The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia


A way to live out the best years of your life
Julia Jensen | Art Director

College is said to be the best four years of your life — although for some, it is more like six or seven years. However, college is also the time when students are filled with feelings of depression and copious amounts of stress and anxiety. 

There are many coping mechanisms that can be helpful in alleviating these feelings, but in my opinion, mindfulness is by far the greatest tool for living a more positive and prosperous life.

Being mindful entails being aware of everything we are doing. We should be very aware and conscious of our thoughts, attitude, actions, body and things we surround ourselves with. 

When it comes to our thoughts, having a more positive outlook on life can be very effective. If we pause and look at what we think about, is it helpful or harmful to our mental health? By noticing and letting go of harmful thoughts, we can free ourselves from the restraint of constant worry and comparison. We can have peace of mind. 

Changing sounds great and easy right? Changing our mindset is by no means something that is easy. It is a process and takes practice, but when we take the time to be mindful of the things we think about, a changed outlook on life ultimately leads us to a changed attitude. 

Becoming mindful of your body looks like being courteous of what we put into our bodies and how we treat them. If we eat junk food and lay on the couch all day binge watching Friends, however tempting, it is not helpful for our physical, let alone mental health. When we are more aware of what we put into our bodies and whether we are getting the right amount of physical activity, we can develop more healthy habits which will in turn give us more energy and overall better health. 

Having a healthy body does not mean that our body has to look a specific way. It means that we are nourishing ourselves properly and giving our body what it needs. It may look like food choices, hydration, physical activity or whatever makes your body feel good and sustainable. With a more nourished and cared for body, we develop a healthier lifestyle and have a much richer life.

Being more aware of our thoughts and body are just the first steps. Once we do this, we can become more mindful of the ways in which we act. Our behavior begins to change because we are more at peace with ourselves, so we are more at peace with the outside world. When we are mindful of our actions and their effect on other people, we strengthen our overall attitude which strengthens our relationships with others. Our actions have a lot to do with who we are and how people view us. If we act more peacefully and are more joyful people, then those kinds of people gravitate towards us and our circle grows. 

When we are mindful of the people around us, we begin to behave differently. The people around us play a big role in who we are. They are a big influence in our lives, and we have a choice of who we dedicate our time to. When we are aware of what and who we surround ourselves with, we can generate a more positive environment. Our circle matters. Becoming a more mindful person looks like filling your circle with people who have a positive impact on you. Stop and ask yourself: do the people and environments you surround yourself in impact your life, actions and attitude in a positive or negative way? 

All these different ways of being mindful are interconnected. When we become mindful of everything we do, everything revolving around us changes. 

According to the American Psychological Association, the benefits of mindfulness include reduced rumination, stress reduction, boost in working memory, better ability to focus, less emotional reactivity, more cognitive flexibility and relationship satisfaction. 

Mindfulness can flip our entire lives around. In all honesty, as college students, we have a lot of problems. Our friendships are messy, romance is complicated and our ability to focus is just non-existent. Instead of rushing life from one thing to the next, we should be mindful of how we are using our time in college. Are we really taking advantage of this freedom before we head into the real world? If we switch our mindset and pour our time into things that are worthwhile then it results in stability in our life. A life of stable relationships, mindsets and our all around future. 

According to the National Library of Medicine in an article on the Effects of Mindfulness on Psychological Health, mindfulness has been connected with helping to raise levels of life satisfaction. People who are mindful are often more agreeable, have higher self esteem, are more optimistic and have higher empathy. 

Instead of just making it through college, use this time to create a more mindful mindset. Be wary and intentional of the things you do, so you can really make college the best years of your life because you will never get this time back. 

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