing, swimming, creative activities, gaming, watching funny shows are all examples – the important thing is that you believe that the activity helps you.
Active strategies are used during moments of stress; coping mechanisms that will calm you and allow you to deal with the stress. One way to cope is through thought processes – for example, asking yourself if this is worth my time? If the answer is "yes," then tell yourself it’s worth your best effort. Another example of using thought processes to cope is to ask yourself if you think of the task as an "obligation" or an "opportunity?" If you look at it as an opportunity, it will provide motivation. Thinking about the stressors in these ways can energize you and remove barriers like fear or boredom.
Another active strategy that can be incredibly helpful is to use breathing techniques. One breathing technique that can be used in overwhelming situations is to take a deep breath and count to 10, imagining the anxiety getting smaller until it is small enough to throw away from you. Prove to yourself that you can control your emotions. Believe that it will work. Animesh led the group through this breathing exercise.
Animesh encouraged us to think seriously and deeply about our lives. Make the time and take the effort to contemplate the most important question – what do you want from life?