Having depression, anxiety or any other form of mental illness can be difficult, often putting those struggling into a dark state of mind, difficult to escape from. Sometimes, in schools, mental health and basic tools on how to go through the lessons of life are left unexplored. Academic subjects are taught back to back, but rarely are students taught how to deal with the hardships of life, how to take care of our mental health and how not to feel the absolute worst in times of stress.
Students in secondary school struggle with balancing school, work, and relationships, often not making much time for themselves. Taking time dedicated to ourselves, in today’s culture, is often seen as a waste of time, that could be used towards homework and other activities. With the rise of mental health awareness and the discovery of mindfulness as a way to strengthen mental health issues, we must take some time out of our days to practice a routine for ourselves.
Taking some time out of the day to simply count breathes in meditation is one way to calm an anxiety or panic attack. Starting with short 5-minute meditations in the morning or before bed, measured breathing has been proven to “alter” parts of the brain, as found from a study Harvard research. Meditation may be a difficult process to begin, but over time, it becomes easier. Guided meditations are a good start and can be found on YouTube, some with specialized themes like “sleep meditations” and “confidence boosters.”
Here is a link to a guided meditation.
An affirmation is a declaration of something that is true. To speak as though you have everything you long for, can make it seem more believable in convincing one to believe the affirmations they speak aloud. Examples may be, “I am strong,” even when you don’t feel it, or “I am rich,” when you are hoping to attract wealth into your life. Affirmations have also been scientifically proven to boost moods and strengthen self-esteem. If you are capable to tell yourself positive thoughts regularly, this can, in turn, lead to positivity.
Apps like Eternal Sunshine notify your phone a couple of times daily with positive quotes and affirmations.
Similar to meditation, breathing is practiced in yoga. However, yoga is also physically a good exercise, as it is mentally. Local places, such as Kushala Yoga, offer over 70 different yoga classes, some focusing more on meditation centric themes while some are focused on stretching. One of the classes, Sacred Sound, utilizes the use of crystal bowls to calm the mind and to bring those who attend the classes to a state of emotional well-being.
To practice acts of mindfulness in high school may prepare us to build varying acts as part of our routine as we age. Many of those who have put the effort into achieving self-actualization, can notice a huge change in their lives. High school is a difficult part of our lives, but in taking care of ourselves and strengthening our self-esteem, the experience may improve.
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