Take a minute for mindfulness

6 months ago / by Pratika Yashaswi

Sometimes it feels like for a busy superwoman, all the time in the world isn’t enough. So with the culture and (sometimes our mummies and aunties) constantly raving about mindfulness and its benefits, we can sometimes feel like even a deep breath or two can topple our delicately balanced work-passion-family schedule over the edge.

But mindfulness isn’t just some new age time-suck. It happens while you’re going about your daily tasks. Spending some time in the lap of nature, writing down your to-do list first thing in the morning, and attentively listening to your favorite music all count towards mindfulness.

Here’re just a few ways you can get started:

Use meditation apps

Wellness and mindfulness programs are a dime a dozen these days but if you don’t have time for them, you can have a similar experience through apps like Headspace and Insight timer. These apps are designed to cater to specific needs and moods, help you with sleep, focus, and anxiety, and even teach you yoga and meditation. Insight Timer is free but Headspace charges a small fee for its more premium offerings—which are more tailored.

Insight Timer offers mindfulness no matter where you’re approaching it from. What we like about it is that whether you’re scientific, spiritual, religious, or New Age, you can approach mindfulness in the way you best like to.

Try something more engaging

If you can’t seem to sit still, and focus on your thoughts or your breath, that’s alright. Don’t pressurize yourself. Let go of the idea that mindfulness is only worthwhile if you’re sitting still like a zen monk.

Remember, mindfulness is for everyone, and even children with ADHD and people with mental health issues can safely practice it. If you struggle with these things, mindfulness can even help you live life with more ease.

Adult coloring books, hiking, swimming, and coloring, are all options. There’s also India’s most famous export: Yoga. But if you’re tired of it, you can learn Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese practice. It involves meditative movement. It is a gentle form of martial arts that involves slow movements aligned with breathing exercises. Look for an instructor near you. You can even learn it online.

If you still don’t have the wherewithal to dedicate time to mindfulness, try to introduce calm, easy attention to your everyday tasks. Chores are great for this, and so is the simple act of eating your meals. For example, challenge yourself to tune into the most minute details of doing the dishes. How do the plates feel in your hands? Identify their weight and curvature, their texture and depth. It takes all but a few seconds. Marie Kondo’s techniques for cleaning your surroundings mindfully are great to learn—and they make your home a neater place!

Mindfulness makes you aware of your surroundings, your space, and the work you intend to do, and sometimes that alone is enough to increase your self-awareness. When you can live in the moment (not to get too hippie here) without ruminating about the past or fearing the unpredictable future, you align your body with your mind, which brings creative flow and lovely, beautiful energy to your life. Things suddenly aren’t as hard as they were earlier.

Mindfulness is simple, but it’s not easy—don’t criticize yourself for not being able to focus for more than a few seconds. Mindful attention takes time to build. It’s an opportunity for practicing self-love and self-care. Be tender towards yourself. That is the very first step.

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