Mental health conditions are common worldwide, the World Health Organization says one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. It is therefore important that we take care of our mental wellbeing as it affects every aspect of our life, from emotional wellbeing to even physical wellbeing. It is important to understand that mental wellness affects your physical body.
Mindfulness and Mental Health
The uses of mindfulness meditation are to prevent a relapse in major depression and for managing mental health conditions like stress, anxiety, sleeping disorders and even eating disorders.
Mindfulness meditation is a practice that teaches us to experience the current moment and how to integrate that awareness into our everyday life. Through mindfulness meditation we are aware of our thoughts, we learn to capture racing thoughts and analyze them thoroughly, let go of negativity and calm our mind and body.
“There is no doubt, that there is a stigma attached to both these two. Mental health and mindfulness. People with mental health are often deemed as weak while mindfulness is shunned upon because let’s be honest confronting our thoughts and emotions can sometimes be scary… but it shouldn’t. We can either be a prisoner to our thoughts or we can hold them captive and control them.”
Mindfulness and meditation are normally not associated with kids or teenagers but if we think about it stressful times come at us from the day we are born; infants get hungry, toddlers want expensive toys, teenagers get bullied. These are only a few examples but the point is from the moment we are born, life can get more stressful.
“Mindfulness is a learned practice. We get better at it in time.”
My belief is that if children and the youth learn this practice from as early as possible, the next generation will see a major drop in the rate of mental health conditions, which will actually lead to a drop in a lot of social issues affecting both children and adults today.
Here is a video below on the importance of teaching children Mindfulness.
Here’s a common technique to help us be present and stop racing thoughts and be more calm in our day to day lives, it’s ironically called the STOP technique.
S – Stop everything that you are doing, pause for a minute
T – Take a few deep breaths, focus on breathing, follow your breath coming in and out of your nose
O – Observe your posture, mentally, emotionally and physically without judgment, this meaning just as it is, accept them. Then reflect on what is on your mind, notice your emotions for what they are and their effect on your body, also notice that thoughts are not facts and not permanent
P – Proceed with something that will cement this moment, ie, talk to someone who calms you or someone you love a friend or family, shake it off, rub your shoulders, rotate and relax them.
There is a lot of opportunities in the day to STOP, and you will definitely get better at it in time just give it a try and let’s be a more mindful, mentally aware and well generation QRATERs.
Blessing Nemakanga aka Bleh is Qrate’s Public Relations intern doing her final year towards a Public Relations degree. She prides herself in Bringing Love Everywhere However (BLEH) today it’s through raising mindfulness-awareness.