It is a crazy world out there today- with the majority of us working endless hours, day-in and day-out, chasing many deadlines and trying to cope up with numerous challenges that come our way. There is a lot of competition when we look at the professional world and it is not uncommon that in the run to finish multiple tasks- we tend to lose out on enjoying the present- missing out on what they are really doing or what they intend to do.
Our mind is filled with chatter- more than often. There are so many moments when we tend to get pulled into a whirlwind of unpleasant thoughts that not only distort our vision and taint our world, but also impair our ability to be in the present.
The pandemic that impacted all of us has added to our already busy and strenuous lives. With billions locked in their homes and uncertainty around, anxiety and mental health have been widely impacted over the last couple of years. The pandemic has changed the way we live our lives- and has forced a large number of us to introspect and realign priorities. The new normal is here to stay with new Covid waves hitting our lives every few months. Hence, it is now more than ever, that one needs to practice mindfulness- and be more in sync with the present times. Mindfulness is all about purposely focusing on the present and ensuring that one accepts it without being judgmental.
So, a lot of us might think- there is a lot to take care of, so many tasks to juggle with- why should I invest my time and energy in being mindful?
Here is the answer! Mindfulness is all about paying attention to what is happening in the mind, body, and the immediate environment- and to remain in the present. It is about investing our energies in the present and not being worried about the future, or spending too much time brooding about the past.
Mindfulness has been identified as an effective mental health practice for helping people improve their physical and psychological well-being. Some of the potential benefits of practicing mindfulness include reduced stress levels, a decrease in depression, improved memory, and better relationships. Mindfulness also helps in better well-being and clarity of thought and equips an individual to make better decisions. Also, it is known to improve leadership skills and promote collaboration.
Benefits of mindfulness
There are a whole bunch of benefits of mindfulness. Let’s take a look at a few of them-
One of the biggest benefits of mindfulness is improvement in overall well-being. Mindfulness supports attitudes that in turn promote a happy and satisfying life. Being mindful ensures that we can better enjoy the moments we live in, cherish our experiences, as well as are better equipped to deal with adverse situations. It has been proven across studies that practicing mindfulness can help an individual be happier, have more compassion, build better relationships, as well as find a better sense of meaning.
The practice of focusing on the present and not getting ruffled by unpleasant instances in the past, or worry about the future ensures that one is less caught up in worries, regrets, or concerns about success as well as self-esteem.
Mindfulness has the potential to boost one’s memory. There would have been so many instances when you would have forgotten your car keys or your wallet, or just lost track of your thoughts in the middle of a meeting- all this happens because your brain has a number of wandering thoughts and is not totally in the present.
These moments of forgetfulness are caused by proactive interference, where older memories interfere with your ability to access newer ones. Mindfulness training can go a long way in enhancing the memory of individuals as they can focus a lot more on the present.
Clarity of thought
Mindfulness not only helps improve memory performance but also can be instrumental in focusing your thoughts – in turn, enhancing the ability to think clearly and flexibly.
With mindfulness, one can have a longer attention span, can shift his/her thoughts and attention in spite of the distractions around, as well as successfully suppress the thoughts that may interfere with focus.
In the times when one is struggling to build strong relationships (with most of the conversations going virtual due to Covid), there is enough evidence to prove that practicing mindfulness can have a positive impact on an individual’s interpersonal relationships. As per a study in 2018, people who were more mindful were also more accepting of their partner’s flaws and imperfections.
Mindfulness enables an individual to stop seeking the perfect person and take the flaws of his/her partner in his/her stride. This goes a long way in ensuring better relationships.
Mindfulness at workplace
Today, mindfulness has become an essential part of the lives of students across streams. Also, a large number of organisations like Google, Salesforce, etc are encouraging their employees to undergo mindfulness training. Also, organisations are investing a lot more in mindfulness-based stress reduction programs as a part of their learning curriculum, so as to reiterate the message of support and recognition to their team.
To sum it up, as the fear of another wave looms large, it is imperative for individuals to invest their energies in mindfulness- this will go a long way in easing out anxiety and stress, as well as help enhance productivity. It also goes a long way to ensure a more resilient approach, has mental agility as well as drive higher levels of motivation.
I would like to end with a simple yet very powerful mindfulness strategy. Just try saying this to yourself slowly- “There is no stress in this moment.” Can you just feel your shoulders relax?
The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.