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Practising mindfulness during stressful times

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“To the mind that is still the whole universe surrenders”


Mindfulness is not something that can be acquired instantaneously but a habit that you have to develop.

This year has brought some stressful experiences for most of us confined in our homes for a fair amount of time. Each second, minute and day makes us want to break free from this confounded life that we now lead. The lack of proximity from reality has somewhat resulted in obstructing the mental wellbeing of an individual. Deprivation of social interaction and the increased amount of time spent on the plethora of gadgets present in our household gives way to multiple health hazards, both physical and mental. With this, we deflect our attention towards a much underrated yet extremely valuable concept which is termed mindfulness.

In the most easily comprehensible words, mindfulness is the state of being aware of oneself. Lately, the world has taken a disheartening turn and has almost come to resemble a maze in which we are all stuck. Finding the way out might seem difficult at first but it is not impossible. Amidst this chaos, an individual must not forget the importance of taking time for oneself. We sink so deep in the infinite well of “keeping up” that we detach ourselves from the idea of coping from within. The goal is not to harness one’s hard feelings but to unleash and outgrow them. Therefore the gist of it all is to be mindful of all the emotions/feelings that occur within the dimensions of the self.

Read: Positive psychology: making life worth living

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Meditation, 10 minutes a day can improve concentration and working memory

Furthermore, in my opinion, to unravel the stress and anxiety piled up during hardships, there are some mindful activities one must adhere to – like constantly communicating your problems, trying out social media detoxification, consistent physical exercise and most importantly, cutting yourself some slack when a situation isn’t treating you well. No matter how challenging time gets, prioritising yourself would just help you tackle it well. Turning a blind eye to your mental state undermines your ability to function smoothly; therefore, one’s state of being must be under constant supervision to ensure good health.

Following are eight suggested ways which might help you do so:

Sit in the morning – Mornings offer a great opportunity to practice your mindfulness. The day is just beginning, it is nice and quiet, and you may have a few moments to yourself amidst the soft trill of chirping birds, pleasant wind and dew-covered ferns. Instead of jumping out of bed and rushing through a morning routine, sit still for a few minutes and be thankful for the day you are provided with. Pay minute attention to your body and your surroundings and start your day with the right frame of mind.

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Eat mindfully – When was the last time you truly appreciated a meal? Life is busy and as a result, eating has become something that is done in passing. We even have fast-food restaurants and drive-throughs so that we can even eat as we drive to further save time. Try slowing down, making the food yourself and eating purposefully. Choose organic food items with a variety of colours, textures, and flavours to challenge and expand your palate. Take the time to chew and appreciate each bite; doing so is better for digestion too and will give you fewer stomach-related problems. Avoid bringing distractions to the table such as watching TV, reading and working on smartphones or other gadgets as though they might seem like a good way to pass the time while eating, you are missing the chance to be mindful and truly enjoy your meal.

Spend time outside – Fresh air does wonders for one’s mind and body. If you have some nice trails, parks or other green spaces around you, utilize them to get in touch with nature and connecting with the present moment. Observe every detail you see on your walk – how the weather feels, what you hear and what you smell – to be fully conscious and aware, to be mindful of yourself and your surroundings.

Other activities to develop mindfulness could include creating something, engaging in a hobby and meditating.

Self-love and self-care are two major components of mindfulness. In the words of Glenn Close, “What mental health needs are more sunlight, more candour, and more unashamed conversation.” Today as you untangle yourself out of this closely knitted mesh of distress and hatred, remember to do those little things which lift your spirits, listen to that one song on loop, complete that procrastinated artwork, walk your dog around a park or maybe just sit and reminisce a better time. We’re all doing well if we’re acknowledging and accepting how and what we feel regularly.

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Dr. Rachna Khanna Singh
Dr. Rachna Khanna Singh
Currently head of Department of Holistic Medicine & Wellness at Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon Dr. Rachna Khanna Singh is a mental wellness expert with expertise in relationship, lifestyle & stress management. The founder and director of The Mind and Wellness Studio Dr. Rachna Khanna has worked with leading hospitals like Fortis Escorts, Dharamshila Cancer Hospital. Her specialties include stress management, lifestyle management for heart diseases, supportive care for chronically ill patients, work-life balance, parent-child bonding, cancer support care, ante/postnatal care, relationship counselling, pre-marital & marital counselling, adolescent counselling, psychiatric & psychological illnesses like depression, anxiety, insomnia.


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