AN UNDERSTANDING OF MINDFULNESS AND ITS IMPACT ON DAILY LIFE
In simple terms, mindfulness is a state of being wherein we allow emotions and thoughts to enter our body and mind, and fade away without getting carried away by them or without getting attached to them. To be mindful is to be focused on the present moment, without being dragged off into the future or the past.
To elaborate a little, let’s consider that a moment all of us probably go through.
“I have to buy this...” : This being anything, anytime, for any reason. We plan out how and when it will happen, how it will fit into the rest of our schedule. It can also be any other thought process or plan that arises in the mind, seemingly out of nowhere.
That right there, is being carried off by our thoughts and the brain’s incessant tendency to grab onto and hold things, to analyze, scrutinize like it’s stuck in a detective novel.
Another example is remembering the last time we were cut off in traffic, and hurling a week’s worth of obscenities at the offender. This is followed by either feeling guilty over it, ruminating on it or even building an entire prosecutor’s case worth of mental notes against the guilty party.
Or perhaps we are simply worrying about your exam results. What will mum and dad say if we don’t get that distinction? Forget them, we have never obtained below XX%, and we don’t know how we will handle the situation if things don’t turn out the way we want.
Mindfulness is the antithesis of this process. Not the absence of it though. All these thoughts still jump in and out, the difference lies in the fact that we don’t obsess or turn them over continuously, when we are in a mindful state.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it? To be free of the mental circus ?
And like all things nice and healthy, it too requires practice and effort. But if exams are the item of worry, we can be sure that effort is a powerful tool in our proverbial toolbox.
To be mindful, is to be only in the present moment, in a non-judgemental way. Through the process of bringing the attention to experiences occurring in the present, we can train our mind to become mindful. There are various ways for achieving that including practicing meditation.
In the next article in this series, we’ll see what a dedicated practice looks like!