The joy of living depends largely on how well you are in control of your mind by keeping it calm. But this can be quite challenging because today, we are leading incredibly stressful lives that agitate the mind and create a lot of distraction, which cause distress and unhappiness.
More and more people are trying to discover ways of enjoying life by staying happy. The focus is on mindfulness, which holds the key to calming minds and elevates spirits by providing the much-needed space to have a different take on life, says Jonah Engler.
Mindfulness is the practice of keeping the mind relaxed, allowing people to view life from a different perspective by learning to live in the moment by shedding the baggage of preoccupation so that you can focus on the finer elements of life that bring happiness.
Being in the present is not as easy as it sounds due to various distractions that prevent the mind from staying focused. When the mind gets weighed down with many thoughts that keep swirling, we are unable to set our priorities and remain confused.
Cluttered minds are our biggest enemies because they rob us of the ability to use our senses to ascertain what is going around us, thereby rendering us slaves of habits that lead us nowhere and only makes our lives miserable. We are unable to set the goals of life, which is essential for improving the quality of life.
This is where mindfulness comes into play to rescue us from mental captivity and show the way towards mental happiness by giving us a purpose to live.
Tune in with your feelings and thoughts, says Jonah Engler
The happiness of life depends on mental peace and control based on fine-tuning your feelings and thoughts, which will help you, make better decisions. When your mind is under control, you take charge of yourself and stay firmly rooted so that you can prevent stress arising from pushing or pulling in one direction or another, which happens when you put your life on autopilot.
When your mind is under control, you stay relaxed but confident in navigating through life by overcoming the challenges. All of us are born with mindfulness, and you must learn to evoke it through meditation, which is the way to harness your mind and work towards its enrichment that enhances the joys of living.
This article should help you to understand how to practice meditation and make it a daily habit.
Find a quiet place
Staying alone and aloof are the primary requirements for meditation, and the place where you meditate must have a quiet ambiance where you can comfortably sit for 10-20 minutes and feel like sitting for a longer time.
You must be alone in the space without anyone or anything disturbing you when you are meditating. Keep your gadgets away like your mobile phone, and even if you have it nearby, ensure that it is set in silent mode.
Start looking inwards
Once you have found the perfect seat for meditation, start the process of narrowing down your focus by looking at the areas of your life on which you want to pay all attention and start jotting down some simple notes as the thoughts keep bubbling.
The list could include things that leave you stressed out, emotions that you would like to shed off, and what you want to achieve in the future. This step is not mandatory but an especially useful exercise for checking in with yourself to vent out the thoughts that crowd your mind.
Make yourself comfortable
Posture is particularly vital for meditation, and you must choose between sitting in an upright position or lying down on the floor, whichever makes you feel most comfortable and relaxed. If you are sitting in the upright position, either make your hands rest comfortably on your lap or place your hands on your knees.
When lying down, put your hands by your side with legs stretched. Create the right ambiance for meditation by burning some candles, cleaning the air around you, and lighting palo santo or sage. Incense and essential oils add an element of calmness to the environment and prepare your mind for relaxation.
Use a timer
To know when to begin and end your meditation, use a meditation app like Headspace or Insight timer or set a manual timer. The use of timer helps you to start regular practice and stay on track.
Start the session
Close your eyes and relax each part of your body at a time to achieve full-body relaxation. Carefully scan each area of the body to identify any area of stress or discomfort and arrange to release it. Keep observing and releasing. If any sudden changes or noises happen around you, take note of it and release it too.
Sit and be aware
As you sit relaxed, take note of your surroundings, the sounds around you, and your body. Just be aware, but do not try to change anything. Pay attention to your breathing process as you must take deep breaths but silently. Fill your lungs to the fullest without forcing your breath. Instead, feel how the air passes through your nostrils and flows in and out through your throat, chest, and belly.
Focusing on your breath will direct your mind to a single point and calm it, and you would feel being in the present. As thoughts come to your mind, acknowledge and them and set them asidebut keep focusing on staying still. On some days, your mind will remain tranquil while on other days. It might remain disturbed due to churning of thoughts but remain unaffected because neither is good or bad.
When you near the end of practice, restore your conscious attention to your surroundings, and acknowledge your presence in the setting. Start the body movements by gently wiggling your toes and fingers, and start moving your hands, arms, feet, and legs. Open your eyes and get up slowly from your seat.
There is no fixed length of time that is good or bad, and you need to find out what works best for you in the range of 10-20 minutes, which you can increase later.