Seeking Mindfulness

For the past year or so, my father has been on my case about my stress levels. He finds it absurd that anyone my age can contain this much tension in their mind, and perhaps heart.

Stress, as everyone knows, is not ideal. It winds you up in ways you didn’t think you could be wound up. It’s also started to affect my skin as I wake up every morning with a new marvel of a pimple. I’m stressed, I get spots. Then I stress about the fact that I have more spots. It’s exhausting. The narcissist in me cares far more about my external appearance than my internal lucidity, and stress is, unfortunately, an acne trigger. So now it comes down to tackling it, which brings me to meditation.

The truth is, I don’t mind the idea of meditation. I like what it promises. Those who do it regularly speak of a sense of liberation that seems almost illicit. As much as I want to do it, I don’t. I procrastinate, and I think of all the more productive things I could be doing with my time, such as getting to the core of my infinite problems, i.e. overthinking until my bones hurt.

Yet, I started meditating three days ago, purely for self-absorbed reasons. But now, I’ve grown to appreciate it much more than I thought I would.

I downloaded Headspace, which was recommended to me by a friend who works there. Shrewd marketing.

Headspace is a meditation app where you can find multiple courses that cater to whatever it is that you’re after when it comes to mindfulness. Their aim, according to their website, is to help you live a “happier, healthier life with just a few minutes of meditation a day”. Most guided meditations are a mere ten minutes. Easy enough.

For the past three days, I’ve tried to be consistent, and I meditate around 10pm every night before sleeping. While I’ve not exactly reached peak Mother Teresa status (yet), it does help me feel relaxed and more at ease with my feelings. Headspace is big on teaching you that it’s not so much about overcoming or subsiding any natural emotion, but instead, it’s about changing your perspective and attaining peace with whatever mental state. In effect, it trains you to let go and chill out.

As for my skin? It’s only been three days, so I haven’t noticed too much of a difference. That said, I do find I care less about my facial foothills. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling grounded. Or maybe it’s because I’m seeing a dermatologist next week.