Mindfulness is a practice of consciously and deliberately bringing one’s attention to the present moment. It is usually achieved by focusing on the flow of your breath- mentally visualising your breath going in and out. Mindfulness can be thought of as a self-regulating practice that seems simple but is very challenging to achieve.
With a lot of our social rules being bent, modified and changed due to the pandemic, there has been a lot of room for newness and flexibility in the practice of mindfulness. Not only do people have different meanings and essences attached to this art, there’s also a plethora of research being conducted on this subject in order to prove its efficiency and promote it for the wellbeing of the masses.
“Researchers theorize that mindfulness meditation promotes metacognitive awareness, decreases rumination via disengagement from perseverative cognitive activities and enhances attentional capacities through gains in working memory. These cognitive gains, in turn, contribute to effective emotion-regulation strategies,” reports the APA.
Now, as a lot of us consider ourselves to be an inseparable part of the hustle culture, it is important for the sake of our mental and emotional health that we distance ourselves from the noise outside and focus on calming the insides. Let’s look at some techniques that can help you achieve that level of being aware:
Sitting meditation: One of the easiest ways to achieve a peaceful conscious state is by sitting in a comfortable position on the ground with hands on the knees facing the sky. Next comes the main catch of this technique- focusing on your breath. This can either be done in the traditional way by closing your eyes and mentally watching your breath or by using a candle and focusing on the tip of the flame. (The latter one is called Tratak and is very good to improve your eyesight, among other things).
Mental dialogue: Not everyone would like to sit in one place and practically stare at a burning candle. One thing you can do is talk to yourself while working. For instance, you can take a mental note of whatever it is that you’re doing. Talking to yourself throughout the course of doing an activity will require you to focus on your present moment. This will ensure that you don’t miss any detail from the ongoing activity.
Use guided meditation: If you’re someone who needs undivided supervision and guidance for this practice, feel free to use one of the hundreds of available apps and podcasts that have been developed for this practice. They are directed in their approach and follow a goal-oriented way of going about mindfulness. Plus, they’re also timed, so that way, you can arrange your schedule accordingly.
One common thing that will keep coming up in all these practices is a chain of unwanted thoughts and bodily sensations. Now, your practice won’t be affected as long you treat these unwanted thoughts and sensations as natural occurrences and let them pass. Do not indulge in them. This will hand you back the wheel of your metaphorical car along with the mental energy to focus on the present moment.
Another point to remember here is that practicing mindfulness is difficult and one won’t be able to master it in haste. You need patience and acceptance of the uncomfortable in order to master this practice.
Mindfulness is a huge topic with a lot of variations and new discoveries. But it is something that will surely help us remain calm and sane when the world turns upside down!
Hi! I am Ayushi, a Psychology graduate from Mumbai. I enjoy reading and curating articles based on Psychology, self-help and spirituality among other genres and themes. Through my articles, I aim at creating awareness and generating a learning process for myself and my reader/s. Hope my work helps you!