WHAT IS MINDFULNESS AND HOW TO PRACTICE IT?

We all have heard the term “mindfulness” a lot of times. But many of us despite being aware of the term don’t know what mindfulness actually is. Some confuse it with meditation. But to your surprise, these two terms are pretty different.
So, what exactly is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of living which is achievable with a lot of practice. It is a process of connecting to your surroundings and being completely aware of them. Mindfulness is a practice which enables you to focus on being intensely aware of what you’re seeing and what you’re feeling, without interpretation and judgment.
In a sense, it lets you completely focus on “the now”. It is the acceptance of your thoughts and yourself.

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This might seem like a trivial thing and think to ourselves, “I’m completely aware of my surroundings. Maybe I was born mindful.” But no. The human mind tends to get distracted even by the smallest of things. We worry about the future so much that we forget to live in the present. Obsessive thoughts take us over and we leave our present and hop on to an imaginary time machine to travel back and forth in life. 

But one can’t go on travelling back and forth in time and feeling anxious. Here, mindfulness comes in as our saviour.

Now the question is how is mindfulness achieved and how to practice it? I’ve got you covered on this.
Mindfulness needs no equipment like candles, oils or mantras. Find a comfortable and peaceful place and meditate. Not your usual meditation where you may get distracted. But sit with a judgment-free mind, focus on your breathing and let the energy flow within you naturally. 

While sitting down, notice how your legs and arms move. Let your body loose, unclench your teeth, relax your muscles and let your gaze fall onto the ground.
While practising mindfulness, your mind may try to wander off in some distant land. Don’t panic and let it go for some but make sure to come back and focus on your breath. Notice how the air comes into your body and how it leaves. This wandering off may happen a few times but keep guiding your mind back to your breath. Remember this is a judgment-free zone. Give yourself a break and forget about all the worries and anxieties of the day for some time. Slowly, your body will start to feel light. Sit there for at least 10-15 minutes. When you think you are done lift your gaze and go on with your day but with more attentiveness.

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There are several other ways by which mindfulness can be achieved. The simplest one being, trying to stay attentive throughout the day. Noticing your actions, surroundings and movement of your body. Types of mindfulness practices include:

  • You can practice it while seating, walking, driving or even lying down.
  • Short breaks on our daily routines.
  • Combining it with physical activities like yoga.

Mindful meditation may look easy but it takes a lot of practice to be mindful in real sense. Keep practising and you will see the results soo. If you find it difficult to fit it into your schedule, you can download an app or can fix a particular time of the day. 

Something practised by thousands of people must come with a lot of benefits. And, it does. Mindfulness has several benefits which are visible in a short period of time. 

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Practising it for 8 weeks has been said to be transformative in many forms. 

  • It helps reduce stress, anxiety, pain, depression, insomnia and high blood pressure. 
  • It is also good for our hearts and improves the immune system. 
  • It also increases your attention span, improves sleep and controls diabetes (can only be controlled to a certain level and not cured). 
  • It has also shown a positive impact on relationships and eating disorders.
  • Makes your mind judgment-free and makes us kinder and warmer.

You don’t need to practice it every day, it said that practising it for even 4 times a week can prove to be useful. 
Mindfulness is not just a practice but it is a way of living. It is not toxic, harmful or obscure. And I don’t say it based on faith. It has scientifically and by experienced demonstrators proven that mindfulness does bring a change in the way you live.
In this chaotic and uncertain world, it helps you deal with your problems innovatively. Another plus point? It requires no change in yourself, it brings out the best in us as human beings.
Mindfulness is a great way to collide two different worlds, i.e., our mind and the world into one.

Mindfulness – The art of being the master of the Mind.

Mindfulness is a concept that most people familiar with meditation would be aware of. It’s a way of living; the best way perhaps.

 Meditation being one of the best grounds for attaining mindfulness, helps us to be the master of our minds and helps us to lead a life without much distractions and judgements.

 Mindfulness should not be mistaken as a life devoid of stresses or sadnesses; it helps us gain control over the steering wheel of our life. Letting us approach any unpleasantly circumstance without any prior judgment or distraction.

With the shackles of worries from the past and the uncertainties of the future often fretting us from fully dealing with the task at hand.

Not endeavouring or engaging fully and wholly with the task at hand is the biggest reason for not excelling at the pursuits of life, in both the short and long term. Leading to more troubles and worries.

No worries and following our dreams being the very reason of human existence is often put aside like cutlery in our almirahs, that we may never use.

All people desire for success. However, success is different for different people. But it’s amusing that the path to it is almost the same.

But if we closely look at the success mantras of the most successful people, there’s something that synonymously strikes out. The factor being focus.

The one which we all feel we’ve, but lack immensely.

Being able to completely focus on the the task at hand drives these wise people around the world to their successes.

