2020 needs no introduction. With the advent of the drastic effects of climate change attacking us, followed by the pandemic - it is safe to say that all of us have had a rollercoaster of a year. This year took a heavy toll on our physical health; more so our mental and emotional health. If any wise lesson is to be learnt from this year - it is to take a step back from all the things that do not serve you. Focus on making yourself the first priority! 2021 is the ideal time to begin with this conscious change and be more mindful about our thoughts and emotions.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
We have all heard this seemingly spiritual term before. Let us give you a quick insight into what mindfulness actually is! When one is completely aware and focussed on the moment in the present, all while acknowledging and being at peace with our emotions, thoughts and actions. Mindfulness is nothing but your mind being completely conscious of what is happening around you, the emotions you are experiencing and the mindspace you are in.
This is not something that we need to create. It is present amongst all of us; all that is required to do is achieve the power to take control of it.
WAYS WE CAN BE MORE MINDFUL IN 2021!
1. MEDITATION & YOGA
One of the most common ways to attain mindfulness is through the pathway of yoga and meditation. These help in the reduction of stress and negative emotions too.
They heighten your awareness and knowledge about your thoughts, feelings and emotions - making your mind stay at peace. Mindful meditation is the ultimate key to calming down your ever active brain and working to push the negative emotions and thoughts away.
They involve us being completely aware of our breathing and our body, enabling us to learn how to control each thought entering our brain and regulating what we do about them.
2. DIGITALLY DETOX YOURSELF
It is no secret that our phones, laptops and gadgets are our ultimate companions. We are always scrolling down Instagram, checking our emails and clicking pictures of our coffee - without actually living in the moment. A key to being more mindful is going on a digital detox. Even more so when you are around your loved ones!
Not letting technology take over you and taking a step back from it can be a great stepping stone towards truly being in touch with your emotions and thoughts. The constant buzzing notifications on our phones and laptops prevent us from being at peace. A calming digital detox when our friends and family are around can help us achieve this. Moreover, keeping away all technology while being around our loved ones is a practice we must strive for in our everyday lives too.
3. CONSCIOUS EATING
Mindful eating is a serene concept that helps us not only eat better, but also eat smarter. This includes awareness of what you are eating, how you are eating and keeping a positive check on our guilty cravings! Eating consciously involves chewing your food whilst being aware of it and eating it very slowly - allowing your body to actually feel what you are eating.
Adding a little positivity to your meals whilst cooking them and preparing them free of any distractions and disturbances allows you to eat a meal filled with health and consciousness.
Utilising all your senses to know and notice the aromas of your food, the texture of your food and the enriching flavours aids with calming you down as well as helping you know what exactly do you consume. Enjoying each morsel and truly being grateful for the food in your plate is a step towards being more mindful.
4. MINIMISING STRESS,ANXIETY & RELEASING EMOTIONS
These intensely trying times have taken a major toll on our mental and emotional well-being. We are not stressed and anxious about one thing in particular.
Allowing and letting yourself from not worrying about everything around you - whether it is in the academic, social, personal, professional or emotional headspace. Taking all things one day at a time and preventing any thought or focus on the outcome of things lets you be more at peace with your mind and your thoughts.
The correct and easiest way to release all your pent up emotions is as simple as taking a deep breath and acknowledging yourself feeling emotions, slowly releasing them. Managing stress becomes a breeze with taking things & emotions slowly and steadily.
5. SELFCARE IS A MUST
There is no denying that selfcare aids you in more ways than one. Though the ideas of self care that exist are multiple, they all have just one goal - to soothe you and put you at enough ease to be completely in touch with your thoughts, emotions and feelings. Setting aside some time for yourself and allowing your mind to be completely present will work wonders.
Our idea of some good self-loving and care would be a calming evening with our face masks, some aromatherapy with a diffuser and facial massages. This is a power packed combination of things that will not only put your mind at ease, but also assist your emotions and thoughts towards being calmer and more positive - setting you on a journey to mindfulness.
6. GIVE BACK TO THE ENVIRONMENT
Giving back to the environment and selfless nature is another pathway towards being more mindful of our surroundings and general mental state. Quite often we mindlessly dump all our waste without actually putting in an effort to either segregate it or compost it or even make an attempt to recycle our waste.
