• Trishna Patnaik

Mindfulness

In a world full of doing, doing and only doing it is vital to take a moment to just breathe, to just be.


Credits: https://www.sanctuaryoftransformation.com


Meditation when explained in its simplest terms refers to learning how to pay close attention. When used correctly, meditation allows you to slow down and observe the world without any form of judgment.


If you live with a persistent and an excessive worry about a number of different things, meditation can help reduce your worrying thoughts and bring about a feeling of balance, calm and even focus.

I have been practicing mediation in the form of mindfulness for quite some time now. Even if I give this experience just 20 minutes per day, it has tremendous impact and of course intangible benefits.


What is mindfulness?


Mindfulness means knowing very well what is going on inside and outside of us, moment by moment.


It is very easy to stop noticing the world around us. It is also quite easy to lose in touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living 'in our heads' – caught up in our thoughts without stopping even for a moment to notice how these thoughts tend to drive our emotions and then behavior.


An important part of mindfulness is about reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they may experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. It is about allowing ourselves to see the present moment distinctly. When we effectively start doing that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and of course our lives.


Anxiety can mentally exhaust you and have tremendous negative impacts on your body. But before you get anxious about being anxious, please do know that you can reduce your anxiety and stress with a simple mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is all about paying attention to our daily life and the things we typically rush through. It is about turning down the volume in your mind by coming back to the body.


Anxiety is a cognitive state which is connected to an inability to regulate your emotional responses to discerning threats. Mindfulness meditation strengthens a person’s cognitive ability to regulate emotions. Mindfulness can reduce anxiety and it must be practiced to enhance meditation-related anxiety relief.


Credits: https://sites.uci.edu/mindfulhs/what-is-mindfulness/


How to Meditate with Anxiety


If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.


The present moment is not necessarily a place of rest. Meditation can put us in touch with our stress and anxiety, and that is why it can be so helpful. Explore how mindfulness and meditation can help soften feelings of anxiousness, reduce stress, and even calm a panic attack when it sets in.


Anxiety is our body’s way of saying that it is experiencing too much stress all at once. This can tend to happen to the best of us. But, when the feeling of been always alert becomes a background noise that does not go away. That is when it is time to seek help. Mindfulness and meditation for anxiety is a growing field which can help you navigate through many ways via which anxiety can mess up your life. This guide is not meant to serve as a diagnostic tool or a treatment path—It is simply a collection of research and some said practices you can turn to as you begin to redress the balance.


I have personally been dealing with Anxiety at a very basic level for a long time now. It does not affect me to the core. However, it does stay in the back of my mind. In a way, affecting my productivity, effectiveness and concentration levels at times. Mindfulness helps me calm down to a great extent, enhances my concentration and mostly importantly just lets be in the present moment. It gives me a positive channel to focus on what is relevant, negate what is not and do well for myself in this complete process of action.



I channelized my Anxiety by exploring these Four Steps; you can please try the same out too:


Open your attention to the present moment. Bringing attention to our experience in a more open manner simply holding by becoming a container for thoughts, feelings or sensations in the body that are present and seeing if we can watch them from one moment to the next.


Focus on our breath. Bring focus that is much more concentrated and centred, so narrow down our breath to one region of our body—the breath of the belly, or the chest, or even the nostrils, or anywhere that the breath makes itself known, and keep that as the more concentrated focus.


Bring our attention to our body Become fully aware of sensations in the body as a whole, sitting with the whole body, the whole breath pattern, once again we move back in to the wider and spacious container of attention for our experience.


Explore our attitude By attending to these three rhythmic movements, you can support your mindfulness practice and help it flourish with a smile on your face and a positive attitude of well-being.


I hope you practice the above 4 steps everyday starting with 5 minutes and then gradually increasing your time frame as per your own rhythm and tone.


Mindfulness has tremendously improved certain facets of my life and you can touch upon those facets too. As these facets are vital for all of us in order to live a fulfilled life and just not exist. So let’s see the full blown impact of mindfulness through these three facets it touches upon and evolves one’s being and yes, soul.


Credits: https://www.dreamstime.com


Mindfulness improves well-being


Increasing your capacity towards mindfulness supports many attitudes that contribute to a much satisfied life. Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures of life as and when they occur, helps you become fully engaged in all your activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with any unfavorable events. By focusing on the here and now, most people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in the worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deeper connections with others.


Mindfulness improves physical health


If a greater well-being is not a great incentive, mindfulness technique help improvise physical health in a number of ways. Mindfulness can: help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and decrease gastrointestinal difficulties.


Mindfulness improves mental health


In the recent years, many psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems such as: depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, couples’ conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Reminding yourself to take notice of all your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness. I would like to share a few tips on how to be more mindful in your day to day activities:


Notice that ‘you are’ everyday


Even as we go about our daily lives, we can notice the sensations of things, the food we eat, the air moving past the body as we walk. All of this may sound very small, but it has a huge power to interrupt the 'autopilot' mode we set for ourselves day to day, and can definitely give us new perspectives on life.


Keep it very regular


It can be very helpful to pick up a regular time – the morning journey to work or a walk post lunchtime – during which you decide to be fully aware of the sensations created by the world around you.


Try something new always like always


Trying new things, such as sitting in a different seat during meetings or even going somewhere new for lunch, can help you notice the world in a new way.


Keep a watch on your thoughts please


Some people find it very difficult to practice mindfulness. As soon as they stop what they are doing a lot of thoughts and worries crowd in. It might be useful to learn that mindfulness is not about making these thoughts go away, but rather about viewing them as co-occurring mental events.


Name your thoughts and feelings


To develop awareness towards reoccurring thoughts and feelings, some people find it helpful to silently name them: Here's an example of the thoughts: might fail that exam or this is anxiety.


Free yourself as much as you can from the past and future


You can practise mindfulness anywhere you like, but it can be especially helpful to take a mindful approach if you realise that, for several minutes, you have been "trapped" in reliving your past problems or "pre-living" your future worries.


Hope the above tips help you gain some perspective and you gauge a positive experience by living them.


Finally I would like to share that I have learnt and appreciated to mediate for Peace and Patience leading to Compassion, the ultimate.


Meditation for Compassion


Compassion allows us to overcome any form of fear by helping us accept ourselves, others, and life situations just as they are. This non-judgmental acceptance is a great relief for people with anxiety. The ultimate goal of meditation is not to live a problem-free life, but to learn how the mind works and how to work with the mind not against it or for it. This deep insight naturally leads to compassion.


It is best to make sitting meditation part of your daily routine. Even five minutes a day, with consistency, makes a big difference for sure. Researchers have linked meditation not only to deep physical relaxation and peacefulness, but also to increased levels of empathy and a far more balanced sense of self. By improving our cognitive flexibility and leading towards insights of the deeper workings of the mind, meditation is an unparalleled natural remedy.


Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experiences.


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