Finding Your Passion
We work with LOTS of young adults (and older adults!) who struggle with finding their passion. They often present to therapy frustrated, unmotivated, bored, sad, fatigued, and having absolutely no clue what they want to do in their life. Often times there is societal and familial pressure to figure out exactly what you are doing for the rest of your life as soon as you finish high school or college. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as you may think. While many people are lucky enough to know exactly what they want to do, the reality is that most of us don't really have a damn clue. It takes experiences, research, and trial and error.
HERE ARE 5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN TRYING TO FIND YOUR PASSION:
1. There might be numerous things that excite you and that is OK.
I am still finding things everyday that excite me. Both yoga and mental health are important to me and I am constantly brainstorming ways to share them both with the world. Sometimes things that once excited you don't anymore, and that is FINE. Let go of what you think you should enjoy and tap into what sets your soul on fire.
2. You have time to explore.
You are exactly where you need to be. It takes time to develop a passion for something. Invest your time in things that bring you joy. If something doesn't bring you joy anymore, start to consider how you can move on and grow from what you've learned.
3. What motivates you to get up in the morning (I am talking like 6 am, so tired but so motivated).
I know I am EXTREAMLY passionate about teaching yoga because I wake up excited to teach a 6 am class and I am in no way a morning person. What would make you excited...even if it means waking up early or staying up late for it. When you are energized by the thought of doing something, that is your passion.
4. What do you value?
What is important to you in this life. What do you want to do/see/experience/accomplish/obtain? Values are our deepest desires on how we want to behave as human beings. One of my values is connection, each and everyday I have the honor of connected with both students and clients.
5. Start DOING
Get out of your thinking mind and into your direct experience. Start trying new things. Read books on your potential interests. Talk to people about their passions. Go on adventures and learn. Nothing will get accomplished if you stay in your head. Remember that ACTION breeds RESULTS.
You have everything you need within you to make a beautiful life. Check out @ohmymindful on instagram for daily inspiration.
5 WAYS TO BECOME MORE PRESENT
Here are 5 ways to be more present:
1. Take 10 full deep breaths at the start of your day. Right when you wake up in the morning, before getting out of bed, take 10 full rounds of breath before getting up and starting your day.
2. Set an intention during your morning routine. Think about something you want to give POWER to. It can be a word (peace, love, acceptance) or a thought (be here now, look for the good, breathe in). Throughout your day reflect back to your intention and see what you can do it that moment to give it life.
3. Listen. Actively listen to what is going on in your environment (a conversation with someone, the radio, the sound outside, noises in your house, etc) and respond with intention. When we are fully present and engaged in a conversation or activity we tap into the raw beauty of the moment.
4. Keep a gratitude journal. At some point in your day reflect back on three things that you are grateful for. This gives energy to the positivity you have in your life.
5. Find something that makes you laugh. In my work I've found that people are almost always fully present when they are laughing and sharing joy. Even in the darkest of times, finding humor in something even for a small moment has a significant impact on your mood.
M & R
Mindfulness means being fully present at any given moment. If you are being mindful you are aware of your surroundings, thoughts, and feelings. Often times people find themselves living in the past (often leading towards depression) or constantly worrying about the future (often leading towards unwarranted anxiety). The 5 Senses Exercise is a quick and easy skill to get you back to the present moment:
How to do The 5 Senses Exercise:
1. Start by taking a huge breath in and notice 5 different things you can see. Maybe you notice a red couch, a white cup, or a green plant,
2. Now start to notice 5 different things you can touch. Maybe you can feel your sweater against your skin or notice the feeling of your feet firmly on the ground.
3. Now start to notice 5 things you can smell. You might notice the smell of something baking or the fresh rain outside.
4. Now start to notice 5 things you can hear. You could hear other people in conversation or someone tapping their foot on the ground.
5. Finally, notice 5 things you can taste. This one is often times the hardest but get creative. Maybe you can taste your gum or your coffee.
***If your mind begins to wonder during the exercise, as it often does, gently bring it back to one of the senses.
There you have it, a quick and easy mindfulness skill you can practice and use anywhere!
Mariah is a mental health therapist in Salt Lake City specializing in anxiety and depression.