No person can ever be entirely free from obstacles and challenges in his/her life. Undesirable incidents, whether minuscule or huge in scale, are bound to happen from time to time. Consequently, stress becomes a frequent occurrence in our lives, or if not frequent, at least a recurring one. When prolonged, or intensified, it can have an adverse impact on your daily functioning, and also spill into the household – your spouse, relatives, kids, etc. Many young children and adolescents suffer from such internal disturbances too. There are numerous methods to cope with these disturbances, an important one being the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the psychological process of being aware of where we are, and what we are doing at one point of time – basically being fully present in the moment and not thinking about other events, or our overall life in general. Here are some ways to practice mindfulness: -
- Every hour, set aside a break for 10 seconds, and do two things – take a deep breath plus stretch your arms out. And try to “notice” your immediate environment. This will help you to be mindful of the time, place and the work that you are doing, and take your mind off whatever your mind was up to, prior to this exercise.
- Eat something, preferably a small item like toffee or a cashew nut, and try to think only along the lines of – “I am eating this XYZ item right now” – and nothing else.
- Close your eyes for a minute. This will suddenly heighten your audio senses. Try to keep external thoughts out of consideration and take in the audio stimuli that you receive.
- Perform a mundane activity – watering plants, pouring a glass of water, ironing a shirt, sweeping the floor with a broom, etc. - and think only about this particular activity while at it.
- Go through the STOP process –
a) Stand up and breathe
b) Tune in to your body
c) Observe your surroundings
d) Possibilities – assess what lies ahead of you in the immediate few minutes of your future.
The basic essence of mindfulness is to “notice”. Notice what you are doing. Notice yourself. Notice your surroundings. Notice the activity that you are currently involved in. These simple steps shall help you be in sync with the current period of time, and undoubtedly decrease the possibility of you dwelling over past events or worrying about future events, which are nothing but utter wastages of valuable time and energy.
Stay Tuned, Stay Relevant!