How did that piping hot chai smell? Or hey, when was the last time you paused to enjoy the breathtaking hues of the sky?
It is exciting for us to induct you into the world of mindfulness, a practice rooted in Buddhism. When you live by the moment, fully aware of your thoughts and bodily sensations, you are mindful. You are cognizant of your surroundings through a gentle, nurturing lens.
First things first, are meditation and mindfulness the same? The answer is a No.
You can practice mindfulness anywhere, anytime, by being more observant and present. Some examples are being more focused when you hear birds chirping or attending to the humdrum of doing your laundry, cooking, cleaning the house, and meditating too!
On the other hand, meditation is a more rigorous practice; it is about sitting in one place and focusing all your attention on a specific focal point.
Let’s visualize a venn diagram. To your left, you have mindfulness which is being watchful of your thoughts, and to your right, you have meditation which is “letting go” of your thoughts. And the intersection of this is mindful meditation. For example, you meditate where the focus is on the sensation of your breathing.
Research shows that when you train your brain to be aware, you are remodeling the physical structure of your brain. Being mindful offers many benefits, such as improving sleep quality, fighting depression and obesity, and improving learning, memory, emotion regulation, and empathy.
Sounds good, right? But are we all wired to be mindful? Yes, the good news is that we all naturally possess mindfulness and hone it better when we practice it daily.
But we get you; In today’s hustle culture, with all those tight deadlines and gazillion to-do tasks, it would sound impossible to stop and smell the roses. So we are here to share a few very relevant simple techniques:
- Mindful eating: Chew your food mindfully and notice the taste and pace at which you eat.
- Practice gratitude: Journaling is a great way to focus on all positive things bestowed upon us. Every day make it a habit to write all the good stuff that happened.
- 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique: Stop what you are doing for a moment and fire up your senses. Around you; See five things, touch four things, hear three things, smell two things, and taste one thing.
Seize the day, my friend!