Our minds are so busy!
We go to bed setting our alarm and as we do so we are already running through all the tasks that need our attention the following day. So, when we do finally decide to rest our heads, our bodies may be tired and ready to sleep but our minds are still going at 200 mph. Our restless minds keep us awake and instead of rising in the morning feeling refreshed we are often tired, like we have barely rested and sometimes we even wake up feeling anxious. This anxiety is because our mind has not let us relax. We feel stressed and like the world is conspiring against us.
Mind Over Matter
Where do we go to help our minds rest?
We’ve come across the expression, if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter.
How do we choose not to mind?
As a mother of two energetic boys I feel like I am always on hyper-drive with all my senses permanently locked on super alert. There are many moments I wish I could just hit the pause button and suspend everything, just so I can collect myself and not just go barrelling on at rocket speed, totally out of control.
Words of Wisdom
My mother would always ask me to meditate or practice some kind of mindfulness activity. She always said,
“The more you practice mindfulness, the easier it will be to access that elusive pause button.”
Meditation is an integral part of Indian
culture, it was even included in our school curriculum. I remember my head teacher would come into our classroom at the end of the day. We would sit cross-legged on the floor and all we had to do was listen quietly to all the sounds around, with our eyes closed. Our head teacher had such a calm, kind aura about her. She had a warm smile and ready laugh and she adored all of the children. I am sure she had that energy because of her deep meditation practice.
Technology Can Help
Last year I downloaded Headspace. One of many meditation and mindfulness apps. Even though I knew how to meditate and I have participated in a few meditation retreats back home, in India, I found it hard to still my over-active mind. So, I decided to use an app to get me back on track. And I must say it has helped loads! The meditation instructions are simple and customisable; it also gives you little reminders. Of course, it is easier to turn off the reminder and just watch one more episode of the latest mini-series on a streaming channel, or spend 15 more minutes on social media instead of focusing on mindfulness. It took some will power to disengage from these other enticing options and meditate. I was quite good about it for a long time but these last few months have been very hard, at a time when perhaps I needed it the most.
Luci Rocha, one of the first MTM members, meditates everyday.
“I usually meditate in the morning and before I go to bed. I do many different types but I really like Meditation with Louise Hay, they are Affirmations. It helps with my concentration, stress reduction and to be positive. Having said that, MTM is what has really helped me with depression in the past. Since I start doing activities with you girls, I never get depressed. Sport saved my life!”
Simple Exercises to Try
1. Find a moment during the day to just focus on your breath. Like while waiting for the kettle to boil, while your computer boots, or while adding pasta to the boiling water.
2. Find a calming mindfulness activity - I enjoy colouring the mindfulness books. So, while my kids are drawing or colouring, I colour with them.
3. Listen to some soothing music.
What I have learnt through this journey is that, you don't need a lot of time and a little really does go a long way.
Do you have any mindfulness or meditation techniques you use that you can share with us? We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.