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(This article is written by Sonal Rajput who is a Mindfulness practitioner and a practising counselling Psychologist and wellness coach for 3+ years with specialisation in dealing with marital and family issues, depression among others. )
In this fast-paced world where we are all in a hurry to accomplish something in life, we multitask at every step of the day. Talking on the phone while cooking, working on a laptop while attending a meeting, chopping vegetables while teaching children, listening to music while doing housework—always multitasking!
Multitasking helps get the tasks completed on time or quicker, but we are becoming unaware of what is happening around us. We are getting overloaded with information that our minds are unable to process. And thus, sometimes thoughts overlap. For example, you might forget if you put salt in food or what your child has asked a question about. Maybe you are talking in a meeting and feel blank at times, unable to recall what is being discussed. unable to comprehend the tone, mood, or gesture of the current actions. Repeated occurrences of overlapping tasks make you irritated, sometimes depressed, and anxious about yourself.
There are some signs that you might want to give mindfulness a try if:
- You are struggling with feelings of anxiety or depression.
- You feel distracted or find it hard to concentrate.
- You feel stressed.
- You have a hard time practising self-compassion.
- You struggle with overeating or excessive snacking.
- You tend to focus on negative emotions.
- Your relationships with others are not as close or as strong as you would like.
What exactly is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a mental state of consciousness. In easy words, as the name suggests, “mindfulness” means that the mind is fully and completely concentrated on what it is doing at the moment and not paying attention to what’s going on around us.
Mindfulness is not a theoretical concept of understanding how the mind works; rather, it’s a way of life that significantly improves our ability to respond, understand, and reciprocate to the changes around us, resulting in enhanced human experience and quality of life.
Mindfulness is a natural process; however, several things are going on in our lives, surrounding us and our beloveds, and it’s difficult to not get distracted by the noise around us. It is a process that can be learned and practised, slowly and steadily evolving from the chaotic noise in your head to eternal peace.
Not thinking about what has happened in the past and not worrying about what will happen in the future Just be fully conscious of the moment and your surroundings. “Living in the moment,” as they say.
“Practice makes men perfect.” The saying fits perfectly for mindfulness. We can achieve mindfulness by practising it regularly and cultivating awareness of our thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations.
When practised, mindfulness has several benefits for not just our mind but our body as well.
- Improved well-being,
- Reduced anxiety,
- Helps with depression,
- Better memory
- Improved cognitive abilities,
- Reduced stress,
- Enhanced sleep,
- Relaxed body,
- Enhanced attention span, and many more
Mindfulness is a step-by-step process that can be learned and practised in our daily lives. It is a process of gently and consciously focusing our energy on the present moment, with the elimination and rejection of other random thoughts.
The mind is full of thoughts and has the habit of wandering here and there. Analyzing past events It can rethink what has already happened and cannot be altered. Furthermore, planning for future scenarios can generate and analyse situations on its own.
Mindfulness is the ability to control your random thoughts and channel your roots to be present in the present Mindfulness is not a theoretical concept of understanding how the mind works; rather, it’s a way of life that significantly improves our ability to respond, understand, and reciprocate to the changes around us, resulting in enhanced human experience and quality of life moment.
Here are few ways to attain mindfulness
- Conscious breathing,
- Body-Scan Meditation
- Meditative-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
These are some of the tools that will help you practise mindfulness.
It can be practised at any time of the day, while cooking, walking, at the office, or at home.
This awareness can be developed by:
Reducing random thoughts
Being aware of our surroundings.
The easiest method to start learning mindfulness is conscious breathing.
It is a gentle inhalation and exhalation while paying close attention to our breaths.
“Let’s try it together,
Close your eyes to avoid any distractions.
Sit upright comfortably, support your back if required,
Your hands are relaxed on your thighs, and your palms are facing upward.
head turned forward
There is no tension in your body; relax your shoulders.
Take a deep inhalation and feel your breath going into your body through your nostrils. Hold your breath for 2 seconds. deep and slow exhalation. Feel the warmth of the outgoing breath.
