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Mindfulness for the Busy

November 08, 2018

Mindfulness for the Busy

Do find yourself feeling anxious? Do you have trouble focusing and are always thinking about things that haven’t happened yet?  Or maybe you feel like the past is dragging you down? You may be needing to add some mindfulness to your day!

Mindfulness is a mental state of being conscious and aware of one’s surroundings and focus on living in the present moment, while acknowledging one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.

Ironically, our brain is the last thing on our mind and is often neglected. Just like any muscle in the body, it is beneficial to rest our brains after a long day. With work, personal life, gadgets and daily commute taking much of our time and attention, it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to be present and in the moment, to be mindful.

In our busy lives and with more things easily accessible to us, we are getting distracted and lost, thus losing our mindfulness which is naturally available to us. So what can we do in order to be mindful all the time?

Here are some of the daily practices that we can do in order to be mindful:

  • Meditation:

A few minutes technique where one spends time with their body and inner self is called Meditation. Meditation is the technique where we focus our mind on a particular thought, activity or object. Meditation has been performed for ages across various cultures. Meditation is known to reduce stress, anxiety and increase concentration and well-being. Meditation alters our nervous system interactions thus improving our cognitive function and mental well-being.

Various meditation techniques usually suggest us to sneak out some minutes from our busy day, and concentrate on each and every part of our body called as the body scan technique, other techniques suggest us to just sit calm in a position and allow thoughts to pass through our mind, whereas some techniques simply involve paying attention to our breath.

  • Breathe well:

Breathing is an involuntary action of our body, we cannot control it. But breathing right is our hands. Deep and complete breathing is a significant part of a healthy lifestyle. The more deep breaths we take, the more fresh and rejuvenated we feel. Breathing removes toxins from our body, helping the most in maintaining our cognitive health. We generally forget to take proper deep breaths, which is also one of the main reasons for the lack of our mindfulness. Breathing helps us concentrate and increases our attention span, also reducing anxiety and making us calm.

Make sure you take as many deep breaths as possible in a day. Try and learn some breathing exercises, combine your meditation of 10 mins with deep breathing, or simply try taking deep breaths while watching TV or browsing your phone.

  • Spend time with nature:

According to studies, nature plays an important part in maintaining our cognitive health. Nature has a tendency to heal and de-stress us. The less time we spend with nature, the more stressful we are. Being with nature not only helps us de-stress but also soothes us and distracts us from discomfort. Apart from that, it also provides us with a good amount of fresh oxygen.

Make it a point to go out and spend some time with nature. Maybe go for a walk to the nearest park, spend some time near a lake in your city or plan a trip to the outskirts of your city on a weekend.

Mindfulness initially will be a work in progress, but once we adapt to the above-listed habits, we can feel the difference by feeling more aware and calm. Mindfulness comes out to be a mental state that helps us live a healthy and peaceful life.

These are just some very basic tips to practice mindfulness. To learn more or to get personalized mindfulness tips please visit a mental health professional.

Resources:
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness
  2. Mingqian Liu and Nugraha Priya Utama (2014). Meditation Effect on Human Brain Compared with Psychological Questionnaire. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, Vol. 4, No. 3, June 2014.
  3. Yi-Yuan Tang, Yinghua Ma, Yaxin Fan, Hongbo Feng, Junhong Wang, Shigang Feng, Qilin Lu, Bing Hu, Yao Lin, Jian Li, Ye Zhang, Yan Wang, Li Zhou, Ming Fanc (2009). Central and autonomic nervous system interaction is altered by short-term meditation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2009 Jun 2; 106(22): 8865–8870.
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation
  5. Busch V, Magerl W, Kern U, Haas J, Hajak G, Eichhammer P (2012).The effect of deep and slow breathing on pain perception, autonomic activity, and mood processing--an experimental study.Pain Med. 2012 Feb;13(2):215-28.
  6. Liza Varvogli, Christina Darviri (2011). Stress Management Techniques: evidence-based procedures that reduce stress and promote health. Health Science Journal ® Vol 5, Issue 2 (2011); 74-89
  7. Berman, M. G., Jonides, J., & Kaplan, S. (2008). The cognitive benefits of interacting with nature. Psychological Science, 19(12), 1207-1212.
  8. Diette, G. B., Lechtzin, N., Haponik, E., Devrotes, A., & Rubin, H. R. (2003). Distraction therapy with nature sights and sounds reduces pain during flexible bronchoscopy: A complementary approach to routine analgesia. Chest, 123(3), 941-948.