Mindfulness is the recipe to declutter your mind and to create space to spark joy.
After all these years of experience I have understood that you can never escape from the chaos that happens inside you, in your mind. I’m not talking about the external “noises” that run our days and nights! Instead of being proactive and making better choices, we react to the things that happen in our lives and fight or flee to minimize our pain. Rather than confronting our disturbing thoughts, we keep pushing them down and pretend everything is fine. But as the pile gets bigger and our burden worsens, we lose control; we lose ourselves.
This post is inspired by a book I’m currently reading. Its called, ‘Work,’ by Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the best-known Zen Buddhist teachers in the world today, and one of the top-selling Buddhist authors in the world. He adapts ancient Buddhist practices to modern life and helps readers make fulfilling choices about livelihood and ethical work.
“Full of life-coaching advice, tips for dealing with workplace scenarios, finding happiness, and positive psychology, Work suggests new mindful models of leadership and encourages us to carefully examine our everyday choices, so we can contribute to a work environment free from stress and tension, regardless of the circumstances. ” [From the Book]
Since tomorrow is never promised, it is necessary to understand that, “all we have with us is our present moment. How efficiently we can live and thrive in that moment, is the definition of ‘being mindful’.” Mindfulness isn’t just about meditation, or sitting in silence; there’s more to it! Being mindful means a gentle reminder that we must focus on bringing ourselves back to the state we are in, right here.
This post was sitting in the draft; and even before I could complete the article and publish it; the fear of COVID-19 outbreak completely startled our life. I can totally relate how our brave spirits have has been completely paralyzed by this sudden threat that has spread globally, and has verged into a bonafied pandemic. While the fear of uncertainty and consequential aftermath of being infected by the virus is still lurking in our houses, it is very important to learn about our mental health needs like; “how to stay calm and maintain our sanity, how to follow the rules of personal hygiene practices, limiting social gatherings and interactions, disinfecting frequently, that can help reduce the spread of the disease. “
Stop living in fear; and or feeling anxious, disturbed or being in distress! Remember we all are in this situation together, and we will take necessary steps as an when required, to stop the contamination and further spreading of the virus.
What being mindful really means?
For me,”it means not wandering off from my present-self, and getting lost!” When we are not mindful, we are either worrying about the future, or regretting the past! We feel as victims of circumstances, events, emotional mugging (if any, we have been through; or fear about facing some in future), and others.
Practicing mindfulness isn’t a tough task! All you have to do is remain grounded and maintain a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, emotions, feelings, and surroundings. Be in alignment with your actions and thoughts; “kind of being in the here and now!” We can equate this “sense of peace” with good feeling emotions like joy, happiness, and relaxed; centering all our attention to feeling balanced and grounded amid all kinds of chaos and disturbances.
I’ve found a beautiful way to stay mindful whenever I feel I’m wandering away from the moment! Just like any chat messenger status that says,”available/away;” I’ve created two such status for myself to practice mindfulness: “I’m present/wandering.” Whenever I see my mind wandering to unhappy thoughts and not being engaged fully in the now, I remind myself to come back to the moment by pinching myself and saying, ‘I am present!’ and I come back to the roots of the very moment.
Being mindful doesn’t have to be a serious practice. This means, when I’m being mindful I don’t have to tuck in or bottle up my emotions. I must tend to them, but only when I feel I’m ready; when I find it easy to fit into my routine.
These are few important mindfulness practices that I also include in my everyday routine to become more mindful proactively . And I hope you find them helpful too:
- Practicing simple meditation moments that you’re comfortable with.
- Being aware of your surroundings and your emotions.
- Having a gratitude journal or a “gratitude attitude”.
- Practicing focused breathing- Paying conscious attention to the breathe-in and breathe-out flow through your nose. Focus on your breathing as air makes its way in and out of your body.
With these mindfulness practices, I can quiet my mind, and can become more in touch with who I’m truly are!
In this difficult situation while we are navigating through uncharted territory and experiencing anxiety and fear; it is more than necessary to calm our emotions, to feel grounded, and to understand that we must keep our faith in tough times. Do not panic. Do not give up! We all will get through this together as a community. So follow the “rules,” protect others, serve the needy ones, be there for each other.