Mindfulness can improve human functioning, cognition, and emotional control. After reading about mindfulness and incorporating daily practices into my life, I have witnessed the benefits of becoming apart of the present moment. For me, focusing on one task has always been difficult. Sitting down to study, for example, is hard because my mind easily wanders. By taking a few moments to be mindful before I have to study or go to work, has been helped me improve attention efficiency and has been a great anxiety reliever. Since then, mindfulness has become apart of my daily routine. Mindfulness has also been shown to reduce reactivity to emotional stimuli. This is why I think mindfulness training programs would be great in schools, where social-emotional learning is lacking. Social-emotional learning leads to success in school and has the power to change one’s attitude towards themselves and others. The image I used is a chart showing skills which are developed through social and emotional learning. I think this would be so beneficial for students who struggle with controlling their emotions and expressing themselves to others. Many students with antisocial or aggressive behavior have a less than perfect home life and could gain a lot from an emotionally balanced school life. I wasn’t surprised to read that anxiety, depression, and daytime dysfunctions were higher in the smartphone group in the study on physical and psychological health linked to technology use. It was hard for me to admit that I too am addicted to my smartphone. I don’t necessarily need it, but still find myself reaching for it when I could be doing something more productive. I begun to put my phone across the room when I go to bed, and found that I get much better sleep without its distraction. I have also began to put my phone away when I out with friends or walk to class. It has helped me be more mindful and fully immerse myself into the present moment. The lectures and readings on meaningful relationships was helpful when evaluating my own relationships. I found myself questioning, “Does this relationship contribute to my own personal growth? Does it promote or hinder thriving? Does this relationship nurture a desire to create or seize life opportunities?” After asking myself those questions, it was easy for me to distinguish which relationships were toxic. I am really glad to have close, supportive relationships that keep me in a motivational state. When thinking about my life, I can identify that my state of well-being was much better, both psychologically and physically when I had trusted relationships. Learning more about substance use disorders was personally interesting, because I have people in my life who struggle with substance use. The combination of predisposing factors, adolescent development, and maintenance all contribute to the developmental process of addiction. Although I am not an impulsive person and do not have addiction issues, I want to learn more about becoming a recovery ally for those who are suffering.
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