It has come to my attention recently that while I am a gamer, I’m also a student, and part of why I started this blog to share my experiences and tips and tricks when it comes to dealing with university and school life, as well as just life in general. Life is stressful, and while I like to think I’ve got it sort of worked out, it’s never simple, if there is something that works for me, chances it might help someone going through something similar.
However this hasn’t necessarily been reflected in my writing. All of my posts up until now have been gaming focused. I’ll likely fit gaming into most of my posts, but for now it’s time for a change in pace.
Basically, mindfulness is about keeping yourself in the present moment. It’s all about focusing on what is directly in front of you, instead of focusing on the regrets of the past or the worries about the future too much as people, including me, do.
When mindfulness was introduced to me last year, I was in a pretty dark place. The intense stress and mountain of a workload that is medical school was really getting to me. I was having anxiety, breathing problems, lacking motivation to study, I was a wreck, I needed a change and I needed it fast.
Seemingly out of nowhere, we had a lecture on this. Mindfulness. I had never hear of it before, and it sounded like something worth a try.
Simply put, it is a form of meditation. Not the type where you sit cross-legged on the ground saying “Ouuuuummmm”.Though it is similar. There are many guided meditations which involve sitting in a chair, and involve mainly focusing on your breathing, and/or bringing your attention to how individual parts of your body are feeling. The effect of this is designed to bring your mind and body together as one, in the present moment.
This in turn, is an extremely powerful and surreal sensation. Even a 5 minute meditation is an amazing way to clear the mind, flushing out all the things I’m stressing out about in the future, as well as all the distractions from things that happened in the past. I like to think of it as taking the pill from Limitless, minus the pill of course. Right after meditating, I feel like I can do anything. Moving into my study I am fully focused and able to work more efficiently than ever before. It also helps my social interactions, being able to listen more deeply, and respond less reactively and with more thought, calmness, and confidence, making for more fulfilling conversations.
So you can imagine that for a struggling medical student, this was a godsend.
Now at this point I’m sure you might be skeptical, I know I was. Up until that point, I hadn’t exactly heard many great things about meditation. Also it may just not be your thing, while it has had a profound impact on my life, I know many people who have seen no benefit from trying mindfulness, and that’s all good. But I highly encourage giving it a go before you judge.
In the months I have been practicing it, I have been happier and more optimistic, I have been more enthusiastic and focused on my studies, which has been reflected in my grades, and my relationships with the people close to me have never been stronger. My emotional and physical wellbeing has never been better, I enjoy play games more, and I am overall more satisfied with my life.
After about 2 months of meditation, I also began to practice mindfulness even while doing other things in my day. Taking a few seconds to just focus on my breathing while walking, on the bus, doing stuff around the house, or even when something happens and I start to get angry or upset, has a profound impact on my state of mind.
Now aside from being happier and stressing out about things less, you might be wondering whether there are actually any health benefits to mindfulness. To this I say there are many.
Mindfulness has been showed to prevent and treat anxiety and depression, something I can say from experience. It also reduces stress, as mentioned earlier, but this has numerous implications on your health such as improved immune function and reduced risk of cancer and heart attack. It also reduces irritability, improves memory, and improves satisfaction with who you are, which is just awesome. Self-confidence can be hard to come by, and certainly all of this has helped me be more comfortable in my own skin.
It turns out there are numerous books written about mindfulness as well, some of which I have been working through, which have improved my appreciation for mindfulness, and which expand my understanding of it, and challenge me to think about it in deeper and more interesting ways. The two that I have read are called True Love, and The Miracle of Mindfulness, and if the effect of mindfulness on my life was ice cream, reading these books were basically the chocolate sauce and sprinkles on top.
So mindfulness improves your physical and mental health, makes you happier, and makes the people around you more happy as well. What is there not to love? If you are interested and it sounds like something you could get into, again, I highly encourage you to look into it and give it a go.
That’s all from me for now, but I would love to know, what do you think about mindfulness? And what do you think of me writing more posts like this where I share my ways of dealing with life and everything in it? Let me know in the comments below and if you enjoyed the post, be sure to give it a like. Until next time, stay beautiful 🙂