Have you ever noticed children playing? They can be often seen engaged in what they do, as if in a world of their own. They are being mindful.
Gadgets which have been invented to make our lives easier are also making us focus less and less. We haunt the thoughts of new notifications and are forced to check our phones constantly, making sure not to miss out on anything.
It also makes us forget to enjoy what is happening at the moment. We often spend our days worrying about what to do next in life and the next big thing you want to achieve. Little things happening in our day to day lives are not enough to cheer us. The crucial thing is to notice the small things and appreciate them.
What is the meaning of mindfulness?
Mindfulness is about being aware of the moment. You bring all your attention towards what you are doing at the moment, without letting your mind wander. If it wanders, you are still aware enough to pull it back to focus gently. However, as a beginner, you may find it harder than it seems. Your attention drifts and you realize it only after a while.
Mindfulness has many benefits for our overall wellness.
Mindfulness helps increase focus and enhance concentration as one makes an actual effort to bring attention to the present moment. It even bears the power to change our brain.
REDUCES STRESS AND ANXIETY
While practicing mindfulness, you live in the moment, being aware of your thoughts. Thus, if any stressful thoughts come up, you should try acknowledging them by telling yourself that it’s Okay. This way, you can respond to your thoughts instead of being controlled by it. Choose to take a step back and acknowledge your thoughts by being able to respond rather than reacting.
IMPROVING PHYSICAL HEALTH
It has been proven in research that our brain can influence the body’s inflammatory responses. Our brain and immune system are interconnected. Mindfulness meditation establishes a pathway to train our brains to control stress reaction and prevent several stress-related diseases.
It also improves the quality of sleep, memory retention, heart health, etc.
Mindfulness is not what people think as emptying one’s mind. It’s about listening to your sensations without getting too emotional or judging them.
MINDFULNESS IN THE MOMENT
One can start practicing mindfulness right away. There are no rules to it. For instance, one can be mindful while reading a book. You have to stop and notice the movement of their eyeballs. Slow down and notice each letter is visible, notice the shape of each letter. Notice how your finger touches the pages. Feel every sensation on the tip of your fingers. Notice the color, read each word and listen to your mind pronouncing each word. Things will slow down, feel the calm.
This gives a feeling of relaxation and calm. This is how mindfulness works. Your mood gets lightened and makes you happy. It is an escape from the chaos of your inner self.
Sometimes, you may find yourself in a dicey situation
Mindfulness meditation is a popular way of practicing mindfulness.
In this, you pay attention to your breath. The process of taking a breath and releasing it.
Steps to do it
- Choose a quiet place to sit in an erect position or simply in a chair.
- Now, take some time to relax. Let your mind settle and be ready by taking a few deep breaths.
- Set a timer on 2-5 minutes.
- Now start focusing on your breathing. Notice every inhale and exhale, the breath going up and down your lungs.
- Don’t let your mind wander, gently bring it back to focus without feeling despair.
Gradually increase the duration over the days, as per your capability. Imagine if you have had a small accident and that your damaged car is not looking too good. Instead of worrying about the damaged car, you ought to thank God for keeping you alive. The damaged car can be taken care of by experts: it can be remodeled, or it can be sold.
Many of us love to eat while watching television or Netflix. That’s when we eat mindlessly, forgetting how much we actually need to eat or not even relish the taste of the food. Mindful eating means enjoying all the aspects of the food you are eating from the taste, flavor to texture and being aware of how you feel while eating.
How to achieve it?
- Eat only when you are hungry and not depending on visual cues.
- Keep distractions like TV, computer, smartphones or books away.
- Chew the food slowly and properly before swallowing.
- Appreciate its taste and be grateful for having food on the table.
- Stop eating when you are full
It will take some time for our brains to send the message of satiety and you can be aware of how much you eat.
For this reason, mindful eating can help in losing weight by also getting to control the quantity. Try to do these exercises at least once a day. By following the above-given steps and suggestions, one can ensure healthy and wholesome sustenance while enjoying their facilities to the fullest.