By Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

There is something magical about summer time. Cheerful bird sounds, bunnies hopping, and bees buzzing announce its arrival. The later sunsets give us the feeling of having more hours in a day. The warm air on our skin can be comforting and we seem to be more happy and hopeful about what lies ahead. This is a time our senses are awakened and although little may have changed since last summer, everything feels new. We seem to have a “brighter hope for our tomorrows.” Hope is defined as “an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes.” The Bible tells us that hope is a product of endurance and suffering and it does not disappoint us (Romans 5:5). How can we experience this hope? How can we be more assured today than yesterday? How can we look ahead with great expectation? How can we really rejoice at the beginning of each day? One way is by practicing mindfulness.

Mindfulness is “focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.” Reflecting, discovering patterns and things that bring us comfort are practical ways to apply mindfulness to our daily lives.
Reflection. Reflecting and processing helps us to manage our feelings and helps us to think with a sound mind. . Avoidance only allows emotions to build and sometimes explode. Reflecting helps us to better understand what we are feeling in the moment.

Discover Patterns. Negative emotions seem to sneak up on us. We are never ready for them but we can prepare ourselves by recognizing patterns. What is going on at that moment? What are we thinking about? Where are we at that moment? Who are we with or wish to be with in that moment? Patterns help to connect thé feelings to behaviors. Negative emotions will not cease to exist but understanding their triggers will help them to be less impactful.

Awaken Your Senses. It is important to discover or rediscover the things that bring us pleasure. Is it taking a walk, reading, listening to music, having tea with a friend?

One way we are mindful is being intentional about daily self gratification.
Life is busy. We are faced with new challenges each day. It can be difficult to implement mindfulness in the midst of daily demands. Having someone with whom you are comfortable being transparent and vulnerable to flush out negative emotions and who can help you to be more hopeful can be beneficial. Ready to take the next step.

Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

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