Something that might seem so trivial but is ardently true. The paths two people tread upon are never the same. But if a factor is equally responsible for the growth, it makes the authenticity of the factor obvious.

A necessity. But not often talked about. In this era of rapid advancements, with whole of mankind scrambling behind success, we as a being collectively lack the factor that most contributes to success. Focus.

We the people, are mostly the slaves of our minds. The inability to control the very thoughts of a being is his biggest peril.

The mind can be an excellent servant, if we put in our time and efforts for being its master.

Mindfulness and focus are two terms that go hand in hand. Just like any other muscle, the mind needs constant exercise and use of it wisely, paves the path to a more serene lifestyle, the one we all yearn for.

Meditation and other related practices have made such an astonishing practice so easy to master. Dedicated efforts towards it can result in a complete resurrection of our own-selves. It’d be wise to tread down such a path.

Awareness and acceptance are the two biggest aspects of mindfulness. It makes us fully accept and be aware of all that surrounds us and lets us take action without baggage. 

Research has shown that mindfulness has facilitated a complete rewiring and reshaping of our brain. Changing it for the better, within a tiny span of just a couple of months of dedication and the returns being a plenty.

This amazing concept has been around for thousands of years now and will continue to be, throughout the years to follow. 

Minimalism and You

“Minimalism” has become the new buzzword with YouTube, podcasts encouraging people to adopt a minimalist life style. But what exactly is minimalism? Would you call yourself a minimalist based on your everyday habits? If yes, then what type of minimalist would you classify yourself into? Let’s try to understand the philosophy of minimalism in the simplest ways.

Origin of Minimalism

Minimalism became popular back in 1950s when artist Frank Stella’s “Black paintings” were displayed at the Museum of Modern art in New York. It started a new movement altogether breaking the conventional notions of arts. Later, many artists came to the forefront producing minimalist art.

The main themes of minimalist art were simplicity, harmony and purity. Aesthetically, the minimalist art is all about being real (Nothing more or nothing less).

Black painting at the gallery

Who is a minimalist?

Now, minimalism isn’t about living in all white houses with bare minimum objects (you could, if you’d like to). But don’t unnecessarily push yourself. To put it simply, minimalism is the art of appreciating thing in their simplest forms. It’s about making a conscious choice of spending money on experiences rather than things.

Now, I’m not implying you get live life of a monk from Himalayas and get rid of you possessions. Minimalism is about getting rid of things but rather eliminating the unnecessary and shifting focus to what matters the most.

Essence of minimalism could be summed up in “less is more”. For example, the lesser you spend on that luxury watch for the sake of showing off, the more you can spend on worthy holiday experience. The lesser you attend superficial parties; you’d be rewarded with extra time for self investment.

Now there’s no “one size fits all”. Minimalists come in all shades .It’s more of an umbrella term. So you better figure out for yourself “what type of minimalist are you?” No worries! Even if you don’t fall into any of these categories. There are lots of takeaways from each type.

The Essentialist

Are you someone who focuses on quality over quantity? You own few things but they are the finest collection. Like instead of buying dozens of clothes from that online sale you’d rather invest in that superior quality dress and wear it often.  You would any day choose owning fewer things over piling and wasting them.

The Experientialist

Do you prefer collecting experiences over things or swear by the philosophy of making maximum memories.

If your bucket list is larger than your ‘Things to own list’, pat yourself at the back for being an experientialist.

The Enoughist

Are you contended with what you have despite not having it all? If you find peace in voluntarily using enough; also deliberately choose not to get into the rat race for materialistic pursuits. Go ahead; call yourself an Enoughist if those new launches every week in the market doesn’t crave you enough.Are you contended with what you have despite not having it all? If you find peace in voluntarily using enough; also deliberately choose not to get into the rat race for materialistic pursuits. Go ahead; call yourself an Enoughist if those new launches every week in the market doesn’t make you crave for more.

The Eco-Minimalist

Are you someone who is highly environment conscious? You fill your house with plants and plant based products. You prefer buying environmentally sustainable products even though they cost you extra bucks. Ditching plastic all the way and embracing natural products. If that sounds like you, kudos! Mother nature loves you.

 The Soul Minimalist 

Soul Minimalist is someone who prefers in cleansing of soul, eliminating negativity and practicing mindfulness.A soul minimalist is someone who gives importance to healthy relationships, investing in emotional well being and cutting toxicity. Having a peaceful world on the inside cultivates happier surroundings.

 In the end, being a minimalist is about making a conscious choice. Putting efforts in enhancing the quality of your life. You don’t have to fit yourself into any of these so called labels. You can be everything you want to as long as you’re progressing in the direction of self growth.

Remember, it’s your journey. Don’t compare and confine yourself. Take charge of your life’s story and invest in what matters.