The mind is wandering; thoughts are coming. Don’t be distracted by thoughts; instead, reject them consciously and refocus your attention on the breaths.
Repeat the process of breathing in and out. Don’t be judgmental about your performance. Relax and continue the deep breathing. Be attentive and aware of your breaths. “Continue to reject thoughts.”
Perform the conscious breathing exercise for a set amount of time daily. Include this simple exercise in your daily routine to see the difference.
Mindfulness practise is most effective when you are gentle and nonjudgmental with yourself. The acceptance of your thoughts in your awareness at that very moment Be kind and forgiving to yourself. Don’t be harsh and judgmental about your mindful performance.
Before beginning the practise of mindfulness, a gentle reminder is required.
Keep trying. If you are unable to meditate at the start, do not worry and simply keep trying.
Gently redirect—the extraneous thoughts and emotions should be gently rejected, and awareness should be redirected towards your sensations at that moment.
Being mindful at work
The daily hectic schedule, the pending household chores, the traffic jams, the banter on the streets, the requests of kids, the demands of elders There is so much that revolves around our minds all day.
Even when we reach our workplace, our mind is busy making plans for the end of the day. This will undoubtedly have a negative impact on your performance and work abilities.
The moment you arrive at the workplace, your attention and awareness should be fully focused on the tasks that you have to perform in the office.
Concentration is on the tasks at hand, rejecting internal and external distractions, which will help you give your best shot in the office, reducing mistakes and enhancing performance.
There are a few ways to practise mindfulness in the workplace:
- Mindful entry at work
When you enter the workplace, leave the stress and tension of the previous day behind the door and enter the office with fresh energy. You can practise by consciously smiling while entering the office. Greet your colleagues. It is much better if you can greet them by name. These are some of the tools needed to enter the workplace. Practice these techniques and see the positivity around you.
2. Mindful breathing
Take your time to settle in at your workplace, and before starting any work, take deep inhalations and exhalations for at least 5 minutes. This will help you release the stress of reaching the office. Rejecting any extraneous thoughts that might pop up in the head.
Deep breathing with your eyes open or closed will help you imbibe the atmosphere you are in and get ready for work.
3. Mindful Listening
To practise mindful listening, look at the person with whom you are talking to avoid any distractions. Rephrase what you understood and confirm that your understanding is correct. This way, you will be working on cognition while also clarifying what you understand.
While speaking, avoid checking laptops and mobile devices.
4. Mindful breaks
Whenever you are taking breaks from work, for example, a tea or coffee break or a lunch break, take out time to spend 4-5 minutes with yourself and cleanse your thoughts. Release stress and enjoy a sip of tea, coffee, or water. Feel the sensations going down your throat. Drop the previous thoughts and simply appreciate yourself for your work.
5. Mindful log-off
Before finally logging off from work, take some time to appreciate your dedication at the workplace. Declutter and reorganise your workplace. Organize your thoughts and shut them down for the next day at the office. Do not take the afterthoughts of the office home. Take long breaths. Feel the calmness in your breaths and log off mindfully.
Being mindful at home
A home is a private space for you to be your true self without any expectations or performance pressure. But there is a lot of pressure to live up to what family members want and to finish the never-ending tasks without getting credit.
Mindfulness exercises are beneficial not only at work but also at home.This will help you release the anxiety and pressure from your day-to-day life.
Try the below tools to practise mindfulness:
Start your day with deep breaths, a smile, and the intention of having a wonderful day.
Take a nature walk. Walking slowly and deliberately will energise and revitalise you.Coordinate your breaths with the steps.
Mindful meditation: you can meditate by reducing your thoughts and concentrating on yourself. You can also do guided meditation to practise mindfulness.
Mobile apps like:
- Stop, breathe, and think.
- smiling mind
- A deck of mindfulness practises for all ages
- Get some headspace.
- The little book of mindfulness
This article is written by Sonal Rajput who is a Mindfulness practitioner and a practising counselling Psychologist and wellness coach for 3+ years with specialisation in dealing with marital and family issues, depression among others.