Mindfulness: Road to Happiness

We are human beings and life is our necessity of course. Going to school, job, hospital, meetings, picking up and dropping kids and lots more is part of our life – though we may not want to do it. In this entire sprint, no one becomes a winner because this race never ends.

Did you ever notice that we all are tired at the end of day? We wake up with energy and plan our day with full enthusiasm but as the day passes we feel weak, tired, upset, frustrated and sad. We feel that plan couldn’t be accomplished and the day is over. We sometimes think that the work we did is not proportional to the tiredness we are feeling at the end. We go to the bed and sleep and from next day we start the journey again.

So lets imagine, you wake up with hundred per cent energy and the energy you have used is forty per cent of that, then where did the remaining energy go? Positive psychologist and advocates of emotional intelligence state that this energy loss is due to over thinking. The whole day a human mind is busy in thinking about different stuff. You are ready for your office and thinking about getting late. Working on a file and thinking about the fight you had with your spouse. Thinking about evening event during a project making. Thinking about tomorrow, next year, next life and so on. This being in the past and future is called mindlessness and this decreases your efficiency for the present task and increases the anxiety for the future.

Zen monks have been practicing this state of being in ‘here and now’ since ages and they have quoted in their scriptures about this practice and the current era has accepted this as mindfulness practice. World’s largest corporates have accepted this as a beneficial tool for their employees to increase the productivity in their work, social and personal life.

In Jon Kabat Zinn’s words, mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally. Basically mindfulness is about being aware. Being aware about what you are doing? Where you are going? The things you are doing the whole day. Even the tiny and unnoticed things like brushing, bathing, travelling, reading a book, and listening to music, getting stuck in jam and standing in a queue.

Actually mindfulness is not just a method or a technique. It’s rather a lifestyle, and developing an attitude for being mindful is important. Putting a little more attention to everything we do can actually do magic.  This magic occurs in brain in the form of specific neural changes and which increase the strength of your brain. Giving awareness and doing help from tiny mindfulness methods can help anyone in developing a more aware lifestyle.

Sometimes we think that adding some good habits to life will take extra time and extra effort but here that’s not the case. Actually that is one specific thing with mindfulness, that it doesn’t demand lots of time and efforts rather its something what you can do during your normal day of living. Here are some examples of being mindful.

Let’s imagine that you are brushing your teeth. You pick up your brush and toothpaste and put this in your mouth and that’s it. Now consider this activity in a new way. See the texture and colour of your toothbrush. Look at the brand name written on it, different colours, texture of bristles and hardness or softness of that brush. Do this in some seconds. Now put the toothpaste on it and look at the colour and texture of it. Keep the brush in your mouth for some seconds, feel the taste and coldness of that. Be aware about the movement of brush in the gums and teeth. Feel the taste of the paste on your taste buds. Once it’s over, feel the splash of water or mouthwash in your mouth. And now see the difference. A little activity can bring the change.

Having tea or coffee is another activity as part of our life. You remember drinking tea while reading newspaper or watching TV. You are unaware that cup is finished. Now let’s change this and do it with some awareness. Once cup reached to you, look at the texture, warmth, and colour of the tea/coffee. Now have a small sip and taste the flavour of your drink. Be just with your drink. Do not look at the TV or newspaper or talk. Just be with it. This is the time where you will see the difference of this awareness. And that’s how mindfulness takes place in life.

Now let me tell you that what is not mindfulness?

mindful-meditation-by-the-lakeSo it is not a hard way of doing meditation or some ‘intense thought stopping’ method rather it is about accepting things, emotions or the surroundings. It’s about being in ‘here and now’. Sounds interesting no?

There is a deep brain functioning involved in this. It is called neuroplasticity. So, the term ‘neuroplasticity’ is brain’s ability to change throughout an individual’s life. It means brain activity associated with a given function can be transferred to a different location, the area of grey matter change and synapses may strengthen or weaken over time.

In simple words, it’s like building muscles of the brain. But as we know that building muscles has both formal and informal ways, same way mindfulness has both methods. You can learn it from professionals or adapt some specific methods provided by them. In both ways it’s helpful.

So, being aware is the key formula here and that is the base of mindfulness. Lets start taking a deep breath before talking a phone or talking to someone. Take a pause and look at your thoughts for a moment during your work. We call it STOP method.

So get ready to pick this wonderful method for your life and make your life’s journey happy and mindful.