How to practice mindfulness


Ever felt stressed, anxious or lost in thoughts? We all do at some point in time! How many times can we remember forgetting the name of the person we meet just after a few seconds the person has told us? What could be the reason for our physical presence and mentally absence in almost every situation? The answer is mindlessness, the concept explained in this article.

Living in a busy world with responsibilities, work, education and what not, it is somehow easy to get along with depression, stress and anxiety. We all want better lives for us and for that it needs a constant effort and dedication. To fulfill our parent's expectations or to complete our given tasks on time, we run in the race of achievements every day keeping our goals in our minds. But, amidst this race, what we need to understand that we are not machines. We need some breaks both my talk and physically.

A very good quote I have read recently which says, "It's good to have an end in our minds but in the end what counts is how we travel." (Orna Ross)

We all desire to be successful when we are studying. But if have a habit of easily caught up by over thinking and depression, then it becomes quite difficult to concentrate on studies. And if we achieve our goals and become independent, then too our habits of getting depressed easily will put us in a bad mental state.

So, what's the point in achieving everything when we don't have inner peace or we don't know how to control our negative emotions. Practicing mindfulness can do wonders for us. It's our human tendency to think about all kinds of thoughts, but which one is beneficial and which one will lead to depression can be chosen by us and avoid getting carried away with them.

Meditation

First and foremost step is meditation. Whether in the early morning or in the evening or both the times of the day, what we need to do is spare us time to meditate. Meditation is a practice to empty our minds from all kinds of thoughts and just focus on breathing. The inhaling and exhaling of the air. Sparing some time in the morning by walking up early rather than running for work to avoid getting late, can do wonders for us.

To put some new thoughts in our head whole day, first, we need to empty our minds from all kinds of thoughts by focusing on our breath. Our brains have many kinds of waves. Out of them, the waves which increase the feeling of relaxation reduces stress and enhanced creativity are the alpha waves. Alpha waves are active in the early morning just after when we wake up. That's why our elders advise us to wake early in the morning and study or meditate or do yoga and pranayama.

Yoga and pranayam

We all are familiar with the benefits of yoga and pranayama. It's not only beneficial for our physical health but our mental health as well. As stated in the above point that doing it in the early morning is a lot more beneficial. Kapalbhatti, Anulom Vilom pranayam etc. reduces stress and increases positive energy to start our day.

In order to practice mindfulness, these two methods can be a good start to calm our mind and make ourselves more relaxed and focused.

Reading and writing

There can't be better a way to be in the moment when practicing mindfulness than reading and writing. But when we have a habit to wander our minds here and there rather be in the moment, then this one could be a challenge for us. That's why combining writing with reading is more beneficial than only reading when we have just started practicing mindfulness. Otherwise, we will just sit idle with a book in our hands.

Reading and writing involve four of our senses i.e., eyes, mouth, ears and hands. There will be fewer chances of wandering our minds if we are involving most of our senses at once and focusing our attention on a task. Especially when we are studying. Rather just reading our topic, if we combine it with writing it will help us focus more on our topic. The thing is to be in the moment and reading plus writing can help us a lot.

Doing things mindfully

How we do our everyday tasks? The answer is on autopilot mode. When we are nervous or we are doing something new then only we are consciously involved in it because we have a fear of failing in it. But when we are doing our everyday tasks, we are not afraid of failing in it as that's our everyday job. Here where the problem arises.

Whether it's brushing our teeth or taking shower or having food or going to school, college or work, if we notice and be in the moment of what we are doing, then this habit can be beneficial to us. To practice mindfulness, we don't need to sit down the whole day but it is a moment to moment practice. All we need to do is focus on every movement done by us rather than doing it subconsciously.

Eating mindfully

When we getting late for our college or work and we have a shortage of time then we have one eye on our watch and another eye on the food. And when we have plenty of time, we like to combine our meals with television or social networking sites or anything that shifts our focus from the food. What we need to do is feel every taste of the food along with its aroma and not on anything else.

Food gives us energy and nutrition for the whole day. We must spare some time to have it rather than being in hurry or not focusing while eating. It's just a small practice but making it a habit can be beneficial gradually.

Avoid judging the thoughts

When we are new to practice mindfulness, it is very easy to get prone to overthinking sometimes. When we have a habit of over thinking, we do not spare any thought from it. When we decide to practice mindfulness and start to focus on our thoughts in order to avoid the negative ones to fill our heads, we end up over thinking those negative emotions. But what we need to do is to shift our focus from the negative emotions and again start the mindfulness practice.

We don't need to be harsh on ourselves when we focus on our thoughts. We have a tendency to start judging ourselves if we have some nonsense thought in our heads or we have done some nonsense thing. This will again put us in the state of over thinking and mindlessness begins. It's ok to have all kinds of thoughts in minds but what we need to do is to choose between them and focus on the better ones.

Hobbies have a great role to play

What could be the reason for us to overthink constantly or filling our minds with negative thoughts? We all know that it's bad and it will affect our mental health but then too we do it as we feel comfortable in this state of mind and don't want to get out of it. We all know that thinking like this is not productive as well as not beneficial at all but then also we have a habit of doing it. The answer could be because in some way we are not happy with ourselves.

We always see someone better than us and we end up surrounding ourselves with negative emotions that lead to stress and most importantly irritation. Here when our hobbies come in to play. Hobbies are something that we love to do, of course! And when we love to do things in which we know are very good, then it gives us confidence plus relieves stress. Reading, writing, painting, music, anything.

Our hobbies create our personalities. Spending time doing something we like is a very good way to practice mindfulness. We should spare some in the day to dedicate it to our hobbies. It can be difficult even to start because after work or after college we don't have enough energy even to sit with our families. But making this "shortage of time" thing our habit will eventually lead us in depression and short tempered person. So, it is better if we make up our mind that "I need to spare some time to spend with myself as it is beneficial to me only in a long run" then it can do wonders for us.

Present mentally in the conversations

It is somewhat a habit of most of us to lose interest in a conversation very often. But to lose interest in the conversation, we first need to engage in it. On the contrary, what we do is we forget even the name of the person we are talking to and followed by the conversation, not to mention! Because we have built this our habit and it's difficult to get rid of it.

This is wasting time and energy of both ours and the person we are talking to. To practice mindfulness, what we need is to be aware of ourselves. Whether it's our emotions or our habits. In order to practice it, we need to constantly remind us that "I have to be present at the moment". This is done when we are completely aware of ourselves. We know that we have a habit of losing interest in conversations. So what we need to do is to remind ourselves to be in the moment.

At first, it will be difficult to follow all these ways but gradually being in the moment thing will be a part of our habits. Practicing mindfulness relieves stress, improves our memories, fills positivity in us, keep us energetic although the day, etc. Along with practicing ourselves if we share our methods with our friends and families, then it will make us feel more positive and our closed ones will be benefited by it at the same time. Practicing of being more aware of ourselves and being in the present moment rather than worrying or feel anxious all the time will increase our chances to be a successful person plus a stable and calm person at the same time.


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