The year 2020 has slowed us down because of the pandemic. For the first time in our lives, everyone was forced to stay at home. Not aware of what the future holds for us post-pandemic, we all had to choose to live in the present moment. Usually, it’s not in our habit or practice to stay mindful – being aware of every moment we live in. Humans mostly live minutes or moments away from the present, be it in the future or in the past. We always plan for the next moment in advance or reminisce moments from the past. This way we tend to fill our days with distractions or sometimes deliberately want to escape the current moments.
Just recall the moment, when you have actually enjoyed yourself in a particular moment, maybe while taking a shower, cooking your meal, buying groceries, taking bites of your favorite dish, or just by having simply sensed or feeling your surroundings–voices, temperature, smell, view, or the taste of water you are drinking. There must be moments, but very few or maybe none. That is what is called to be mindful – fully living in the present moment.
Mindfulness is a basic human ability to maintain a moment-by-moment awareness of what we think, feel, and sense of our surroundings. Our mind is mindful when it is completely aligned with our bodily actions, senses, and environment. This is the practice of mindfulness that helps us live your life at its full potential. This also helps us appreciate everything that we do, makes us less stressed, and creates more happiness for us. And that’s all that we want.
There are habits and measures that we can adopt to reboot our minds, and what is better than the new year to start with.
Practice the art of Meditation: Meditation helps develop mindfulness. This is an ancient art to better understand yourself and calm your mind. It relieves stress, anger, anxiety. Meditation also helps in boosting creativity. It further aids in structuring your journey towards mindfulness.
Set a fixed morning routine: To set a tone for a calmer day ahead, one must start their days with a good morning routine. Even if you need to rush to your work every day, try getting up a little earlier to give a little time to your being. From making your bed to a cup of morning tea, from a few breathing practices to morning affirmations, whatever that helps you start your day better will dedicate to how you’ll end your day.
Make a goal: A goal can be anything related to your lifestyle or your ambitions. Sticking to a goal helps one focus on the actions and steps they take in a day, and the results they want to achieve.
Engage your senses in whatever you do: Focus your mind fully on whatever you do during your day. It can be simple tasks such as washing the dishes or challenging ones such as creating a plan for your new project. Bring your whole attention to anything you do, without letting your mind wander to other places and subjects. For example, if you are eating a fruit, bring your whole attention to it, feel the taste, smell, and texture of it in every bite. This way you will see how much more productive and efficient you get.
Set your priority list and make a practical plan: What all the tasks you have to complete in the coming days or weeks, make a list of them. You can also write them down with their priority number in the list. Try if you can maintain an everyday journal, where you can pen down your thoughts, things you are grateful for, and your plans for the next day.
Get some exercise: The best way to stay focused and mindful is to get moving. If you ever find yourself overwhelmed or overthinking about something, just get up and engage yourself in any physical activity. A shortcut to calm your mind is to go out for a walk or a run.
Avoid multitasking: Try and concentrate on what you are doing at the moment. Without letting your focus move to other tasks. It is very difficult in today’s lifestyle to not multitask. But try taking a break for an hour or a day and stay completely focused on the task in your hand.
Eat slowly and only when you are actually hungry: Sometimes we tend to eat just to distract ourselves without even feeling hungry at all. It is said that Buddhist monks practice chewing each mouthful of food thirty times to aid their mindful awareness. This way you can be mindful of your food flavors and textures.
Check your posture: Your external being often reflects your internal state of affairs. When you sit and stand tall with your head high, without scooping your shoulders, you emit a complete positive persona. Whenever you feel drained and tired, check your posture and correct it, roll back your shoulders and relax your jaw, take a few deep breaths and get back to what you were doing.
Smile often: Every morning when you wake up, wake up with a smile on your face, smile as you are still alive, and own many things to be grateful for. Even during your day, remind yourself of all the blessings and beautiful things you are thankful for. Even if you feel agitated or angry, just smile and you will feel better.
Get some spiritual abundance: Get back to nature from time to time, you don’t have to be religious or belong to a particular religion to be spiritual. Spirituality is all about believing in a power that is outside the experience of your usual senses. Gaze at your surrounding trees, everyday sun, moon, clouds, stars, water bodies, and flowers, all this gives you a sense of oneness with the universe. This belief that you are part of the whole cosmos helps you fight any form of negativity.
Surrender: Learn to surrender to what, how, and where you are. It is not equivalent to giving-up, but accepting everything as it is. Your environment, people around you, things that are happening in your life. No one can control everything. Stop the idea of controlling your own life or anyone else’s. When you surrender and let go, you allow abundance, new beginnings, and new opportunities to get to you.