Being mindful or mind full???
In the fast paced world, we are so concerned about doing and achieving things, but are we really enjoying doing so and living our daily lives to the fullest is really a question. Many activities of our daily lives which are important have become mundane and we are not really aware of doing such activities, example breathing. It is so mundane that we really are not aware of breathing; so what does it mean to become aware of breathing and why should we distract ourselves from the busy routine and become aware of breathing? It is because there is an interplay between emotions and physical sensations, for instance, when we are anxious, our breathing would be shallow, so by regulating our breathing we would be able to regulate our emotions.
What is to be mindful? The rule of thumb is that we become aware of our body, emotions and thoughts.
“Mindfulness is being and not doing”
So is it that we just be and things will take its turn? It is that if we are fully present in the current moment, we will do the best in the task at hand. But when we are mind full, we miss out on the wholesome experiences because our mind is so very filled with the “To-Do list”. Mindfulness is being present at the moment, that is completely present physically and mentally, being non-judgmental.
Being mindful, we try to overcome the desire to reduce uncertainty in life. Being mindful is trying to override the tendency to engage in automatic behaviour, for instance, when we are preparing for exams and mobile rings in the midway, instead of picking it, you can just consider it to be a reminder to focus on the task at hand. Picking the mobile whenever it rings is an automatic behaviour.
There are a lot of benefits of mindfulness. Some of them are: it fosters novelty, it is helpful for treatments of chronic pain and anxiety. According to the study of Speca and colleagues, it is evident that Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is effective in moderating emotional arousal and is an antidote to pain experienced in cancer patients. It helps us effectively deal with anxiety and depression (Brown and Ryan, 2003). It improves affiliated trust and cultural intelligence.
Now, the question of how to practice arises. Set aside 5 minutes each day; either early in the morning as you wake up from bed or in the night when you go to bed. Just become aware of where your body comes in contact with the furniture, the sound in the environment, the air, your breathing, your thoughts and emotions but just be non-judgmental about your thoughts and emotions. This gives you an immediate access to your thoughts and emotions. Take mindful pauses every hour, that is try to become aware of the activity that you are doing, for example if you are walking just remind yourself that you are walking, where the foot and floor come into contact, how it differs for each step.
Become aware of your breathing as many times as possible, tell yourself that you are inhaling and exhaling. Practice mindful appreciation that is be grateful for what you are doing and who you are, remind yourself daily that you are doing the best possible out of you at the present moment.