I feel you; it’s extremely challenging to stay mindful in this new media age, we become subservient to this world full of distractions— we are constantly overwhelmed by too much information, we check our phones like a reflex.
We are always moving on automatic pilot mode; working on numerous things mindlessly. Performing multi tasking and leaving pieces of our brain scattered everywhere.
As we develop a habit, it gets easier for us to drop the mind and allow ourselves get lost in the process. And this is what usually happen; before we know it, we are at our destination or we are done with a particular task without paying any attention.
Little to no concentration is required to do certain tasks (depending on how much we do it repeatedly) so overtime, we let our mind wander. We let it flow to sometimes think positive thoughts and often times, we allow anxiety to build up by overthinking certain situations or over analyzing our problems.
We are so oblivious of the fact that the lack of awareness, our inability to remain in the present, no impulse control, allowing ourselves to be distracted— all these brings forth mental disturbances. We become too consumed as the stress level becomes unmanageable.
We sometimes become extremely anxious about small situations that our productivity decline, our relationships gets affected and in worse cases, we become confronted by depression.
A lot of people think of mindfulness as a destination or as an end-goal, but the act of being mindful is all about continually embracing the process. We have to turn ourselves as an explorer, a witness of every experience, an observer of our own emotions— whether or not it’s a good experience.
We must closely watch our frustrations, disappointments, anger, sadness, feeling of loss, etc. as they passes. We must learn to observe these emotions and train our mind to be attentive.
We must build our inner strength—we need to take charge of our mind. To infuse our brain with the power to respond and not react in certain situations.
We need to be aware of when we’re thinking negatively or whenever we worry too much so we can snap out of it. We need to be mentally strong to be aware of the mind’s constant chatter.
Mindfulness can give us freedom from most of our sufferings brought by stress, anxiety, depression, and so on. We must become a witness of every situation that comes our way so that we can be resilient; strong enough to not be bothered by any challenges life throws at us.
But how do we become mindful? How do we harmonize our actions with our mind? How do we live in the moment? How do we attain deep focus? How do we arrive to a state of relaxation and being at ease despite of difficult circumstances? How do we eliminate negative beliefs about ourselves and discover our potentials? How do we attain a healthy mind?
Like you, I have been in a very dark place before; I was in constant panic, in and out of depression, I used to obsess about small things and I worry too much. As soon as I realized how my mindset was affecting my productivity, my mental health and my relationships, I knew I had to act on it.
In this page, I will share you everything I have learned about mindfulness and its benefits to our overall health. How it helps you to become the person you want to be, to remain calm in most challenging situations, gain mental clarity, to be fully present in the moment.
So let’s jump right in!
1. Practice active listening
I am sure you know by now the difference between hearing and listening.
Hearing is a process of perceiving sound, through physical means while listening is to hear something with thoughtful attention, it has subjectivity to what is perceived. A friend may sit beside you and as you share your thoughts, you can be rest assured that you are being heard. But are you certain that this friend is actively listening to what you’re saying?
The difference between the two is the “attention” part. One must detach from their own thoughts/internal scripts on what to say next, their own judgments, and pay attention to every word uttered by the speaker. The outcome is to have a full understanding of the speaker’s message.
We can incorporate small practices like looking at the speaker’s eyes when they are talking—this ensures that our mind will not go wandering elsewhere.
In this age of technology, there’s too much talking— but how much listening can there be when there’s so much interruptions? Seems to me, that all likes to be the talker and no one is interested to listen or pay attention to messages being conveyed.
Active listening is an excellent practice of mindfulness.
It allows us to build rapport, to build trust from the speaker, it encourages the speaker to listen and understand us when it’s our turn to speak. This practice will continually build better relationships and minimize conflicts because through listening, we allow ourselves to empathize and feel the speaker’s emotions, we tune in to their wavelengths.
To help us actively listen, we must first train ourselves in listening to our inner chatter— see what’s going on in our minds. By sitting in silence, listening to our own inner voice, we can control it and quiet the mind when it’s necessary.
