Ever heard the term mindful?
Ever wondered what it means?
The word mindfulness gives mix meanings to many different people. It’s a common misconception among people. Let us clear it out.
Mind full and mindfulness are two different things. I would like to quote English is a funny language. While writing these two words doesn’t seem much of the difference but their meanings are completely opposite. Mind full is when an individual’s mind has a lot going on. Like their mind is full of thinking and worrying about many petty things. This can cause unnecessary anxiety and worriness. Whereas the term mindfulness is a quality or state of being conscious or aware about something.
Mindfulness is actually a very trendy topic right now. Headlines such as ‘healthy mind, healthy life’ can be seen everywhere. However people tread this topic very lightly. They are unaware of the things they have been stuck on and obsess over. Being mindful will help individuals to get over these obsessions and even how to deal with them. Talking about mindfulness, meditation is an obvious thought.
The common question one gets to hear is that is mindfulness and meditation same?
To answer the above question, no it is not the same but meditation is a way to achieve mindfulness. Mindfulness is a quality and meditation is a practice.
In simple words mindfulness is a basic human ability of being completely aware of where on is, what is one doing and not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by the surroundings (becoming fully present). In everyday life our mind works on auto pilot. We are not aware of all the surroundings that we should look at, understand and appreciate. Sometimes we are zoned out in thoughts of the past or engaged in the thoughts of future. In very rare cases we notice things in our present, and when we do we are too fast to judge everything. Mindfulness will help us be in the present and get some control over our actions and repetitive thoughts. It helps us to pause, notice everything and respond skillfully.
Mindfulness is a quality every individual already possess, one just has to learn how to access it. Here, are some tips and techniques one can follow to access the quality of mindfulness.
- Meditation –meditation is taking time to connect with you own mind and body.
- Eating mindfully- appreciating a meal
- Sitting idle in the morning for 10 minutes after just waking up- noticing the quietness, the birds chirping, the rays of sun, being thankful for the day.
- Focusing on one thing at a time- no multitasking, completing one work and then taking up new ones.
- Travelling- travelling gives us a chance to adore the environment and learn new things.
- Doing creative works- creativity is a step forward in being intact with our mind and surroundings.
- Feeling the feelings in the present- being in the present and feeling the things at the moment is a good habit. Not letting the past overcome the feelings of the present.
- Physical activity that one loves-for a physical sport awareness of self, present and surrounding is very important. These are also the important aspects in developing the quality of mindfulness.
These mindfulness techniques seek out to achieve three characteristics of mindfulness which are-
- intention of cultivating awareness
- attention to the present
- attitude that is not stereotypical but curious and kind
Achieving these qualities of mindfulness is just as difficult as they sound. Although practicing these above mentioned techniques on particular basis can help to achieve these qualities.
Initially an individual might do these techniques to achieve mindfulness only. Eventually these techniques will give peace. An individual who has achieved mindfulness will experience a shocking reduction in stress, enhancing performance, insightful thinking, awareness of surroundings, own well-being and other’s well-being. Developing the quality of mindfulness also gives the opportunity of being non-judgemental and filled with curiosity. It fills our experience with warmth and kindness.
Even though I have mentioned some techniques and habits one must follow, there is no such thing as a right way to achieve mindfulness. It is different for everyone. Mindfulness is not always easy because there are many thoughts, feelings and memories that can naturally arise and hamper the attention. Although with practice and experience, one can focus on the thing she/ he wants to focus without past popping up. It’s a difficult but achievable and a satisfactory journey. Journey of mindfulness.