To me, mindfulness is about being in the moment and being very aware of everything going on around you. As a society, I feel like we are very disconnected. People seem to have lost or forgotten their connection to themselves, nature, and the even the universe. This disconnect can cause all kinds of chaos like, wars, destruction of nature, lack of empathy for people, and a general unhappiness for the individual. It’s very easy to go into what I call “robot mode” where you go do your daily routine cause you have to and you don’t take the time to relax and enjoy anything and everything you’re doing. Being mindful will allow you to lower your level of stress and anxiety and it will allow you to enjoy your life. Some people can be sound tightly wond, I just want to shake them and say “stop it!” Relax, appreciate everything, have fun, put happiness first. You have got to enjoy yourself. Life is so so short. Isn’t that part of what life is about? Having fun and experiencing everything that you are possibly able to. It’s so very important to try to be here now, in the present, because life will pass you by very quickly if you aren’t careful.
The mindfulness excerpt touched on some of the things I have already mentioned like happiness, lowering your stress, etc. The interesting thing to me about this article was how it tied mindfulness and sustainability together. The article suggested that if people were more mindful, it would spill over to other aspects of their life. For instance, if someone was more mindful, they would feel happier. Which in turn would make them less likely to feel the void with material goods, which would decrease the problem with overconsumption. The article said that these disciplines create a “transpersonal” state in which your sense of self extends to humankind, which in turn makes you want to do your part to help. Mark Cohen touched on this idea of being well with yourself to then extend to others. He, and I, found it interesting that western medicine focuses so much on the illness and not the wellness. The individual has to do their part to help themselves feel well in order to be happy. My favorite thing he said was that there’s paranoia and pronoia. It’s all about your mindset. You can choose to be negative or you can work on choosing the positive. It definitely takes practice, but in the end it’s all about perspective.
Meditation could help someone learn to be in the present and develop good thinking habits to be more positive. Meditation for me has always been uncomfortable, even though that’s kind of the point so you can learn to overcome that. While meditating, my brain goes into hyperdrive and it increases my anxiety. I know with practice it would get better, but instead I found something that works for me that you may want to try is meditating is too uncomfortable for you too. I prefer to do affirmations, which is saying something out loud or in your head that is positive. For instance if you are feeling very stressed and anxious you may say to yourself “i release all of my anxiety and feel more calm” until you feel better. There are videos of affirmations that you can listen to on YouTube. Just type in affirmations for “____” and fill in the blank with how you are feeling.
The wildest things activity was fun to see how other people were thinking and it helped to come up with new ideas. I thought it was interesting that we all of the similar wishes. I thought that if we are all thinking like this, that most people when asked the same question would want similar things that for the betterment of society. If more people would take action in any way against these problems, I bet we could put a dent in them. I’m thinking about learning more about material waste within the interior design industry and how we, as designers can either design or choose specific materials that are recycled or biodegradable.