Mindfulness for a mind that is full
“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” – Mother Teresa
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing. It is a quality that one must possess to not be overwhelmed by what’s going around us. Creating space for ourselves and taking time to think and breathe is something every busy mind deserves. Mindfulness is not something that can be easily conjured but it’s something we need to learn to access.
It is estimated that about 90-95% of our behaviours run on auto-pilot. This causes us to perform certain activities subconsciously instead of trying to remember what we actually intend to do. Mindfulness is the exact opposite of this process. When we are being mindful, our mind is under our control and allows us to take decisions based on our willpower, actions and intentions.
Often people end up thinking that mindfulness and meditation are one and the same thing. But there are some very distinct differences between the two. While mindfulness is a quality, meditation is a practice. One has to achieve the art of mindfulness. Meditation is one of the many roads to living a mindful and peaceful life.
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How to Practice Mindfulness?
Here are some steps to help you get started to practise mindfulness.
1. Seat yourself in a comfortable position and set a time limit – While trying to be mindful, start with daily meditation. Seat yourself in a quiet and calm place. If you’re just a beginner, then set a time limit for yourself. 5-10 mins as a beginner is a good way to start.
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2. Notice your body and feel your breath – Once you are comfortably seated, straighten your posture and make sure you’re in a stable position. Now slowly, start feeling the sensation of your breath as it goes in and out.
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3. Take care of your wandering mind – Your mind will surely start wandering to different thoughts. When you notice this, simply return your attention to the breath. The most important thing to keep in mind, in such a situation is to be kind to your wandering mind. Try not to judge yourself or feel overpowered by your wandering mind.
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4. Thoughtfulness – While you’re in your thoughts, chalk out a purpose for your day. Set your intentions for that day and start working on them. Setting the right intentions and thinking about them actively will help you proactively action them in your daily routine.
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What are the Benefits of Mindfulness?
1. Improved wellbeing – Being mindful, increases the capacity to bring a change into our lifestyle and contributes to a more fulfilled life. It becomes easier to experience the joys of life and cherish them. Moreover, being in a state of mindfulness, allows us to deal with adverse events in a more mature and focused manner. By focusing on our present, we learn to let go of the past and leave our regrets behind. This allows us to move forward into the future with a whole lot of self-love
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2. Effects on mental health – In recent times, therapists and counsellors have suggested mindfulness and meditation as an important aspect in dealing with various issues such as – depression, substance abuse, anxiety, panic attacks and eating disorders. It has been seen that meditation has improved anxiety levels 60% of the time. Practicing mindfulness therefore not only helps to boost overall wellbeing but also has a positive effect on your mental health.
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3. Improves physical health – It has been seen that mindfulness not only has beneficial effects on a person’s mental health, but also helps improve physical health in a number of ways. Meditation and mindfulness can reduce the risk of being hospitalised for coronary disease by 87%. Starting from relieving stress to treating heart diseases and improving sleep, various health related issues are taken care of with mindfulness.
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4. Tunes into your emotions – With mindfulness, your thoughts and sensations are in one place. This allows you to focus on the present moment and notice your subtle body sensations. Allowing your emotions to flow through your body and not judging them is a one of the greater benefits of mindfulness. By doing this, you will not only be a be in a better state of mind but also find clarity in your thoughts and feelings. Therefore, mindfulness helps you focus better.
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Mindfulness involves accepting each and every emotion that arises at every moment. If your mind wanders, then gently redirect it to your current thoughts and feel the sensations in the present. By practising mindfulness and meditation on a regular basis, it becomes easier to accept and deal with life’s challenges.
To learn more about the benefits and lessons of Mindfulness, join our Masterclass with Chelsea Pottenger, Director of EQ Minds on the 18th of May. Register Here.