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Why You Should Practice Mindfulness for More Peace and Joy

“Mindfulness is like that—it is the miracle which can call back in a flash our dispersed mind and restore it to wholeness so that we can live each minute of life.” 

                                                                                                             – Thich Nhat Hanh

Why You Should Practice Mindfulness for More Peace and Joy

Life can get busy with the fast pace of work, chores, errands and taking care of the kids. However, you can find time to practice mindfulness for more peace and joy in your life. People are concerned with the economy, worry about their finances, and their future. It sure can cause a lot of stress, which in turn can cause mood and physical changes.

Research shows that many people wish they could slow down and smell the roses more often. They feel rushed. They live life in the fast lane trying to accomplish their goals and do what they need to do, but when they get home at night and finish the tasks for the evening, they are beyond exhausted. Many experience burn out at one time or another. Many deal with anxiety and depressive disorders. Many simply feel like robots- experiencing little to no joy.

If you are feeling anything like what I’ve just described, I have good news for you. Researchers have been studying the practice of mindfulness on stress, depression and are finding that it actually decreases negative symptoms and helps people to live happier, healthier lives. Mindfulness is growing rapidly around the world, as more and more people are experiencing remarkable changes as a result of this technique.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness simply involves being aware of your present thoughts and body functions. It is being “mindful” of your thoughts at the present moment. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a researcher at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, has helped this Zen Buddhist meditation technique to gain popularity in recent years. He has conducted extensive research on the effects of mindfulness on stress, emotions, and even chronic pain and illness. Mindfulness has been found to reduce depressive symptoms, lesson chronic pain, help with eating disorders and substance abuse and reduce anxiety. It is working so well that some hospitals are using it as an aid to current therapy.

The Good Old Days

Remember the days when you were a little boy or girl? You most likely did not have a lot of concerns or thoughts running through your mind. Little children are more apt to think less and play more. They are more concerned about exploring their worlds and just living life in the present moment; not feeling bad about their past and not thinking about their future.

However, what happens as children grow older is that they start to live in the present moment less and in the past and future more. Their thoughts increase dramatically, they begin to experience more pain and negative emotions, and life gets more difficult. They may begin to wrestle with fear, anxiety or depression and often-times to combat these negative feelings; they reach for things to try to make them go away. They might try alcohol, relationships, food, work, etc. The problem is that these things don’t make the pain or negative emotions go away, so they simply get repressed or stuffed way down deep.

By adulthood, plenty of negative thoughts can be running rampant in their minds and their moods may reflect that. They have allowed negative thoughts to dominate. They’ve lost touch with that innocent little child who simply loved to live in the present moment and enjoy the simple things in life.

Mindfulness meditation can help individuals to stop living in the past and future and begin enjoying life in the present. It helps you to slow down and relax; smell the flowers and enjoy each moment as it comes. As you practice mindfulness, layers of negative thoughts and emotions disappear and you begin to sense a feeling of freedom, peace, and joy.

How to Practice Mindfulness

Practising mindfulness is very simple. Just find a quiet place to sit down, take a few deep breaths, and relax every inch of your body. Your goal is to stay aware of your present moment and forget about the past or the future. As you breathe in and out, focus on your breath. As you breathe in, feel the air entering your lungs. As you exhale, focus on exhaling any negativity in you.

As you keep your focus on your breathing, you will by default NOT be thinking about other things (like the bills that are due or the ‘F’ your child got on his report card). If random thoughts come (as they will), simply acknowledge the thought and return your focus to your inhale and exhale.

Make time at your convenience every day to sit and practice mindfulness meditation. In the beginning weeks, try to do this for 10 to 15 minutes, but after that aim for 30 minutes a day. This may seem like a long time to sit still, but remember that as you are practising mindfulness, you are combating stress, depression, anger, and all sorts of negative emotions that have been plaguing your mind for decades.

Do you know what you will find as you practice mindfulness? Your days will become brighter. You will find yourself being aware of your breathing throughout the days. You will be able to enjoy your present moments throughout the day much more. While you’re sitting in traffic for an hour after work, instead of getting angry, you will be at ease, feeling more peaceful and joyful just for the fact that you are alive and breathing.

You will find yourself being more present in your spouse and children’s lives. You will engage with people more in a loving way. You will be more accepting, less judgemental; more connected with your spiritual self, more compassionate, and more emotionally stable.

Go ahead and begin your mindfulness journey today. Make a commitment to slow down and smell the roses. Begin with a few minutes here and there. Test it out. I think you will be very pleased with the results. After all, we all simply want to be full of love, peace, and joy, so if mindfulness is a ticket to that state, let’s do it!


