Going through everyday life we might find ourselves amidst a lot of responsibilities such as meeting deadlines, paying bills, picking up groceries or completing chores at home. Sometimes scuffling with all these ‘to do things’ on the list can be exhausting. With added work load and tight schedules we are always on our feet; almost like working on an auto-pilot mode. Along with the need to multitask in order to meet the demands of the racing world certain added hassles like getting stuck in the traffic or technical glitches can add on to the agony.
Although we are all aware of these stressors in our lives, we are seldom geared to do anything actively about it. In the process of getting bogged down with these daily stressors for a prolonged period of time it is generally seen to have a negative impact on us. Feeling frustrated, getting angry/ irritable at the drop of a hat, finding it difficult to focus on work and even taking to substances as a way of coping with stress is a familiar scenario. But what we fail to do is take a substantive step to deal with them. And giving Mindfulness a chance is walking towards one’s wellbeing.
When we talk about being Mindful what we essentially mean is to reconnect with ourselves. Do you remember the last time you sat down comfortably and thought about how you felt? Cultivating Mindfulness in our lives help us become aware of our thoughts, feelings and emotions in the present moment by paying attention to them on purpose without judging our experiences. It is believed that when a person is aware about oneself and his environment only then one can weigh out the consequences of their actions, regulate their emotions better and take better decisions in life to cope with stress.
Now imagine a time when you were stuck in traffic, got late to office and missed an important meeting. How did you react? Most people would end up feeling frustrated which might influence their behaviour, for instance one might yell at someone else or might be overly critical towards oneself. When one practices Mindfulness it helps a person foresee through the cloud of emotion and judgment and respond effectively to a given situation. Say, when a person is feeling angry in a given situation by simply taking a ‘Mindful break’ i.e. pausing and becoming aware of one’s emotional state can help the person respond to the situation assertively rather than being aggressive.
Mindfulness can be incorporated in our lives through paying attention to things that mostly goes unnoticed, such as the different sounds present around or the sights while walking or simply one’s breath in the ‘present moment’. Once we begin practicing mindfulness the power of self directed awareness opens us up to a wide array of experiences and allows us to appreciate smaller things in life thereby fostering gratitude, compassion and curiosity. The practices like Mindful listening or Mindful Observation or even Mindful breaks can be extended to one’s workplace as well, thereby increasing one’s effectiveness at work. Having Mindful Meetings which is practicing being aware of one’s thoughts and emotions just before a meeting can help an individual prevent their decisions to be coloured by their current emotional state. When one is Mindful it helps in reducing stress and anxiety, improves decision making ability, manage one’s emotions better and help a person focus better on work. So Mindful Living is all about accepting ones thoughts and feelings without judging them or trying to push them aside and building on one’s strength through self awareness.
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