Anxiety and stress can beat down even the best amongst us. The effects of anxiety over months and years on end can have a profoundly negative impact on not just your mental but your physical wellbeing too- If there is a leakage in the roof then, the water will flood the living room as well. With the lives that we are part of today, our mind is in a constant state of limbo and thought- the insurance premiums, the car and home loans, what the future may hold in store for you- for most, we are able to shut off these thoughts to focus on what we can control the most- the present. For others, the noises can get so loud that your heart kicks to high gear and it feels as though your temples are going to burst.
There have been talks on how we can better manage stress and anxiety, and one of the answers came in the form of mindfulness.
So, what is mindfulness?
It is the act of paying attention to little details in your daily lives, and not rush through things. It is a way of turning the volume down and allowing your body to dwell into the present. When you engage yourself in what is happening around you at this very moment, you become grounded and you are able to control your thoughts from drifting off.
One needn’t spend hours on end, to be able to reap the benefits of mindfulness. As a matter of fact, just 20 minutes a day, even while you are commuting to work, can do plenty to help you calm down.
We shall be taking a look at some of the tricks that you can add to your sessions of mindfulness, that will help you ease anxiety and calm your mind.
Tips To Help You Better Experience Mindfulness
Perform A Guided Meditation
You needn’t commit to an expensive class for yoga that takes up ample time in a day. Nowadays, meditation is as simple as finding a sliver of peace and tapping your phone. There are plenty of apps and online programs that you can try out and benefit from. You can try these out at any time of the day- be it at night right before you are going to snooze or in the wee hours of the morning.
Take A Walk
Going out and feeling the breeze grazing past you can be nothing short of pure bliss. Pay close attention to the sounds that you hear-be it the distant chirping of birds or the chatter of a group walking by. Keep your phone in your pocket and don’t take it out. By blocking out the distractions like your phone, you are focusing on your senses and the environment around you. if you feel good enough, you can even lightly jog- it won’t hurt you!
Be it the morning blue sky that is looking down upon you, or the brilliant sprinkle of stars in the void at night, look up and pay attention to what is about you. This is just a reminder that the cosmos is far bigger than life and its little worries- in the long run, it all works out.
Focus On One Thing At A Time
The one thing that you need to do is to give your undivided attention to the task at hand. No checking your phone, pop-up notification or browsing the net- no multi-tasking and no doing anything apart from what you are doing right at this moment. Let what you are doing take the centre stage, and let everything else wait.
Keep A Diary Or A Journal
Write what is on your mind. Be it your fears or what made you smile. If you feel you did a deed that made you feel good and gooey inside, be it helping a passer-by or helping an old lady cross the road, write it down and cherish it. As time passes, you will find it effortless to write and pen down your thoughts.
Bye-Bye Social Media
Social media can be a great tool for motivating you, but the stimuli that we are getting these days can have the opposite effect- we notice the things that we don’t have, and not what we do. Social media preys on one’s inadequacies, and often we feel ‘not good enough’. What you must know is that social media might only portray the merry, the good and the happy. This gives you a distorted outlook.
Shut down and deactivate your social media accounts for a month. If you feel happy and better, then you can extend it for 3 months. You will come to realize that you never needed it in the first place!
Let yourself focus on the ‘Now’ and not on the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘buts’. You will come to enjoy the present and you will be happy beyond recognition.