A Leading Self-Empowerment Author, Keynote Speaker and Coach. Your Journey Towards Greatness Starts Here: http://www.tonyfahkry.com/


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He had a tough day at work. He comes back home, exhausted and slightly frustrated because he had to drive a long way back home amidst heavy traffic. He reaches home. As he is about to ring the doorbell, he smiles. He visualises his better half opening the door with a smile. A smile that has the capability to reduce, if not erase the stress. Instead, when the door is opened, he finds a tired looking woman in front of his eyes. No smile, dishevelled hair. He is disappointed but he accepts that she is a human, too. She must have had a rough day as well. He enters the house. She brings him a glass of water and attempts to smile because she knows he likes it but he is not seeing her smile now; he is irked by her body odour, she is sweating. He tries to convince himself that she must have not gotten the time to freshen up. He gets up and walks to the bedroom. He freshens up, comes back to the living room and switches on the television. He is not in a mood to start a conversation. It is dinner time, the dinner is arranged on the dining table, while she is serving him dinner, he attempts to start a conversation. She replies in monosyllables. He gives up and has dinner in silence. He finishes and walks to the kitchen, does the dishes, he always does it. She joins him in the kitchen and does her part. He looks at her, she looks beautiful despite how untidy she is. She goes to the bedroom; he decides to watch news before joining her. He goes to the bedroom after some time. He tries to get close to her, she does not play along. He is angered. He turns around and tries to sleep.

II

She had a tough day at work. She reaches home slightly earlier than him, but she is exhausted and sweating. The drop from office is God sent but that does not mean no traffic. She enters the house, empty house. She collapses on the couch but gets up immediately because she needs to tidy the house and prepare dinner before he comes. She changes her clothes; she wants to freshen up but decides to postpone it for a while. She tidies the house. She starts with dinner preparations. The doorbell rings right at the moment when she is making vegetable. She opens the door and rushes back to the kitchen in time to save the vegetable from getting burnt. She goes back with a glass of water; she tries to smile because she knows he likes to see her like that. However, he is not paying attention to her smile now. She realizes that she is sweating and perhaps stinking. She is disappointed. She understands that he needs to see her smile. He has told her so many times that her smile makes him feel good about life. He has never liked the stench of sweat on her, she does not blame him; in his shoes perhaps, she would have not liked that as well. He goes to the bedroom to freshen up. She prepares dinner. He watches television. She takes a quick shower, sprays deodorant.

He is still watching television. She then arranges dinner on dining table, he comes and sits. He does not notice that she has freshened up. She is hurt. He tries to start a conversation. She is too hurt to speak; he gives up right at the time when she decides to give in. She wants to know how his day was. She hopes he would ask her how her day was. He finishes dinner in silence and so does she. He does the dishes. She does her part. She sees him watching her. She finishes the work and goes to the bedroom; she looks in the mirror and smiles. She washes her face and neck again, especially behind the ear. She knows he likes to kiss her there. She climbs into bed and waits for him. He does not come. He is watching television. She tries to sleep. He comes to the room and kisses her behind the ear, slowly moving towards her neck. By this time, she is angered. She feels like a sex object. She does not respond. He stops, turns around and tries to sleep. She is on the verge of crying.

Such little things often happen especially when the couple is newly married. Whose fault it is in this scenario? Who would take the initiative to correct the errors and misunderstandings? These and many more similar questions still remain to be answered. What's your take on this?

To trust someone after being betrayed once becomes difficult. Trusting the same person again seems almost impossible and in addition to that we often find ourselves unable to trust anyone easily. We are humans and we tend to protect ourselves from being hurt again, we tend to envelope ourselves into a vacuum we create to keep people out of the full trust zone and hide our vulnerable self from the world. In doing so we end up pushing away the people who really care for us and those who are actually worth being trusted.

A broken heart takes time to heal. And, unless and until it is completely healed; it would be difficult to move on.

There are different kinds of people in this world -

1. People who do not trust anyone.

2. People who do not trust easily and even when they do trust someone, they keep check of the trust level.

3. People who do not trust easily but when they do, they trust completely.

4. People who trust very easily and trust completely.

The last group of people are more susceptible to being betrayed, that does not mean that the other three groups remain untouched by betrayal.

Where there is trust, there always is a risk of betrayal. And once it happens, there is ought to be pain and lingering doubt. It stays there somewhere at the back of your mind, how much ever hard you try to get rid of the thought.

How do we save ourselves from betrayal? How do we know whom to trust? Would we find the answers in some book? No self-help book or article is really going to answer these questions for you. Search for the answers within.

The second group of people who keep check of the trust level actually activate their instincts, which guide them in trusting the right kind of people and to the right extent. It is only when doubt arises, the instinct fails and they are exposed to being betrayed.

There always is a voice at the back of your mind telling you that trusting a particular person in particular circumstances and with a particular matter is not a good thing to do, it involves risk and it is important for you to be alert. Always heed to that voice.

Once betrayed does not mean that you should not trust again. We must not only continue putting our trust in other people, we must also learn to trust again the person who has betrayed you once. That is, if that person is an essential part of your life. Either on a personal front or a professional front. You have to trust yourself to be capable enough to trust that person. You must trust your instincts to guide you appropriately.

