With our phones constantly buzzing with WhatsApp messages, with a secure future to take care of, with personal relationships becoming more delicate as ever and a 9-5 job work blending in with a work email coming on a Sunday, our mind is constantly multi-tasking with zillion things to take care of. Stress, anger, frustration, impatience, anxiety, etc are some of the ways our mind is reciprocating to the way we are leading our life.
Amongst all this chaos, comes the concept of Mindfulness which is becoming an indispensable technique for our minds. It simply means being present in the now. As the word itself suggests refers to the mindfully attending to what is happening in our immediate surroundings; and keeping a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts.
So often we fail to stop and smell the roses. We don’t take the time to enjoy the present moment. When was the last time while you were drinking water- did you fully focus on your mouth touching the glass and feeling the water going down your throat? Or climbing down the stairs to bring all your attention to your legs movement going down one stair after another?
Mindfulness vs Meditation
A lot of people confuse mindfulness with meditation. The latter is a subset of mindfulness making it a technique to achieve mindfulness.
Meditation is an umbrella term that includes lots of practices to quiet the mind and remove overpowering thoughts from our mind which is the essence of mindfulness – it does so by drawing our attention to breathing, the simple process whose importance we forget due to our hectic schedules. Achieving mind peace is really as simple as breathing; it is in fact breathing just while concentrating on it and clearing our mind of all other chaos. Just 10 minutes of mindful meditation can work wonders!
Hacks to practice Mindfulness
1. We all plan our future with hopes and dreams. It’s a good thing. But leaving yourself in the future with those plans is where we go wrong. To achieve all our goals it is of prime importance to be present in the moment because what we do at the present is what will bridge the gap between where we are and where we want to be. The present moment is the only moment you have control over right now and hence we should not try to control anything else– that is what causes stress.
2. Breathe in and out – become aware of your breath – Take breaks between your work to self reflect to discover the things you want to be more aware of, and set reminders on your phone to help you implement them daily!
3. Simple activities like air on skin, handclasp, fist clench, and 10-second stretch can help us focus a lot better by giving a break and few seconds of calm that lets us enjoy the moment without judgement by focussing on the sensation and if thoughts arise simply notice them, and let them go by…
4. Gratitude. Be grateful. We should always count our blessings and be thankful for the good things in life. This not only helps keeps a positive approach and greater levels of emotional and interpersonal wellbeing.
5. Be flexible to life’s challenges. Life isn’t a bed of roses. We humans have the potential to feel numerous emotions in various situations. This wide scope of dynamic emotions forms the essence of health – a healthy person is someone who manages in this constantly changing and unpredictable world and not let the hardships crash them and rather use them to become stronger each day!
The essence of mindfulness at work is believing that you can improve and grow with experience, moving towards challenges, living in the moment and discovering new things about yourself.