Mindfulness for My Mental Health
The biggest thing I took away from my therapy was how mindfulness can help me. It isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely for me.
“Mindfulness” means something different to everyone. For me, I’m being mindful and aware when I don’t have dozens of thoughts swirling through my head. I’m mindful when thoughts come and go easily. I’m mindful when I’m not replaying memories without control. I’m mindful when I’m not instantly forgetting information after repeatedly taking it in.
Ways I practise mindfulness:
Through planning and being aware of my days, weeks, and the future, I get a better grasp on myself. I find I dissociate a lot less when I’ve got a solid plan—or even a loose one—than when I’m just flying through life spontaneously. I don’t do a lot of journalling in the traditional sense (anymore), like a diary. But the bullet journal is still one heck of a journal.
Doing a few spreads and asking the cards a certain question (“What can I expect from my day?” for instance) or doing a quick check-in for my body, mind, and spirit lets me hone in on myself. I can see what’s bothering me or what I want in the subconscious while also attaching those feelings to something more tangible. The symbols, metaphors, and long-standing history of tarot give me a place to translate my emotions. I don’t aim to read the future or anything like that—but tarot is a great way to reconnect spiritually with myself.
One of my favourite websites for guided meditations is Fragrant Heart. I will also occasionally do a self-guided meditation, either in silence, or using atmospheric sounds like rain and wind. Meditation helps the most. The best analogy for meditation is that I’m sitting in a car in the passenger seat and watching my thoughts like trees along the side of the road. I can acknowledge the trees without focusing on them or distracting myself from them. The core to meditation is not to let your mind go blank: it’s to acknowledge your thoughts and let them pass by.
Psychosomatic treatment was a focus of my therapist’s, and yoga was something I started doing before I went to therapy. Yoga combines the meditation with awareness about my body. Yoga isn’t a workout for me. It’s how I connect my emotional, bodily, and spiritual parts.
All of these ways let me meditate on myself and, in turn, let me be more in-tune with myself. I have less brain fog and feel more present. I’ve lived most of my life being dissociated and disconnected. Finding ways that make me feel real and whole are valuable and irreplaceable.