We are often betrayed by those whom we trust and we trust those who mean a lot in our life. Letting them go is not always the option and is not always easy. When letting go is the choice you can make, you are better off without the negative influence in your life. However, when the concerned person is someone from your close circle, letting go is not really a option. We must learn to survive against the negative influence.

Healing your broken heart does not necessarily mean getting rid of the lesson learned from the betrayal of the past. It simply means moving on, in a way that helps to get rid of the negativity attached to the betrayal. The more we think about it, the more we talk about it, the more pain we feel.

To start the healing process, it is essential to detach yourself from the pain. First and foremost, step is to stop thinking about it. It is equally important to stop talking about it. Stop telling others how you have been betrayed by someone and how much hurt it has caused you. Each time you re-live the betrayal, you are allowing the negativity to gain control of your thoughts. And by doing so you are blocking the positivity that would sharpen your instinct and guide you in future.

Second step of the healing process is to forgive the person who has betrayed you. Whether the person is deserving or not deserving is another matter altogether. Forgive the person for yourself, for your peace of mind. You cannot move on without forgiving the person who is the cause of the pain. You need not forget the lesson the person has taught you. Forgiving the person will help you get rid of a lot of negativity that feels likes a heavy weight on your chest. It will clear your mind and make you alert, sharpening your instinct.

The third step of healing process is to open your heart to all the positivity life has to offer. Imbibe as much positivity as you can. Look around you, there are people in your life who are worth being trusted. People who really care about you. People who want you to be happy. People who have positive influence in your life. Spend time with them, share with them and learn from them. Bathe in their love and positivity.

The final step of healing process is to start trusting again. Open your mind to new opportunities... to future. Free yourself from the bondage of doubt and believe in your strength - your instinct.

May your heart be healed.

Everything big starts small. Everything on earth today was born out of someone’s small idea who strongly believed they will succeed in developing it.

The airplane was once an idea, the microwave, and the cellular phone. The great life of any successful person is wrapped up around a definite purpose which usually starts as a small idea. Success comes from working on small beginnings with faith and perseverance.

Success involves focus, hard work, determination, pushing beyond your comfort zone and hope in life. Success in small things gives you hope for big things. I like taking selfies. I am a selfie author and speaker. That’s part of my brand. Before I take a selfie, I tell the person or group of people to smile and right away they smile. I use the power of “selfies” to plant beautiful smiles on people’s faces, ignite friendship, promote unity, enhance togetherness and create a sense of cooperation amongst all racial divides. As small as the idea seems, it goes the extra miles of putting beautiful smiles on people’s faces at a time lots of people rarely smile. It started small and has developed into a powerful movement. Now everyone I meet who knows me wants to take a selfie photo.

Focusing on a goal is a great mind development action. But to make that goal realizable you must start with appreciating and celebrating the small things that gets you to the goal. Focusing on a goal creates momentum that propels you to constantly take actions. Every big thing started small. Life’s success is the accumulation of tireless small efforts matched with determination, focus and hope. I don’t believe in the get-rich-quick syndrome. I believe in hard work and using quality productive time to achieve my goals.

When you witness your small acts developing into big things, you feel happy; you build courage, move faster and become more hopeful. When you inject courage into your life, you develop a powerful force that pushes you through fear, and you build confidence to take on any challenge.

Challenges will come, no doubt. Your hope in life will be shaken, that’s okay but you’ll survive it. It’s sad that most people see setbacks as failure. Rather than picking themselves up and forging ahead, they freeze and lose hope. They stop taking actions. That’s totally wrong and a disservice to your personality. I don’t believe in failure. Failure is a simple way that the universe tells us that we have not found the right way to do it. It’s a way it tells us to make new tactical changes on the next plan. Never allow any setback to kill your hope in life. If you do, you are doomed.

Understand this, if you have never had any failures in life, then you are not thinking big. It means you are not taking risks. It means you take the easy route, you do the simple things and you are constantly playing safe.

Most successful people worldwide started their careers with nothing, some with little or no experience. Most have no skills at all, but they started, worked hard, believed in themselves, sometimes failed but never gave up. They constantly put their best foot forward to reach their goals. Why did they succeed? They succeeded because they strongly believed in their power of creativity even with the smallest experience and resources they had at the time.

Failures teach lessons and when we learn, we shake off the disappointments and move right up to the next plan. We learn from mistakes. You don’t learn to play soccer by watching a soccer game. No matter how long you watch the game, you will never learn how to play soccer. The learning process starts once you get into the field of play and practice, kicking the ball, making passes, committing fouls, scoring goals and learning as you go. That’s how you develop skills and learn the rules of the game. The same applies to life. Every dream you think of, feel and imagine and work on can be actualized. So long as it’s something you really want, there is a potential for its actualization if you work on it. Go out there and Live Your Dream.

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