The first step towards giving back to nature is being mindful of our waste. The smallest step one can take is by beginning to segregate your waste into dry waste and wet waste. This makes it much easier for your waste to get recycled and improves community health. Another crucial step is mindfully recycling and upcycling our waste and other skincare products. If you want to read up more on our initiative Sublime Recycles, read it here.
7. GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR SENSES
Most of us are barely in touch with any of our senses, being constantly busy with our daily hustle bustle leads to us barely being present in the moment. We are always wrapped up with something or another and never take a moment to use all our senses to the fullest.
If you think trying to get in touch with your senses is rocket science, you are highly mistaken!
- Begin by just looking around you. You do not have to think about it and let your thoughts wander. Just use your eyes to take a look.
- Then slowly close your eyes and reach out for the first thing that comes in your hands. Feel this thing. Get a complete idea of the texture it possesses.
- Next, take a deep breath and truly acknowledge the smells and aromas that you can sense. Again, do not let your thoughts lose track - just be present and take a whiff of everything you can.
- After this, sit silently and just let all the sounds around you reach your ears. It could be any sound, just allow it to be heard. Do not make any distinctions between the different sounds, let them come to you.
- Last but not the least, grab a small bite and be aware of all that you are tasting. All the different tastes and textures, revel in them.
Doing these small things everyday or even a couple of times a week can really help us to devote complete attention to our senses and be present in the moment.
8. OPT FOR A CHANGE IN ROUTINE OR TRAVEL
How many of us have a stringent and fixed routine? We are certain, most of you do. Going through the same routine over and over again can become overwhelming and tedious in most cases.
Mixing up the monotonous routine a bit or opting for some travel could heavily influence how mindful and conscious we are. For us to be more present in the moment, we need to be clear headed and calmer. A quick change in routine helps us do that in the best possible way!
The brand new sights, smells, sounds and textures around you enable you to be more conscious. Even if travelling is not on the cards, a small change like walking to college or stopping at a different place for lunch could also do the trick!
9. TAKE THE JOURNALING WAY
Maintaining a journal does not just allow you to be more aware of yourself, but also creates an outlet for all the overflowing negative and positive emotions and feelings you are expressing.
Journaling does not have to be a complicated process. All you need to do is pen down every single thought that is running through your mind. Doing so allows you to be mindful of the kind of thoughts you are experiencing, whether they are positive ones, negative ones or neutral ones. It also encourages you to control your thoughts, since you are already in tandem with your thoughts.
10. LAY IN THE LAP OF NATURE
Our mundane lives in concrete jungles are often drab and monotonous, filled with constant hustle and bustle.
Being connected to nature has extremely healthy effects on our bodies. Not just mentally but physically too. We tend to be more mindful of our thoughts and focus more on letting go when we are surrounded by greenery or the clear blue sea. Nature has the innate ability to make us take a step back from everything, ease our thoughts and breathe mindfully.
The combination of consciousness and nature takes us to a deeper dimension and helps us remain completely connected with our feelings and thoughts. Calmness and clarity is closer with mindfulness in nature.
WHAT MINDFULNESS DOES FOR YOU!
1. LESSER STRESS AND BURNOUT
The most common advantage of mindfulness is the massive impact it has on the reduction of stress and burnout. Being conscious is considered as one of the most important keys to taking the extra load away from you & controlling our stress.
2. IMPROVEMENT IN PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
It is no surprise that mindfulness is like sheer magic for your mental health, but it has similar effects on your physical health too. Being aware keeps the mind AND the body at blissful peace and gives you better control over breathing.
3. BOOSTS CONCENTRATION
We tend to focus more on what is going on in the present and amp up the concentration on our surroundings, senses and emotions. Increased concentration levels enable us to retain knowledge more efficiently and improve your memory too!
4. ACADEMIC & PROFESSIONAL FOCUS
After proving how great it is to boost your concentration levels, it can be easily proven that mindfulness works overtime to help you achieve focus in both these spheres.
5. OOZING SELF LOVE
Being utterly conscious of your thoughts and surroundings proves to contribute towards healing yourself, emotionally more than ever. Just being present and collecting your thoughts and manifesting the positive ones leads to us believing in ourselves and our capabilities.
After a chaotic 2020 and being through hell and back, we really have learnt that we must take a massive step back, from all our responsibilities. Not just to take care of our mental and emotional health, but even our physical health. This 2021 we take a pledge to be more mindful and conscious than ever before, to be the best versions of ourselves.
- Sakshi Rawte