As we live through a pandemic, these times are turning to be extremely difficult for all of us. As we hear about spread of COVID-19 from all over the world, through television, social media, newspapers, family and friends and other sources, the mind is ill at ease.
The most common emotion faced by all at this point is fear.
Cluttered with multiple information sources, and sitting with a gnawing fear within our minds, you will notice that our reaction to various situations in all spheres of life is also getting impacted. Suddenly, many of us seem to meet the criteria for clinical depression. Doctors are scrambling to determine who needs urgent intervention, and who fits into the new normal.
Let us first and foremost get comfortable with our own mind. Well, the fact is, there is only one person in this world who knows me well and that is ME. This is the time to take charge of ourselves rather than being dependent on others.
I have been listening to the videos of a well-known Indian spiritual guru these days and it keeps me motivated throughout the day, giving me the power to handle everything with a smile. More importantly, in helping me keep my mind in control, leading to my feeling good – inside out.
I am going to share five powerful habits to make your mind your best friend. But, before I go in there, let me begin by stating the ground rule – never lose focus from your goal. If you start reacting to situation keeping the end in mind, you will invariably never feel stressed out. In our day to day life, especially in the new normal when we all are working from home, there comes a lot of expectation from family/supervisors/ subordinates/colleagues and the way they should behave, work, talk to you, respond to you etc. In such cases, rather than getting hurt, simply think whether you want to focus your energy on that OR rather on the bigger goal that you have set for yourself. Consider them as distractions and try to avoid them.
Let us get started and give your mind the same treatment you would give to your body.
1. Avoid unhealthy food – Food forms an integral part of our body. As unhealthy food is not good for a great body, unhealthy thoughts are a big bane for the mind. Be conscious and throw away all those thoughts that are not contributing to your goals or vision. Easier said than done, but it has to be done. And the mantra that works well is, routing your mind to more productive tasks that engross you. Remember the chain:
Thoughts > Feelings > Attitude > Actions > Attitude > Habit > Personality > Destiny
Basically it means your thoughts are creating your destiny. Hence, think twice before thinking!
2. Add the right amount of nutrients – Think right no matter what, is the mantra here. So how do you do it? It comes from practice. Have a daily regime where you spend 45 minutes to one hour with yourself. Though I would recommend a peaceful time of 4 AM in the morning, not everyone is an early morning person. So whatever time suits you, but the earlier the better. Listen to some motivational talks, read some empowering books, prepare yourself for the day, then consciously decide and carve your day’s journey. You will eventually see that you are getting more and more productive.
3. Exercise and Toning – It is very important to exercise regularly to give yourself an enormous sense of well-being. One feels more energetic throughout the day, sleeps better at night, has sharper memories, and feels more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives. And it is also a powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges. Any form of exercise can be chosen. Start today for a minimum of 30 minutes a day.
4. Meditation – Through Meditation, you can train your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. You can use it to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Many people think of it as a way to reduce stress and develop concentration. People also use the practice to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance. In a nut shell, you start feeling good about yourself and, again, you see a huge improvement in your productivity. In addition, you will also start influencing others and bring a positive change in their lives, which ultimately is extremely satisfying.
5. Detoxification – ‘Out with the old and in with the new‘ is the mantra here. Weekly once, set up a time when you consciously spring clean your mind. Just as it feels good to walk into an organized closet or enjoy a sparkling floor, a mental spring-cleaning can provide a morale boost and a sense of relief and accomplishment. Here’s a mental and emotional spring-cleaning checklist to help you get started:
a. Engage in some hobby – you are never going to get a better time than this lockdown.
b. Cultivate ‘me’ time and talk to yourself – with a lot of activities being restricted, it would be a good time to get to meet your own self.
c. Write down your emotions – an extremely useful habit that will help you discern and single out the core thought amidst your emotions.
d. Forgive others/yourself – times are tough. You can be soft – on yourself and on others.
e. Give up grudges – with our lives in the hands of an unknown virus, do realise how precious you and the people in your life are. Make amends, reach out, spread the love, open your hearts, and value life – yours and others’.
Well, it is time we awaken our inner selves, be responsible, and stop giving too much importance to things/people/situations when not needed. Only if you have a healthy and peaceful mind, you can contribute to the well being of the people in your life. Happiness comes from within and is only possible when we accept people as they are, in every moment and every situation. We have the power to create a life of joy, contentment and bliss.
Go, create one.