“Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” — Jon Kabat Zinn.
We all have worries about the small and big things of life that we cannot escape. For some of the unfortunate, it is growing up homeless, and good thing there are agencies such as this that help make it easier for the homeless child. Unable to control these worries leads to anxiety and stress that affects our mental health.
With the high availability of counseling and therapy, every second person who suffers from anxiety prefer going for a Talk Therapy, Counselling or pharmacotherapy. We pay less heed to how we can contribute to reducing the worries.
How can we help ourselves?
Psychologists believe that most of our worries and griefs lie either in the past or is related to the future. Being mindful is being fully present in the ‘here and now’ and experience without any judgment.Have you ever tried doing this?
Exploring the mindful ways of reducing depression and anxiety
There are different mindful exercises that can be done to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. While some are regulated by breathing, others are just by using all the sensory channels to be aware. Let us discuss the ways mindfulness can help us have a healthy mind.
- Mindful Breathing – Mindful exercise should be initiated with breathing. You can count your breaths. Slow breathing by counting 5 and exhale by counting 7. This can be done at any time of the day for as long you want. Notice how your chest rises and falls with each inhale and exhale and feel the changes in yourself as you breathe. Focus on your breathing and nothing else around.
- The STOP method – This is an acronym for a step-by-step mindfulness practice.
- S (Stop) – Stop yourself whenever you feel you are worrying too much. Be aware of your thoughts and know when to draw the line.
- T (Take a break) – Take out some time for yourself where you can do or think about things that make you happy. It is a time-out from sadness and worries.
- O (Observe) – Observe the small things that we often overlook when our mind is preoccupied with negative thoughts. Observe yourself as you do the everyday works and notice how you feel as you do them.
- P (Proceed) – Do not hold yourself back with the worries. Focus on what you have and bring your attention on what you are doing ‘now’.
- Musical Mindfulness – Choose your favorite music (preferably slow ones) and play them at a moderate volume while you just sit back and relax. Listen to the music with all your attention and let your mind wander for a while. It has a soothing effect and lets us forget our worries. Practice it as often you want for 15-20 minutes and notice how your mood changes after that.
- Mindful Appreciation – We are often so busy worrying about the bigger things that we often fail to be thankful for the small things we have. For example, have you ever thanked your postman who brings you important mails everyday? Or have you ever thanked the man at the coffee bar who is always ready for serving you? Noticing these small things around and appreciating them help in seeing the goodness around.
The 7 steps to happiness
- Think positive.
- Smile as often as you can.
- Listen to others patiently.
- Judge less and accept more.
- Never complain.
- Be thankful.
- Give love and respect to others.
Mindfulness is not a remedy – it is an assurance that we can give ourselves and prevent any external force from de-motivating us. It is the re-invention of our hidden strengths and is the way to let the light into our lives.
So start training your mind to be able to see the good in everything and establish a connection with the present.