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5 Easy Ways to Practice Mindfulness



Easy Ways to Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness is a great way to diminish stress, which is a constant for just about everyone. But many people find it difficult to focus on the present, which is something that mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn (an MIT graduate who has been involved with the practice for over 45 years) says is essential. He says mindfulness is about thinking “Oh yeah, brand new day and I’m still alive!” and going about the day with awareness.

So, how can you—in this multi-tasking world of ours—practice mindfulness? Here are five easy ways to find inner peace and be alone with your thoughts.

1. Start slow, grasp the true essence of mindfulness

First, get rid of the assumption that you must be some kind of Zen master or assume a certain position when the moon and your astrological sign are in synch. Practicing mindfulness is nothing like that. It is simply about focusing on one thing at a time, free of the distracting thoughts that typically plague your mind. Kabat-Zinn says, “When you’re walking, just walk. When you’re eating, just eat. Not in front of the TV, not with the newspaper.”

So, take time for self-reflection and ask yourself: am I texting while “watching” television? Am I scrolling through Facebook while I have my mom on speakerphone? If you are, you aren’t honing in on thing at a time. By physically removing all that clutters and distracts you from the one main thing that you are attempting to do, you can devote all of your thoughts to moments as they occur (rather than living in anticipation of what’s coming next or considering what happened in the past).

2. Take a simple walk

Walking is a great way to clear the mind, especially if you refrain from listening to music or using your phone. Enjoy the scenery. Look all around, even up at the sky or at the pavement beneath your feet. Think only of what you are doing, not about what you need to add to the grocery list or your child’s upcoming school project. Take everything in, allowing yourself to embrace what you otherwise don’t (when you’re caught up in the inner rumblings of your mind).

Walking need not involve hitting the gym or being active for an hour. Buddhist author and teacher John Ciancosi explains that such focus can be accomplished while walking in short bursts of time, even from just the car to the office: “If you can learn to establish awareness during walking meditation—when you are physically moving with your eyes open—then it won’t be difficult to arouse that same wakeful quality during other activities… and your meditation will begin to permeate your entire life.”

So try going for a walk, whether it’s a short stroll up and down your street, around your workplace or in a local park.

Must Read: 5 Mistakes to Avoid During Walking Exercise

3. Sit

That’s right, sit. How easy is that? Kabat-Zinn says “Sit down and take a minute to just be here. Stop, breathe, and feel. Let the past be over and done with, and let what has not yet happened to be off in the future.” He notes you may feel as though you’ve been sitting a long time when in fact you’ve only been sitting for a few minutes, but this is normal. He says, “This practice is about feeling where you are right now. Just give yourself three minutes to feel your body and mind. The goal isn’t to have any particular experience, but rather to check in on how it really is to be you.”

4. Observe your immediate surroundings

Eden Kozlowski (founder and CEO of Just Be, LLC) wrote about mindfulness as it pertains to truckers. How can they, she wondered, practice mindfulness when they are always on the road? You can take some tips from her suggestions for truckers by observing life around you wherever you are. “You don’t need incense, an exotic location or to be transported to some elevated state of being. Your truck can be your sanctuary,” she explains.

So, if you’re a trucker, notice the scenery as you drive. If you’re in an office all day, look at the plant on your desk and observe details such as new growth or the intricate designs in the leaves. You’ll find yourself achieving a state of relaxation by being more mindful of the everyday surroundings you probably rarely notice in the first place.

5. Shower

Resist the urge to use shower time as an opportunity to ponder some family conflict or rehearse a presentation. Instead, focus on your shower and nothing more. Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. even wrote a brief post titled, “Turn on Your Shower and Reduce Your Stress Today.” She says that showers are an easy way to engage in mindfulness. “Habitual rumination on regrets into the past will sap your energy and open the doors for a barrage of self-judgment that will keep you from living the life you want,” she cautions.

So, she encourages shower mindfulness, rhetorically asking, “What would happen if instead of thinking about all the plans you had to catch up on while you were in the shower, you took a pause, and then brought your nose to the smell of the soap…and again, just exploring the scent of it with your nose…?”

Resist the “more is more” mindset and instead focus on these easy ways to practice mindfulness, all of which you can do from the comfort of your own home and personal space.


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How to Age Better with Ayurveda




Ayurveda and anti-aging

All living things age with time, from the towering trees to animals and birds. Even the earth, its seas and mountains are ageing over the years. The same applies to human beings. Ageing is a term that includes the changes that occur in our body with time. This includes psychological, social and physical changes.

