How to practice mindfulness in daily life and reduce your stress
Practicing mindfulness can improve your concentration, bring mental clarity, and reduce stress. Renowned psychologist Dr Kamna Chibber explains how we can benefit from it.
There are moments in our day when we feel completely at peace and ease, blissfully focussed on the task at hand, away from the meandering thoughts. A lot of times, however, we are juggling multiple tasks together with many thoughts running at the back of our mind about pending tasks, meetings and emails. While we crave for those peaceful moments, they are scarce. When we are completely immersed in the present moment and mindful of what we are doing, it gives us satisfaction, reduces our anxiety and relieves our stress.
The frequency of these mindful moments can definitely go up if we train our mind for it and practice mindfulness techniques be it meditation or organizing our work and time in a way that we are not overwhelmed. Practicing mindfulness has a lot of benefits like self-control, objectivity, improved concentration, mental clarity, among others.
"Mindfulness essentially says when you are in a situation what you need to try doing is to be fully there. A lot of people may think mindfulness may mean that we need to sit down and meditate, but it's not that. It's about engaging with experiences more fully and that is something if it is done, it allows you to manage your stress levels better because you are not constantly feeling pulled and pushed into multiple directions," says Dr Kamna Chhibber, head of mental health and behavioural sciences at Fortis Memorial, Gurugram.
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While being in the moment adds to the happiness quotient in our lives, some people may find it difficult to apply.
"Mindfulness can be applied to each and every aspect of your life. It becomes more about 'in the moment, in the present, in the here and now' at the time you are doing an activity. That activity could be eating food, it could be that you are walking from one room to the next room. It could be that you are sitting and watching a show or being part of a conversation which you are not directly involved in. Mindfulness is to fully engage with that experience, utilize all your sense organs, to make sure that you are experiencing it more fully," says Dr Chibber over a telephonic conversation with HT Digital.
Benefits of Mindfulness
When you are experiencing the moment to its fullest or immersing yourself in a task completely, you are enjoying them that brings satisfaction in your life. It also boosts your productivity as you complete the task at hand quickly. When your mind is clouded by many thoughts, it may take forever to finish something and the outcome may not be as qualitative.
"Mindfulness allows you to kind of slow yourself down to be able to immerse yourself in the moment and to fully do the things you would like to while you are actually fully enjoying them or doing the best that you can do at that moment in able to achieve your own potential at that time and whatever the activity may be. It can have its various benefits as a result. It is oftentimes suggested that mindful engagement and mindful occupation is something very essential," says Dr Chibber.
How to practice mindfulness
"Things will keep on coming and going, and you have to learn how to let go of those thoughts. Let the thoughts flow like a river. Let the thought come in and go, don't hold on to it. Instead, keep redirecting your attention to the task that you are doing. You may be sitting and giving yourself a 5-minute break; allow yourself to enjoy that break instead of thinking ten different thoughts," says Dr Chibber.
Being more realistic in your expectations, better time management, being less judgemental of your own self, not comparing yourself to the others are all part of being mindful of yourself. "Learn to let go and be content in whatever is in front of you is the key," concludes Dr Chibber.