All of us have a basic understanding of “Mindfulness“ and what it means. Thanks to a lot of self help articles that portray ‘mindfulness’ as a key solution to our problems.
For starters. Mindfulness means being aware of who we are, what we are doing and what’s happening around us. It sounds like a basic human ability but it is constantly challenged by external validations and our judgmental thought process.
For e.g When you are listening to a speaker who narrates an incident and it reminds you of a person. You start thinking about that person without concentrating on the speech. You are physically present but your mind is thinking of something else. Mindfulness is absent here.
Though mindfulness looks plain simple on paper, it is not easy. Once you understand the steps to mindfulness, you will start practicing it.
1. Set aside some ‘You Time‘
We lead busy lives everyday and it is hard to find time for yourself. To start being more mindful, you need to set aside some time without any distractions (phone, internet, friends). Just you and yourself. No special equipments or a yoga mat is needed.
2. Quiet your Mind
Now that you are quiet and calm, next is the most difficult task. You need to request or command your mind to stay quiet. It is very difficult for the mind to stop thinking as it is more used to chaos than order. You will be able to enjoy the present situation only if your mind is quiet.
If you feel you have achieved a bit of success on the above metric, start observing the present. Just observe. There is no need to form an opinion about what you see.
4. Push away the Judgements
We are all humans and we are often judgmental about everything we see or come in contact with. When we are observing the present, we will definitely have judgements. Let the judgements pass and try coming back to the present.
5. Forget the past
Yes. You read it right. We all have our fair share of baggages on our shoulders that we carryeverywhere. It is important to get closure on the baggages to focus on the present. Our minds often seems to find relevant scenarios from the present and maps it to a thing of the past and our judgements resonate according to them. So if your mind keeps going back to the past, start ignoring mind’s advice and focus on the present. This is not just about being mindful but it’s an important aspect for leading a happy life.
6. Try to understand your mind
The above four steps are not just difficult for you but it is more difficult for your mind than you can think of. So do not be hard on yourself. You are giving it a try and start appreciating your mind for cooperating. The more you understand your mind, the more control you gain over it.
The above six points when practiced daily can lead to surprising results for you. Before you know it, you will be more present along with your mind in the present.
So when is your “You Time?