However, it is the physical change that matters most to us. We must grow emotionally, socially and mentally as we grow older. But physical changes are seldom as welcome. As we leave our 30s and step into our 40s, we start worrying about grey hair, ageing skin and other such signs. Fortunately, remedies by Ayurvedic pharmaceutical companies can slow down this process.

Ageing in Ayurveda

It is important to note here that Ayurveda sees ageing as a natural process. Ayurveda calls it a Yapya disease, which is the natural process of decaying. With the inner changes, our exterior also changes. These changes are in our in our doshas and effect our mental and physical condition.

There are two types of ageing in Ayurveda — premature ageing and permanent. Premature ageing can be addressed, but permanent ageing cannot be changed. To achieve the former we need to follow the tenets of Ayurveda. It also details medicines and formulations that Ayurvedic pharmaceutical companies provide in conveniently addressed pills and syrups.

The anti-ageing philosophy in Ayurveda is known as Vaya Sthapan. It can be divided in two parts — the right diet and proper medication.

The Right Diet 

Old-age is dominated by Vata Dosha, and hence one must adhere to a dietary plan that is Vata pacifying. Ayurveda recommends a daily consumption of cow’s milk and ghee. It also has a detailed diet of milk and rice. Food should be cooked well and be easy to digest.

Fruits, especially sweet, juicy fruits are considered good for the skin, particularly if taken for breakfast. Whole grains like millet, amarnath and barley must be taken instead of refined grains like maida. Easily digestible proteins like milk and paneer are preferred. Different skin-friendly spices should be used in cooking.

Ayurveda stresses on a holistic approach to anti-ageing and uses completely natural ingredients in its formulations. In fact, many of the medicines by Ayurvedic pharmaceutical companies use ingredients that are found in our kitchen!

Good digestion is also seen as a vital part of an ideal lifestyle. Here are some tips for good digestion:

  • Meals must be eaten in a peaceful and calm environment with no distractions. This is important to ensure that one’s attention is on the food and the experience.
  • Before every meal one should take fresh ginger with some lemon juice and salt.
  • Sip on hot water between meals .
  • Avoid cold drinks and cold food.
  • Chew the food well.
  • Do not stuff your stomach. The stomach should be two-third full after a meal

Ayurvedic Medicines:

Some of the common medicines prescribed for their anti-ageing properties are:

Honey: Honey has powerful anti-ageing properties and has been used for ages as part of various skin formulations. It acts as a moisturiser, preventing wrinkles. It is used in face masks, creams, moisturisers and face wash.

Shilajit: Available in capsule form, Shilajit has powerful antioxidants that ensures a healthy ageing. Clinical evidence has also been shown in its effectiveness against a host of conditions related to ageing like Alzheimer’s disease, low testosterone, fatigue and heart health.

Ashwagandha: This miracle drug is not only good for your skin, it is also beneficial in our psychological preservation. The Indian form of ginseng helps us to adopt to the toxins in our environment, rejuvenating the body and mind. It keeps the skin smooth and wrinkle free. It is also beneficial for people with dementia, stress and depression.

Amla: It is a rich source of Vitamin C, which can slow down changes of ageing. It can improve the digestive system and aid in detoxification. This has a beneficial effect on the skin and hair. This can be used as part of a face mask or eaten daily.

Turmeric: A staple of Indian diet, turmeric is one the highest anti-oxidant spices. This means it protects the skin from signs of ageing, damage from UV rays and keeps skin elastic. Fresh turmeric can be eaten or used as a face mask.

These nature ingredients are extremely important for those who want to slow down the damaging effects of ageing. Fortunately, Ayurvedic pharmaceutical companies offer these in easy to use formulations.

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It Is The Time For New Fitness And Wellness Resolutions Once Again!




Fitness resolution for 2018

It is indeed the time to be jolly! This is a special time that bears significant meaning to a lot of people. The beginning of a new year signifies the end of everything old and the beginning of something new. The New Year triggers a lot of fresh resolutions and goals. To more than 80% of the people around the world, the beginning of a new year coincides with new fitness goals, workout routines, and healthy diet.

