TIME IS OUR MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE. LET’S USE IT MINDFULLY.
Most of us dread Monday mornings. We get out of bed reluctantly, with a sense of despair. Five more days to go before we can 'relax'. Is this how we really wish to spend our life ? Mechanically passing the days so we can reach the magical 'weekend' ? Or is there a way to make each day count ? Mindfulness offers us an answer.
The basic idea behind mindfulness is to live moment by moment, as it comes, with a non-judgemental attitude. Let's try to understand this with an example. Suppose morning traffic was heavy while reaching office today. Someone cut us off by taking a sharp turn. What are the emotions we go through ? Some of the thoughts that may come to our mind are: 'People are bad and selfish. Nobody cares about others' or 'I should teach that person a lesson by overtaking him' or 'I hope that person gets fined by the traffic police'.
What has happened here ? We have unintentionally started our week on a very toxic note. We have lost the 'battle' before it began ! How can we get through the week when we can't even reach the office on a Monday without our mind making us go crazy ?
The truth is that while the environment around us may not be completely in our control, our reaction to it certainly is. Maybe we can't stop somebody from cutting us off in traffic, but we certainly can prevent that person from stealing our peace by choosing not to react negatively. Maybe we could think 'Thank the Heavens I drive better than him' or 'Wow, somebody wasn't paying attention during driving class'. Then we can carefully continue driving to office and notice that we weren't affected by someone's rash behaviour.
What have we done here ? We need not try to be in denial. What the other person did was wrong, unquestionably. But we have chosen to not let someone steal our joy and distract us from achieving what we wanted to - in this case reaching office with a 'Just Do It' attitude.
Here are a couple of things we can do to make this the most amazing work week ever:
Have a goal
Too many times, we end up getting frustrated because we don't even clearly know what we want to do in the first place. Let's change this today. Let us know exactly what we plan to do this week. We will find it much easier to prioritize our work and eliminate all unnecessary meetings.
Avoid toxic people
Let's face it. We all know these people. Perhaps we ourselves have been toxic unknowingly by gossiping, spreading negativity and criticizing others for no reason. This week, let's make it a point to gently but firmly excuse ourself when any of this negativity is going around anywhere, including within us. We can let ourself know that we have a purpose, whether it's finishing our work for the day or building a multi-billion dollar empire.
Devote time to the inner-self
We spend so much time getting the right hairstyle, matching our clothes and keeping our body clean. This week, let's make sure we spend an hour at least three times during the week doing something that we love. It may be meditating, painting or dancing. But it has to be something for ourself and ourself alone. For these precious few hours, we'll not try to save the world. Or to be a good parent or CEO. We will just be ourself and we won't have to run away from the week to drown in alcohol over the weekend. The joy we seek is right here.
By making small but consistent changes to our thought process and actions, we can transform our lives, moment by moment, in a mindful way. Let's live this week as if it really mattered. After all, we have a finite number of days to live and wasting 5 days out 7 every week being miserable is no way to spend our life.
Practical tips on how we can save ourselves from extreme stress
An understanding of mindfulness and its impact on daily life