#work-lifeBalance #mindfulness #mentalhealth

When is the last time you took time for yourself? Do you ever take time to just sit and be. Breathing, feeling the environment and taking a conscious break from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives?

In my home area by the end of the day the farmers would sit on the bench outside their house and just enjoy the evening breeze. They’d often just sit together even without talking just enjoying the moment, taking pride in the work they had done throughout the day, feeling their tired muscles and smelling & feeling the evening breeze. This conscious taking time out from our daily routine is what is mindfulness.

Mindful.org defines mindfulness as follows:

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis.

Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain.

180 miles and hour

In our modern live, our minds often go 180 miles an hour non-stop. Thoughts are buzzing around our brains until we sometimes feel like the head will burst. This makes it also so difficult to fall asleep. We wish we could switch off. Some people even resort to drinking to switch their brains off. This of course does not work and the next day it is even worse.

If you continue this way, with the ever buzzing mind you will soon find all kinds of health symptoms:

  • Headaches / migraines
  • Acidity
  • High Blood pressure
  • Problems to concentrate
  • Depression / Feeling of doom

This milder symptoms will then slowly turn into serious even fatal health conditions.

What Doctors usually tell you

Usually Doctors will tell you to make time for sports, make time to switch off and schedule time for yourself. We then rush and schedule even more things, that put more stress on us:

  • Gym time
  • Spending time with friends
  • Volunteering
  • Studying
  • Time to run errands yourself
  • Watching movies
  • Shopping
  • etc.

Each of these is not wrong and not bad, but if you add all of these to our already busy day, You will end up overloading yourself. Often our mind will already be on the next point in the agenda, while also still processing the current one at the same time.

If you are not careful you can even burn out faster.

What do I do now?

If you all your spare time activities only add to your busy schedule without allowing the brain to get a break, you are only adding to your stress. Schedule consciously time to switch off your brain and refocus will help. counteract this.  This is the practice of Mindfulness.

So how do I do that?

  • Just sit for a few minutes and breath, paying attention only to your breath going in and out
  • Just clear your mind and simply feel your environment. Feel how the air touches your skin, feel how the seat touches your buttocks, how do your clothes feel on your skin, how does the floor feel under your feet. How does the sun feel on your skin? What sounds are you hearing?
  • Just be in the moment, stop any thoughts about what you will do later.

In the beginning this may sound and feel strange, but you will start appreciating this. Start by doing this for 1min every day, then slowly increase to 5 minutes a day. You can even do it 2-3 times a day. Once you get used to it, you will realize after each session you feel better and refreshed.

What else can I do?

You can also try meditation or yoga, which are both good ways to relax your mind and take a break. You can find yoga for beginners videos that are easy to follow on YouTube, or join a local group. For meditation it is easier to start with guided meditation, where again you can find samples on YouTube. Here are a few samples:

These kind of meditations you need to do when you are sitting or lying down without interruption. NEVER listen to these meditations when driving, since you can easily fall asleep and you should fully concentrate on the meditation.

Taking conscious time for yourself, your thoughts and your body to relax, will refresh you and reduce the stress levels instantly. Try it out.




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