I look around and I see discontented, distracted and disturbed people all around. Even when I look into myself, I find instability and tensions; overwhelming thoughts of so much work that I need to accomplish during the day, the week, the year or may be my entire lifetime ahead. I hear people talk about only two things – regrets of the past and anticipations for the future. But isn’t there something that we are all losing in our constantly multi-tasking and “running after everything” attitude towards life? Yes, we are!
We are losing the “Present Moment”.
Mindfulness is the practice of conscious living in the present moment. It is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment without any judgements. It helps you to shift away your thoughts from the usual preoccupations towards an appreciation of the present moment and a larger perspective on life.
Practising mindfulness not only improves our mental health but also our physical health and hence, our overall wellbeing. Here are 6 ways to start cultivating mindfulness practice into our daily lives –
- Meditate – Take time to meditate. Meditation does not mean sitting under a tree like a monk waiting for enlightenment to strike you. Meditation is all about being quiet and focussing on your natural breathing. Yes, your thoughts may get distracted very easily. However, you must let go of all those thoughts without any judgement and bring yourself back to your focus. Breathe 🙂
- Observe – With all your love and gentleness, take time to observe all your bodily sensations, toe to head. Whether it is a slight itch or tingling, observe it and let it go without any judgement.
- Use your sensory organs – Notice what you see, hear, smell, touch or taste. Notice them without any judgements. I have personally experienced serenity using this technique. Each time my mind wanders, I focus on the sounds I can hear all around and try to distinguish them without any judgement (whether it is the chirping of birds, water trickling down or the sound of the air around).
- Accept your emotions – This is an important skill to be learnt – the art of accepting your emotions each moment and letting go of them without any judgement. Each time an emotion comes to you, notice it, name it (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Frustration, Nervousness or Regret), accept it and then let it go 🙂
- Cope with your urges – We all have our individual urges, cravings, obsessions and destructive behavioural patterns. Learn to recognise them, notice how your body feels as the craving enters it and then replace it with knowledge and wiser thoughts that will subside them.
- Be gentle and kind – Almost every moment we are judgemental about anything and everything in our lives. Not judging is a big part of mindfulness practice and a key source to happiness and contentment. Being kind, gentle and gracious with ourselves and with everything we experience or everyone around should be the essence of who we are.
Remember, practising these techniques may not seem relaxing in the beginning. But over time, it will not only lead you to a greater sense of physical and emotional wellbeing, but also to a calmer, wiser and a more stable YOU.
After all, we are all made of flesh,blood and bones and we are not going to be here for ever. So, let’s be kind and gentle towards ourselves, towards life and “Be Present” all the time 🙂