The student news site of Emmaus High School



The student news site of Emmaus High School



    Half Orange: the importance of mindfulness

    Photo courtesy of Lopez.

    This previously ran in our April 2023 print issue.

    It’s very easy to forget the privilege we have living in a developed nation, and even though this country is far from perfect, we have a lot of things that many others don’t. This is something we’re expected to know, and reading it now probably makes you roll your eyes because you’ve heard it all your life.

    No society was, is, or ever will be perfect, but it’s the improvement that counts. This princi- ple applies to people, too. It’s no surprise that people have their off days, and every day isn’t going to be amazing, but for some reason, our society seems to emphasize how important it is to be perfect and happy every day of your life. I can guarantee that’s just not how it works, often things come up that are out of our control, and it sucks.

    When you’re stuck in those days, where it seems like the stress and everything else wrong is just going to tear you apart, it’s hard to remember if there’s anything happy in your life at all. It’s difficult to see past your own struggle. This feeling of hopelessness is something that everyone goes through. We don’t talk about it because it’s hard – really hard – to admit we’re not as put-together as we pretend to be. Every- body has hit their own kind of rock bottom at some point, and when it happens, it hurts. It really does.

    The path to mindfulness is a rough and twisted road; you’re not going to spend every day at the top of your game. I’ve come to learn that it’s okay to have these feelings from time- to-time. My focus has shifted from trying to suppress those bad emotions to trying to work through them. Simply telling myself not to cry is unhealthy and unrealistic. There’s nothing wrong with crying. It’s just a way to process new information and release stress. I can’t just bottle up every bad feeling until I explode.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve unlocked the best tools to calm myself down during these moments when it feels like the world is slipping from under me. Please note that these might not work for every- one – we’re all different people with different needs that vary depending on our situation.

    In a situation where I find myself losing control, I force myself to take a breath. That’s number one. Even though it sounds stupid, it works. Take a few deep breaths and block out everything else. Sometimes it’s good to just cen- ter yourself, and this really helps me when I’m overwhelmed. If outside stimuli is extreme, I’ll take myself out of the picture and find a calmer place to unwind and refocus.

    Then, once my mind settles, the next thing I try to do is acknowledge and validate how I’m feeling. I tell myself these feelings are not silly or wrong, that this is just a normal experience and it’s okay to feel this way. That’s the most important part, validating your feelings and not trying to brush off the pain. Acknowledging that it’s okay to feel the hurt is the most important part of pulling yourself out of a bad moment and healing overall. People say healing is a journey and think that it’s a constant path up, but that’s just not true.

    You’re going to have some ups and downs, and the world will chew you up and spit you out at every chance, but you have to give yourself
    a break. You have to love yourself enough to know that not every day is worth a gold star.

    Once you breathe, give yourself a break, and allow yourself to accept these feelings. I try to think about all of the things that I have and all of the good things that happened in the day.

    It could be simple things, like, “I had a good breakfast this morning” or, “I have hot water.” Sayings like this really help me to be grateful for the life I have and look at my situation in a different light.

    It will take some time to use these tools and calm yourself down, and even then it might not help some of you. That’s okay. We all have dif- ferent needs, but reassurance and validation will always do some good. These past few weeks have been intensely stressful and sometimes even overwhelming for me. I find myself in really tough situations where all I can do is tell myself that it’s going to be okay, and that it will be different tomorrow.

    And surely, it will be.

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    About the Contributor
    Bek Lopez
    Bek Lopez, Managing Editor
    Bek has been a part of The Stinger for three years. She is a part of the Astronomy Club, Theater Department, Debate Team, Hornet Ambassadors, and Collage. She enjoys writing, literature, and traveling.

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