Ways to be Mindful - Mindfulness Part 2

Updated: May 7

I am sitting here, on an old sofa, in my balcony, being aware of the open sky, the chirping of the birds, smelling the air, breathing. Breathing and I am writing this for you with my laptop on my lap. This cup of coffee lying on the table looks heavenly, but it's too hot right now. People at the backside, talking about something, which I need not bother about.

This is the 2nd Part of the Mindfulness Article Series. Part 1 was about ''Why be mindful?'' So, If you haven't read the first part, please have a look.

One of my friends, after reading part 1 of this mindfulness series, asked me,

Ohh! Mindfulness means meditation, right?

Well, If you can call Conscious eating, conscious brushing your teeth, Conscious bathing, etc meditation, then Okay.

But to be honest, there is a slight difference. Mindfulness is more like a way of living, whereas meditation can or cannot be a preparation ground for mindfulness. We can begin with meditation so that we practice being in the here and now, but it necessarily does not have to be that way. Mindfulness can be practiced just wherever you are. At any time.

Many people say I can't sit for hours to meditate, not even minutes. How do I progress in being more aware? Yeah, there's the answer. Just whatever you do, BE AWARE.

In this article, I am going to share about, how to be more mindful, how you can start following it and what are the techniques I personally use as a part of my daily life.

So, here we go!!

1) Start with 1-minute mindfulness.

What happens when we have never done a diet in our lives and suddenly one day we start living on salads? Just after a few hours or days or maybe a week (depending on our determination), We start eating double.

When we want to build a habit, it's always a better idea to start with the baby steps and make progress. So that the habit sticks. Our mind only resists to something which demands us to break our old habit patterns. Our old habit pattern of mind is that it seeks simulation, hours of being engaged in some or the other work, doesn't make us feel uncomfortable, but just a minute of silence doing nothing scares us!

So, rather than directly jumping to hours, it’s always a better idea to start small and be consistent. Set a daily reminder/alarm or keep any kind of trigger that reminds you of bring mindful at the moment, wherever the trigger hits or timer beeps, just try being completely aware for a minute. Take a few deep breathes and then continue your work.

Gradually and slowly, increase your time to two minutes, five minutes, 10 minutes, so on and so forth.

2) Practice conscious eating.

We have a habit of watching TV, our cell phones or being engaged in some or the other activity while we eat. And suppose someday our phone has a low battery, we give the job of keeping our mind busy to our continuous thoughts.

Thinking is not a problem; thinking is a great tool. But if thinking makes you completely unaware of what you are eating, then I guess it definitely should be kept aside until you enjoy your meals.

Conscious eating has many benefits,

  • You are aware of what you are eating, how much you are eating and how the food actually tastes.

  • Being aware of it, you consciously know what your body needs. So, there are fewer chances that intentionally you will feed yourself something which is not good for your body. Maybe, a few times. But your guilt will make you eat much lesser junk than ever.

  • You'll do way lesser binge eating and consume lower calories.

  • You get to know your body and health better.

  • You chew comparatively more, which can make your food easy to digest. There are more chances that you slowly start losing weight.

  • You will eat when you actually feel hungry, not just to fill in the time gaps.

  • You will spend less time thinking about food.

3) Start practicing mindfulness with your routine activities.

You can choose 2-3 activities in the beginning which you think are fun for you, or are your priorities or you love doing the most like,

  • Spending time with your family or Spouse.

  • Spending time with your pets.

  • Bathing.

  • Playing any kind of indoor/outdoor games.

  • Cooking,

  • Reading or writing, and there's a long list.

So, suppose, you are sitting with your spouse talking about something, try to give him/her your utmost undivided attention. Every time, your mind thinks of something else, try to bring the awareness back and engage fully in the conversation.

This will make your relationship a lot better. You can take this as a RELATIONSHIP as well.

The same with your other routine activities, whenever your attention diverts, very calmly, without being agitated, simply bring it back to the activity you were doing. ENJOY doing it fully.

While cooking, smell the aroma, rather than checking your phone again and again.

Oops!! My COFFEE!! :P

4) Take out some time for phone detox.

Our cellphones are our greatest friends and our worst enemies these days. We have become so habitual to looking at our phone, that sometimes we forget, what we were scrolling it for.

It becomes our muscle memory. Pick up the phone. Search for something. Keep scrolling. That's the level of unconscious activity we can do these days. We are even becoming more of a phone addict than smoking. I have seen chain smokers smoking at some intervals, but ask them to keep their phone aside. They'll start jumping.

Our cellphones are making us more distraction prone than anything else. But through practicing mindfulness, we can start developing a habit of consciously choosing,

  • What you want to do with your phone and

  • How you are going to use it.

So, the idea is to become a master. Use it for your own good and not let it use you.

Set an alarm. Place your phone aside or simply give it to your mom for an hour! Soon in a few days, you'll realize, your productivity grows tremendously.

5) Try doing one thing at a time.

I mentioned in the earlier blog, about the habit of multi-tasking. How shifting steadily to one thing at a time, made me a more productive person.

Multi-tasking is really not a skill to have. Don't trust me? Try yourself for a few weeks doing just one thing at a time.

Multitasking drains us. It sucks our energy because it's not a normal human feature god added. We boasted it as an idea. We grew it over time.

Try to choose a few tasks every day which you do without much distraction. The distraction will happen but try bringing your attention back to whatever you are doing very calmly, acknowledging your urges and thoughts. Not judging them, being aware of them. And let go of them very calmly.

Remind yourself, this time is for this task, and after this, I'll give time to whatever is coming in my head.