New Delhi: More and more people hope to develop a Zen mindset. Achieving Zen, however, is not about re-organising life and working around 30, when you might be in the heat of your career. Instead, it focuses on cultivating a sense of serenity through discipline, harmony and love. Being mindful enables one to remain fully present in their experiences and pay attention to what is going on.
While practising mindfulness consistently can have significant benefits for the body, mind and spirit, it’s not always simple in the beginning. Stress at work and pressure from relationships get incredibly hard to handle, especially in your mid-30s. First of all, stress cannot be physically handled by the body, and managing it mentally may be more difficult. A person may experience stress for a variety of reasons, some of which may be more complicated than the problems they dealt with earlier in life. But practising mindfulness and being in the now can help reduce stress and enable people to live joyful, distraction-free lives.
Here are 10 tips to practice mindfulness in everyday life:
Pay attention to the breath
Breathing is a natural process that occurs rhythmically and naturally. When people pay attention to their breath, it takes them out of their minds and into the body. As a result, a person can momentarily free himself from the churning thoughts, worries and fears, reminding the person of who he is — his inner spirit, not the thoughts.
It has become the habit of people to scoff down their meals while distracted by mobile phones, TV or constant conversation. This doesn’t allow them to enjoy the delicious taste and smell of the food. Also, one is less likely to feel nourished and satisfied because the person “misses out” on the fact that he ate. Instead of getting distracted while eating, one must focus all the attention on the food and enjoy every single bite. Mindfulness should be brought to almost every daily activity like bathing, walking, doing chores, etc.
Connect with the senses
The senses – smell, touch, taste, sound and sight – are the gateways into the present moment. But when people are lost in thought, they don`t experience what the senses are picking up. Therefore, it is important to pause to soak up the beautiful aroma of the coffee. The misty mountain air. The diversity and beauty of flowers in the neighbourhood. One should put love and attention into everything to experience the joy and peace it can bring.
Observe unpleasant emotions
Feeling upset, annoyed or down is common among human beings. But, it is essential not to try to impose a different emotion on what one is experiencing at the moment. Being in the present moment and opening up the sentiment is an excellent way to practice mindfulness without immediately running away from it. Instead, a person should try to impose a different emotion on what he’s experiencing. Additionally, one should see himself as separate from emotion.
Bring awareness to the communication patterns
Talking and listening, along with periods of silence, is a part of the communication process humans are adapted to. Therefore, one should notice the states of mind during these activities to bring mindfulness into communication. Significantly, one must notice the silence and the sounds in between the silence.
Don’t believe everything that comes to your mind
People shouldn’t believe everything they think. The mind often makes inferences and assumptions that aren’t true. Thoughts are images, words and sounds that pop up in your mind. But most of the time, people get hooked on their thoughts and believe them to be true. But one doesn’t need to. While practising to be present in the moment with mindfulness can help one stay calm and relaxed; thoughts will creep into the mind. The idea is to change the relationship with thoughts. Seeing thoughts as just thoughts instead of facts makes a real difference.
Meditation can bring immense benefits to the body and mind and increase energy, inspiration, happiness and inner peace. One doesn`t have to sit for long hours to meditate. Even 10 minutes a day can have a positive impact on life. It will also strengthen the mindfulness muscles, so people will find it much easier to stay in the moment throughout the day.
Gratitude happens to be the best attitude. Gratitude is when a person discovers how to want what he/she has and not want what he/she doesn’t have. Gratitude can be practised at this very moment. A person should think of how blessed he/she is to have a certain thing, say for example good books. Other people may not have the means or opportunities to buy such books. Also, one must be grateful that there is food on the plate while millions of people around the world die of hunger.
While talking to another person one must listen actively without thinking of how to respond to what the other person has to say. In a conversation, it is important to try to listen actively while putting the whole attention on the other person. Listen with the ears, heart and intuition. This can help change the quality of your conversations.
Designate time for specific things
One should keep certain times of the day designated for specific activities. A time for work, a time for bathing, a time for cleaning, a time for eating. This ensures that those things get done on a regular basis without any hindrance. One can designate time for his/her own activities, whether that is work or cleaning or exercise or quiet contemplation.
Mindfulness is a practice that people should practice at each and every moment of their life. Practice these tips to not only stay mindful but feel happier and stay positive in life.
(- Deepak Mittal, Founder, Divine Soul Yoga)