Here are a few ways you can focus on fitness AND wellness this coming year –

Keep Your Fitness Plans Down To Earth

There are three secrets towards achieving your fitness resolutions –

  • Find your true motivation
  • Set short-term and achievable fitness goals
  • Always plan ahead

Once you follow this three-step procedure, you will find your fitness plans more realistic and your fitness goals easier to achieve. You will be less likely to give up midway. Whatever your ulterior goal is – running a 5k marathon or losing 5 pounds by the summer, you will be able to see your goal more clearly once you have your plans in hand.

Find Happiness

Fitness and wellness are not mutually exclusive of one another. In fact, to achieve complete wellness, you need to achieve some level of physical fitness. Even 10 minutes of physical exercise each day can bring some amount of mental peace. Physical wellbeing is the secret to mental wellbeing, and that is no secret! To find true happiness you need to gain more control of your life. This means all the small aspects of waking up early, being on time for work, finishing the assignments before the deadline and meeting your weight goals.

People who are less likely to be physically fit are more likely to be mentally unfit. In fact, a study shows that people who suffer from physical ailments more frequently are more likely to find themselves in clutches of medical debt and unpaid credit card bills. This happens when the lack of fitness causes physical problems and calls for frequent visits to the ER. An increasing incidence of workplace-related injuries, lifestyle influenced ailments and diseases due to poor diet choices are contributing to higher medical expenses among adult Americans right now!

Take The First Step

Funnily, most New Year’s resolutions simply fail because people become too reluctant to take the first step. We know of people who have wanted to lose 20 pounds in 12 months as a part of their 2017 resolution, but they have not tried working out for 20 minutes per day even once in the past year. This is terrible for your self-confidence. This kind of reluctance can give birth to self-doubt, and it can lead to deplorable mental health.

Taking the first step is as necessary as achieving the fitness goal. Breaking a sweat is extremely important for achieving complete wellness. Fitness and wellness directly influence life choices and finances. Therefore, if you do not have a fitness or a wellness resolution for 2018 in place yet, you should get one!

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How Does Fitness Play An Important Role In The Life Of Computer Users?




How Does Fitness Play An Important Role In The Life Of Computer Users

Wherever we look, we see hacks that reduce weight and miracle diets that help people drop 10 pounds in 10 days. Those are extremely lucrative, but today we are here to talk exclusively about the health and fitness of the “nerd squad.” This will help all the office workers, and computer-holics stay fit, in spite of spending an uncountable number of hours typing away to ecstasy.

What Health Risks Are You Taking By Sitting In Front Of The Monitor For Endless Hours?

Sitting for long periods of time is never good for the back. It does not matter if you are working on a Windows 98 PC system or a Mac! Couple these long hours with poor posture and you are inviting spondylosis, chronic neck pain and shoulder pain, herniation of vertebral discs, vision abnormalities, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, digestive problems and chronic headache. The risks more than double if you are over 40 years old.

Almost all of these diseases are chronic, and they require prolonged therapy. Some of them also require corrective surgical procedures. Although almost all working adults have health plans, none of them cover the entire cost of the procedures or the medication. The constantly increasing prices of the same are forcing most Americans into medical debt. As per a recent Rasmussen report, pharmacy costs have outpaced the rise in wages in the past year (2017). Another report suggests that by 2025, pharmaceuticals (medicines or drugs) will contribute over 40% of any medical plan cost.

How Can You Prevent It?

You cannot avoid working, and you certainly cannot avoid working on PCs. No sensible person can ask you to cut down your hours in front of the computer since it will directly impact your productivity and your finances. Instead, you can simply take a small 5 minutes break every hour and get up from your desk.

We cannot ask you to perform calisthenics in the middle of your office, but we can certainly ask you to walk from your cubicle or your desk to the restroom or the kitchen a couple of times before you sit down again.

Simple Exercises At Your Desk

  • You can also engage in simple stretching exercises every hour or so. Just move your neck from side to side slowly about ten times. Move it up and down to 10 times. For stretching your body, stand straight, put your hands on your back, bend forward and then bend backward, slowly.
  • If you are not comfortable moving about or attracting attention to yourself with standing stretches, you can try a couple of sitting exercises at your desk. Sit up straight in your chair, open your legs and extend your arms. Mimic the movement of jumping jacks to engage your core muscles and to keep the blood flowing.

Always take the stairs. Whether it is to enter the office or to grab lunch, opt for the stairs instead of the elevator. This simple choice will switch up your metabolism and get your blood flowing.

Office fitness is essential for everyone holding a desk job! Never compromise on your health simply because you have a significant project to finish or a deadline to meet. A little stretching can go a long way to prevent back problems, eye problems, and slow metabolism.

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