Growing up, my parents always stressed the importance of being mindful of your surroundings and others. To me, being mindful means being aware, taking note of what is going on within ourselves and outside in the world, without shying away from information or feelings that we do not like or do not wish to be true. For example, I am aware of and don’t shy away from the fact that I sometimes procrastinate, even though it is not the best trait it is good that I am aware so I can work harder to do my work on time. Research indicates that mindfulness has positive effects on both well-being and empathy, and it can promote awareness of an individual’s “true” values. Mindfulness seems to increase compassion and empathy, which, in turn, might improve social relations. Mindfulness might improve well-being by contributing to a greater sense of clarity with regard to one’s values, and to choosing behaviors that are consistent with these values. If someone is mindful, then they can be mindful about the environment and sustainability. Personal well-being can be a harmonious relationship between the inside and outside world.
Marc Cohen’s ted talk discussed the similarities between health and wellness and being mindful. For example, when I am more mindful of what is going on in my life, I feel better and more healthy. One crazy fact he mentions is that more people are dying today from overconsumption than underconsumption. This is shocking considering how the media portrays the world. Also, overconsumption is an easy fix if you just stay mindful. This ted talk makes me believe that being mindful of yourself can affect your actions which can impact the globe when Cohen states that by changing yourself, you can change the world. A way this is possible is by being mindful of how much trash you produce and trying to lessen that amount and recycle more often. Another thing that touched on mindfulness was the “Mindfulness and Sustainability” reading. Basically this article explains what being mindful means and how it can help you become sustainable by bringing to light the importance your actions have on the environment. It also touches on how meditation can help someone to become more mindful which I will touch on later.
In activity two, I chose to touch on fast fashion and how it is affecting our environment. Fast fashion is the process of inexpensive clothing being produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. With the significant development of the fashion industry, access to apparel is now easier than it has ever been, resulting in a modern culture of fast-manufacturing, fast-buying, and fast-disposal. Fast fashion disposes more waste, uses up more natural resources, and provides poor working conditions for its workers all to satisfy consumers. It also fits the six characteristics of a wicked problem: vague problem definitions, variable solutions, solutions have no endpoint, solutions pose irreversible effects, solutions require unique approaches, and urgent. People don’t want fast fashion to change because it’s cheap for the consumer. There is no endpoint to this problem.
Lastly, this week in class we practiced meditation. The breathing exercises really opened my eyes to how meditation can help one to change their mood and be more mindful. After this exercise, I noticed how my heart rate dropped and I felt more relaxed and in the moment. Even meditating for as little as a minute a day can help one achieve a clear mind. That being said, meditation is a great way for people to reach peace of mind. In conclusion, after this week I have learned that being mindful is good for yourself and good for others around you, therefore I am going to try my best to become as mindful as possible and I will start this journey by attempting to meditate at least once a day.