2. Have a sense of purpose
I cannot stress the importance of finding purpose in everything that you do.
It is beneficial to assess yourself in finding who you are, what the action will bring you in everything that you participate on or in every task you complete.
How will an action create you joy? Does it achieve a sense of fulfillment? Will it continue your inner peace? And as you do the activity, immerse yourself to be in that particular moment. Be present as you do it and feel each emotion in the process.
Learn how to extract yourself from thoughts or plans you have. Put yourself in the present activity and feel the sense of purpose.
You have to have clarity and intention of your every move.
3. Train your mind to avoid distractions
Start by clearing your surrounding.
Look around and take your time to pick out the external triggers—phone, laptops, tablets, gaming device, even magazines, overflowing trash can, tv/stereo, big open window.
Remove your gadgets and store them in a drawer, move your tv set in the living room area along with any gaming device, empty your trash can, pull the curtains and momentarily close your windows. Make the room conducive to working or performing an activity such as reading, writing, dancing, etc.
Move into analyzing our current mood—are we hungry? bored? unmotivated? lonely?
After analyzing how we feel, try to do something to satisfy that aspect so we can move into a deep focus of doing the work.
Plan ahead and tackle ways to eliminate both external and internal triggers.
This will enable us to be mindful about certain activities and not succumb to our impulses.
Staying clear of distractions, by avoiding feeding our dopamine addiction—we can make the most out of our potentials. Explore on our creativity and enjoy each experience.
Consistently be conscious about yourself , your surroundings and observe it momentarily leave your inner state.
Continually work on your mind and keep it organized in order to stay clear of distractions. Be intentional of every activity.
4. Practice Meditation
Meditation is empowering the mind.
If you want to be in control and train your mind: practice meditation. Block a time in your day to practice meditation and perform it consistently; incorporate it in your daily routine.
Since our involvement with the everyday activities in our life involves a lot of sufferings—may it be mental or physical exhaustion, meditating will put us in a calm, peaceful state.
Combine the three components: your breathing, your thought in the present and your awareness. Place your mind where your body is; remain present in the moment.
Thinking is compulsive; you can’t stop or so it seems. It is also addictive: you don’t even want to stop, at least not until the suffering is generated by the continuous mental noise becomes unbearable—Eckhart Tolle
Take full in control of your thoughts and eliminate the negative scripts that can disturb your peace or thoughts that are not constructive. You can attain this control by consistently exercising your brain in a form of meditation; it’s a mental workout. An escape from neurosis.
Your ability to clear your mind allows you to be in control of your emotions and assist you in intentionality of your actions.
By continually practicing meditation, you become in control of your peace and cease your impulses and erratic emotions/moods from taking over.
So take time in your day; start with guided meditation and actively guard your inner state.
5. Letting go of your mental scripts / judgments
Our conditioning, personal biases, our judgments are formed by the quality of our upbringing.
Our inner chatter are molded by the people we look up to growing up— our parents, teachers, older siblings, close friend, relative, etc. This creates an illusion that with these solid judgments, we always know what is wrong from right; thus, it’s easy for us to judge.
Our judgments and mental scripts is what deter us from living in the moment; in being mindful of the present.
Whenever someone speaks, we find ourselves judging them instantly despite of our lack of information about their personal struggles.
Whenever we perform an activity such as reading, we allow our mind to wander and judge the author’s intentions, we actively critique. All these pull us away from taking the real gist of the content, and prevent us from living in the moment.
We take a moment to acknowledge these thoughts in our heads for a second and we need to let it all go. We need to train our mind to not cloud our head by taking in all the mental scripts as a fact.
It is extremely important that we remain intentional about each moment.
We need to give value into our own consciousness.
We need to understand that all the psychological drama has an end; and it is vital that we don’t cling to them.
We need to look after our mental health and apply discipline as we care for our physical wellness.
I wish you best of luck and I hope this material helps you attain clarity and consistently maintain your peace!