Updated: Feb 4
In Part 4 I’ll wrap things up by discussing how mindfulness tools are effective and can be used in daily lives without further complicating it.
Firstly, mindfulness myths are to be revealed. We all think or thought in past at least one of the below statements. And no offence it’s what the internal state of us would be and they reflect with these words below.
• Mindfulness is easy and simple
• Mindfulness is a new trend
• Mindfulness is practiced in meditation only
• Takes long time of your day
• Mindfulness is used for mental health issues only
• Takes long time to realize the benefits
• Mindfulness is not a quick fix
• Learning mindfulness is not a linear process
• Don’t have time for it
• I can’t relax
• I am too old to do or begin
• I am too young and healthy I don’t need it
These are all the stories we keep saying to ourselves. We need to acknowledge we got a life and it’s not all about meditation or mindfulness all the times. Yes, and we do have emotions need not always be optimistic or happy or successful. Greatest lessons come to our lives in the darkest moments.
Firstly, acknowledge these facts. And then let’s wind it down to how we can bring in these practices into our daily lives without much complicating further the set ups we have. These are additions to your tool kit. Below are simple 6 steps to making Mindfulness easy.
1. Buddy up
Best is to buddy up with a friend or a family member. You don’t have do this alone. Why not bring in a person as it can benefit both. As said before children are best as they have no filters in saying or reminding us. Mindfulness is the gentle effort to be continuously present with experience. Remember if its strenuous we need to stop and look at ways we can make it easier way.
Use coloured post ITs around your home, office, car etc to remind about breathing, calming, pausing, relaxing.. any words that your mind can anchor to the present state. Just word theme for a week is good to practice. Rather all at once and falling back. KISS- Keep it in simple steps. I use the traffic signals variance. Red – stop, Yellow – breathe/calm, green – proceed. 21 days of consistence is good to train our minds. This habit helps us in our rainy days as you would have built the resistance to controlling our thoughts.
Set yourself up for success in practicing mindfulness. Need not master but if you can remember to practice its great. Sometimes well-intended goals like sitting every morning for 30 minutes doesn’t always work out or can even when we get overwhelmed. If you notice that getting into a routine of mindfulness practice has been difficult or is adding strain to your relationship with your practice, set the bar a little lower. Don’t beat yourself up for not doing it. This is not cheating or failing at something. This is towards a better life of ours. In fact, it can be a great way to get you re-motivated. Start by just deciding to sit in a mindful posture every day for 10 breaths. That's it! Once you are there doing it, if you decide that you'd like to stay longer than 10 breaths, you can. Or palm breathing, sstretch your right or left palm out like a star, fingers wide open. Get your pointer finger of other hand ready to trace your fingers up and down. Slide up each finger slowly – slide down the other side. Breathe in through your nose – out through your mouth. Put it together and breathe in as you slide up and breathe out as you slide down. Keep going until you have finished tracing your hand. You can do it as many times as you want.
4. Break times
Use your breaks to get back in touch with your body. Have a little stretch, go for a short walk, or take some deep breaths. When eating your lunch, or having a cup of tea, slow down and pay attention to the physical sensations, the taste and texture of the food, or the warmth of the tea. Food time is great to be fully present to the meal we are consuming. Set for 4 spoons ful and slowly to full dinner time. Maybe at the end also note in your journal what did you enjoy most. So you can continue those for long term.
At the end of the day just mention how many things you ae grateful for. Which is you are thinking of positive things in the day and rewinding the acts. Even is not so great things happened there might be a reason for a greater cause. Like you were stuck in traffic and were late for office and you might think what’s so great about it. At least you are safe and sitting in car you might have noticed a cute puppy in the road. There is gratitude is you look around.
Don’t freak out that you need an extra hour in day on top off to do this. No not at all. I am believer in short meditations rather an hour long one. Just calming watching your feet is a meditation. Or sitting down doing body scan takes about only 7 min. Try this link - https://soundcloud.com/srimanju-katragadda/bodyscan-mediation. Keep these simple and with time permitting you can always increase.
All the best with your practice of mindfulness. Remember this is for you and a change for your wellbeing life. When you board on a flight, the air hostess gives instructions for safety. They always mention the oxygen mask to be used for the adult first and then for the child. Only when we are safe can we look after the kids. That is so right. Here we go a green light for us and rest will follow.
You can always visit on my sound cloud to check out any meditations that might appeal to you at - https://soundcloud.com/srimanju-katragadda. Let me know how you get on in the comments below. Thank you for reading the 4 series.