You must have heard the phrase “be mindful of your words” have you ever wondered what people mean by being mindful. It means to be careful. It also means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment through a gentle, nurturing lens. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we sense in the moment rather than reliving the past or imagining the future. SO basically, in a nutshell, it means to be careful and thoughtful.
What does a Mindful day look/feel like?
It is a day when you are aware and in control of your F.A.T.E
You must be wondering, what is FATE?
FATE is an Acronym for Focus, Actions, Thoughts and Emotions. Let’s understand these in detail.
Focus: Focus is one of the most important elements of speed and quality. Focus is what gets us to do things effectively. Things done with a clear focus turn out to be better in quality and are created quickly. However, focusing for an extended period may lead to physical and mental fatigue. Changing your direction consciously may help you to perform voluntary focus for a longer period.
Actions: You would have often heard – Actions speak louder than words. Being aware of your activities throughout the day is an essential step towards being mindful. Reviewing your actions and what you could have done better helps in balancing your priorities, tracking your time and analyse the impact on self and others
Thoughts: Being aware of your thoughts in situations throughout the day is a critical step towards being mindful. Being aware of your thoughts may help you choose your actions effectively. Life is all about the choices we make – Let’s start with awareness about our thoughts, their impact and then choose the best action in the moment. You don’t want to take an action which you may regret later. Just pause every few hours, ask yourself “what am I thinking?” and become aware of your thoughts. That’s a simple yet effective way of being mindful…. Every day.
Emotions: Being aware of your emotions and feelings throughout the day is a step towards being mindful. Everything you feel is your reality. The next step is to acknowledge that emotion, feel and get aware of it fully and then take appropriate action – either in the moment or plan for a future situation.
How Mindful were you today?
Start by recording about your FATE once every hour. Set an alarm on your mobile for every hour. Pull out a sheet and introspect using the following questions:
The above questions are just indicative. It may feel like a lot of work. I discussed this with Sumeet Arora, co-founder of Novo Leaders.
He said “With practice now, it takes me 4 minutes. I use another 5 minutes to recharge myself. And I am back to my routine. I do this 3 to 4 times in a day. Sometimes more frequently. I can work for 12 hours with full energy and efficiency in a day by being mindful.”
Use the information from the following picture to monitor your FATE. At the end of the day, find a percentage. Monitor on a day to day basis and choose actions to improve percentage in the desired direction.
How can you be mindful?
There are some activities you can do on a daily basis to stay mindful. Each of the mentioned activities may help you in one of more areas of F.A.T.E.
First step is to understand and try them – You may align with some more than the others. Create your mix of Mindful activities and follow them daily:
As you can see from above, with every activity/practice, you take up. You check at least one out of the four components of being mindful. Picking up these habits will not only help you stay AWARE, but will also help you build MINDFUL habits and clarity in your life.
You will be able to express effectively, think clearly and have awareness of your emotions and manage them well.
We all know that, whatever one does more, one gets better at . You need to practice mindfulness to make it a part of your day. Training the mind takes practice. The more you practice, the better you get.
With practice being mindful can come naturally to you when you need it in your daily life – Be it when you’re stressed or amidst challenging times or simply when you want to focus or create something new.
Lets try being mindful right away:
1.Sit in a relaxed, comfortable position. Pick something to focus on, like a word you repeat in your head or your breathing.
2 .Let’s say you decided to focus on your breathing. Breathe normally while you simply pay attention to your breath. If you want, you can close your eyes. As you breathe in and out, just notice each breath. Quickly pay attention — on purpose, but not forced.
3.Notice when your mind wanders away from paying attention to your breath. Maybe you start thinking about what’s for lunch, or whether you remembered to bring your soccer gear or that funny joke someone told at recess. That’s your mind wandering and getting distracted. It’s natural. Minds do that all the time!
4.Whenever you notice your attention has wandered, gently remind yourself to pay attention to breathing again. That’s how you train your attention.
5.Keep breathing, keep relaxing, keep paying easy attention to your breathing. Can you feel the place where the air tickles your nostrils? Do you notice how the breath gently moves your body? Can you pay attention to your belly or your chest moving as you breathe? Keep bringing your attention back to breathing every time your mind wanders.
Try to do this for 5 minutes.
Researchers back these exercises and claim these exercises are proven to help people with ADHD become more mindful. Practising the art of mindfulness will help you channel your attention towards essential things. It will also help you become more attentive and woke.
Mindfulness (for Kids) – Nemours Kidshealth| D’Arcy Lyness, PhD