Close your eyes. Take a moment to imagine you’re in your safe sanctuary, hypersensitive to the sound of the birds, of the rustling leaves, of the pitter-patter of the rain. Breathe in. Now do this for five minutes, and take note of any change.
We live in a world where people are always worried about the next thing. After waking up, the next thing we worry about is catching the next train quickly because we might be late for work. When we’re inside the train, sitting still doesn’t seem to not be an option, so instead, we fiddle with our phones, catch up with the latest emails, and do anything we can to “multitask.” The moment we sit down on our work desks, we spare no time to take a minute to calm down and focus on what we need to do today. Most of us would just jump in and get to business.
No wonder why most of us are burnt out, even if we’re able to take power naps. The level of exhaustion is not just physical; it’s also mental and emotional. We grind on a daily basis, placing the quiet moments for meditation and self-care sessions at the bottom of our list. Finding joy in what we have in the moment is hard for us, and mindfulness seems like a luxury we just can’t afford, or it feels that way anyway.
What does it mean to be mindful?
The truth is, mindfulness is one of the most affordable therapies for our mind, body, and soul. It doesn’t have to cost a single cent, and it’s something we can do on our own any time of the day if we allow ourselves to.
The art of mindfulness involves letting ourselves live in the moment. I know, the phrase could come as cliche advice. But it’s true, and it’s healing!
Mindfulness is focusing on what we have in front of us at a particular time. It’s seeing things the way they are because we truly took the time to know what they are. The habit of mindfulness is being hypersensitive to presence – what we have, the people around us, the things we need to do at this very moment.
Mindfulness is about taking the time to experience the “realness” in our lives. If we’re used to living our lives with worry because of our “what if’s”, mindfulness allows us to stop and see the beauty of the real and the present. It allows us to tap into the actuality of ourselves and where we are, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
How does mindfulness benefit our mental, emotional, and physical health?
Are you familiar with the phrase “What we worry about sometimes doesn’t happen?” Am I the only one who thinks it’s so true? We spend our limited hours sulking over a possible failure, a probable argument, or the chance of the world ending tomorrow. Sometimes it could even lead to negative manifestations. More about that in another post, though.
Due to worry, our stresses – difficult but solvable – can seem overwhelming, consuming our mental, emotional, and physical health.
Mindfulness heals the scars of worrying and assuming too much. Take this as an example – you’re taking a flight from the world’s most beautiful airport overlooking Maldives. You’re a big worrier, so instead of taking in the once-in-a-lifetime sights around you, you take huge, hurried steps towards the boarding gate, shouting at everyone on your way. When you do get to the boarding gate, you’re agitated, angry, and you totally missed out on the breathtaking scenery other people can only dream of.
Would there be a difference if you took in the great things around you? How would your gratitude towards your opportunities change when you take the time to really feel and see all the things around you?
How Do We Become More Mindful Every Day?
If a busy life is already part of us, how do we find moments of mindfulness every day? You might be surprised, but we can be mindful in little ways.
We can be mindful from the moment we wake up.
Without a clear plan for the day, we can feel all over the place. When we wake up with a purpose, the prefrontal cortex (the one responsible for our more conscious, wiser decisions) takes the gear from our brain’s tendency to be impulsive and respond to everything that grabs our attention.
We can be mindful by setting intentions.
After a mindful morning routine, don’t forget to set intentions. Be clear about how you want your day to go. Imagine the goals you want to achieve for a particular day. Doing so can help you distinguish between the noise and things that matter most. You can invest your energy towards better things and people.
We can be mindful of the way we eat.
Binge eating can be triggered by stress. Food no longer serves its purpose as a nourishing tool, it’s used as an outlet for stress. What’s supposed to feed, nourish, and sustain us can ultimately be the same reason for the decline of our health.
Being mindful of the way we eat and giving presence towards food is synonymous with having responsibility over what we’re eating. It’s looking at the food on our table and saying, “I choose this for me.” Practicing mindfulness when we’re eating allows us to enjoy our food without stress and guilt. For more tips, check out my previous post, “A Moment of Gratitude For Food”.
We can be mindful even while on the road.
If you have a minute to spare when you’re on the metro or driving to work, take that precious minute to be really, truly mindful. Appreciate the weather, breathe in fresh air, try to notice the little things you would miss on a regular day. You’ll be surprised at how great it is in calming and clearing your mind.
We can be mindful at work by taking a mindful pause.
If you’re at work, consider having a quick mindfulness break during lunchtime. Taking deep breaths for several minutes can do wonders to our minds. When work gets overwhelming, these mindfulness breaks can actually help you refocus, regroup, and actually deal with stress realistically. For more information, check out our other post, “The Art of Breathing.”
We can be mindful of other people.
One of the best things we can do to practice mindfulness is shifting our focus from being entirely on us to those who might need our smile, our help, our acknowledgment, or someone we can share a simple act of kindness with. Doing this can take our focus out of our problems and back into gratitude!
Mindfulness is something everyone can do. But it takes practice – lots of them, every day. The key is to be able to build moments of mindfulness in your day, before you take any actions, before you make any decisions or before you respond to someone. The more you are able to integrate short moments in your daily life, the more natural the process will be. Soon enough, you’ll be able to practice mindfulness effortlessly throughout the day, and the duration of mindfulness will naturally lengthen, serving you and others around you in the best way possible. When we savor the benefits of mindfulness, we can slowly begin to enjoy the ability to be mindful…and then master it.
If you feel like you need some extra support to get into a more mindful state, a few Reiki treatments could be wonderfully calming for the mind and help you get into a more relaxed state holistically by clearing out old, stuck blocks of energies that have accumulated over time. Intuitive Energy Healing sessions could kickstart your process even further. Not only does it help to release blocked energy, but it also aims to release deeper negative emotions that may be impacting your subconscious on a day-to-day basis. Therefore Intuitive Energy Healing is able to provide more relief towards your subconscious thought patterns, especially the negative ones. It creates room for you to integrate more mindful practices naturally if you choose to.