WAKE UP, GET DRESSED, GO TO WORK/UNIVERSITY, COME BACK, SLEEP, WAKE UP…
A standard modus operandi for most of us. We go through the motions so often that we forget to actually pause, take a breath, and for lack of a better metaphor, smell the roses.
Now you could be allergic to roses and still smell them. How??
Smelling the roses is just a metaphor. It signifies being in the moment, being fully aware of ourselves and our surroundings and making conscious movements, instead of automated ones.
Doing this mental jhadu-pocha can significantly help us in maintaining our equilibrium and addressing any of our mind’s needs just as we would address our hunger or thirst.
Our mind gets cluttered, just like any physical space would. Imagine a kitchen with dirty utensils everywhere, an unclean stove and lack of groceries. How would one cook in such a mess! To clean these out there are several methods that can be customized and personalized for our varied and unique dispositions and mental constitutions.
These practices in mindfulness can be learnt and incorporated into our daily lives to the significant improvement of our acuities. Some of these practices are:
- Delay the use of technology from as soon as you wake up to till after you’ve properly woken up. It takes a while for us to fully wake up. Bombarding our senses with information at that point is like eating that extra aloo paratha. It’s enticing, but it only serves to give us acidity.
Burp!! We can instead use this time to set intentions for our day: What we intend to do, how we intend to pursue it etc. Taking our time to wake up allows us to find the rhythm of our day and attune to it.
- Checking in with yourself from time to time can help you consciously understand where you are in a moment. Consequently, it can help you decide where you want to go next, or what you want to do next, and how you want to do it.
Checking in with yourself entails asking yourself questions to ascertain where you are mentally. Before asking these questions, try to still your mind and body with deep slow breaths and then ask questions like:
- How am I feeling today (mentally and physically)?
- What’s taking up most of my headspace today?
- What is working for me? What is not working for me?
- Have I had enough food and water?
- Am I unconsciously clenching my jaw and furrowing my brows?
- What am I grateful for today?
These questions can change and evolve based on what works best for you and your mental jhadu-pocha.
- Meditation is a cliche for a reason. And that’s because it works! Research suggests that meditation has the potential to enhance the physical and mental well being of individuals.
Meditation helps us focus within and the connection between mind and body. It helps us observe our own emotions without trying to repress or suppress them.
The mind will wander, the goal is not to control the mind, it is to pay attention to the present moment without judgment. It is a great exercise in mindfulness and is akin to reorganizing our mental kitchens!
- Monitoring our attitudes consciously is very helpful. Not just our attitudes towards new things, but going back, introspecting and amending our previously held attitudes is key.
For example, if one is raised in a male dominated household where women aren’t respected, this unhelpful attitude can be revised and improved through conscious thought and effort!
- Learning how to manage emotions and observing what our triggers are and how to deal with them healthily is immensely helpful in organizing our mental kitchens. These skills can be picked up and polished in therapy!
Emotions like anger, shame, grief and sadness are natural. Sometimes they get out of hand. That is natural too. Effective management of these emotions lead to higher confidence and self-esteem, not to mention the peace it bequeaths onto us.
With these you have the tools to properly clean your kitchen! Don’t be afraid to experiment and find out what works for you best!
There are no right or wrong answers!
Mindfulness is a skill that can be learned just like patience and parkour. Let’s work towards a brighter tomorrow and put happydent out of business!