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How to Make Mindfulness a Practical Skill

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My journey from glossing-over life to immersing myself in life has been far from glamorous but one dripping with satisfaction that comes from self-growth. From only being able to academically spell m*i*n*d*f*u*l*n*e*s*s to making it a practical way of life is now my personal mission.

I have approached mindfulness like a curious child to understand how I can make it work for me. Some of the questions I asked were, what will it do for me? The answer to that was – there is only one way to find out, and that is by immersing myself.

I am sharing 5 nuances of Mindfulness that are now entwined in my life. It took many years of understanding and then implementing before I could find the right language to express them and make them into bite-sized workable thoughts.

Here are 5 ways to make mindfulness practical:

1. Being mindful

Being mindful is being attentive, alert, and present to a situation. Come to think of it, mindfulness has been an expectation from us throughout our lives.

Long before mindfulness became popular in the spiritual sense, the corporate world used the term extensively. ‘Be mindful that whilst you make this change, it will impact the bottom-line,’ or the board rooms usually echoed with ‘bear in mind that we don’t have a big budget.’ Mostly it was someone a level higher with broader responsibilities reminding us that there were more factors to consider when making a decision, ‘so, don’t overlook them.’

This is quite aligned to life. Mindfulness means we are alert and present and consider all possibilities. ‘Being present’ is also no different from how our schools made us respond to the daily attendance roll call.

So, check-in with yourself as often as you can – am I present when drinking this coffee or when talking on the phone? The more frequently I asked myself this question, the more alert I became to the situation at hand and that was the first step towards mindfulness. It expands your range of thinking like nothing else can do. And that opens doors of possibility.

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”- Buddha

2. Work hard, party hard and in between the two, sleep enough

Working on a few hours of sleep was a badge of pride I wore just like a lot of my colleagues during my prolific corporate career. The coffee machine was the holy ground for discussing the hours of sleep we all had the previous night. The more senior the person and the fewer his hours they slept made them a bigger hero in everyone’ eyes. We thought that’s what we all needed to do to grow. So, we continued to campaign – work hard, karaoke hard, and party hard.

It took me many years to realize how lack of sleep was hollowing out my productivity, my alertness, and my mood. Very casually, I started listening to the timeless rules of sleeping for a productive day. I cannot even begin to tell how it has transformed my life. 

You will usually find me in an upbeat mood and generally energized and enthused in life. I hear myself even laughing a lot more. Why had I not done it all these years? Oh well, there is never a good answer to that. But we can start now. Sleep is a gift we can give ourselves every single day. So, let’s do it.

3. Self-Love

Over the years, I have been working on making self-love practical. It is a big subset of mindfulness because it means we listen more to ourselves. So, here’s one thing I do: At the cashier at Zara or any similar store, when they ask me if it is a present, I smile and say ‘Yes, it’s a present for me.’ This has almost always made the cashier smile too. But sometimes I do let them wrap it up especially if it was underwear or bath oils.

What does it do for me? I build a special connection with myself. Every time I open those ‘presents for self,’ it’s self-love in action and reminds me it was worth waiting at the counter to let them pack it. That’s a micro-anchoring of mindfulness as you don’t rush out of the store but patiently wait, acknowledge the cashier, and engage in a dialogue which is more than handing out your credit card. All this is done with a small smile at both ends. It’s a win-win. This may sound innocuous but give it a go ‘experience’ for yourself.

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.” – Brené Brown

4. Self-Belief has runner’s legs

It can take you to take places you cannot imagine. Make sure you start with the smallest sprint. Believe in the silliest, most insane thing you can do today then go ahead and do it. Here’s the catch, don’t expect the outcome others have had or what the books tell you. Just do your best and be prepared to embrace ‘your’ outcome.

5. The human body is far wiser than the human mind

The mind can often give an incorrect intuition. Our mind is layered with our cultural conditioning. Often, our decisions are loaded with judgement instead of objectivity. Negativity bias is another insidious ‘devil’ that makes us remember the negative stuff more than we remember the positive things. Our mind also has an inner critic that can damage our self-esteem and self-worth when it goes on a rampage.

The body on the other hand has its own intelligence for ‘fixing.’ A femur set properly can heal in 6 weeks but if someone calls us stupid 20 years ago, our inner critic does not let us forget that. The body thus is a very sophisticated operating system and works the way nature does.

So, when you feel conflicted try and listen-in to your body. The body works with the same precision as nature. Both do their job meticulously, slowly, and little by little. A tree takes 20 years to grow, just as teaching our lungs to breathe fully again could take a few years.

But this type of gradual change is usually irreversible. Just as we can’t reverse a fully grown tree into a baby-tree, similarly a wise body does not forget how to breathe deeply. The slow but sound approach of the body is quite-fail proof and also the reason why doctors can’t speed up the process of healing and recovery after a surgery. We just have to allow the body to take it’s time.

So, the next time you feel conflicted – try and listen to your body and the thoughts that don’t constrict your chest or knot your stomach are ‘usually’ the right ones to go with.

Closing thoughts

Life is a series of events that are not necessarily sequenced in the same way as we had imagined when reading bedtime books at 7. I have come to believe that in 24-hour cycles, things go just as we wanted them to or they can also go completely wrong. Regardless, it’s in those micro-moments that lies our expansion and growth. Let’s continue to make mindfulness practical.

How do you practice mindfulness? Share your thoughts with us below!

Pallavi Sidhra is a Cancer Survivor. She identified herself not as an expert at anything but a Mindfulness Junkie and a Consciousness explorer. She believes that the quality of our life depends on two things – How we treat ourselves and how we break away from our default thinking patterns to rewrite our story. When you don’t see her gulping oxygen or in a yogic posture you will see her immersed in conveying scarps of wisdom about life, health and wellbeing. She channels her thoughts at her website www.magiclieswithin.com and selflessly dishes out strategies for Positive Wellbeing on Instagram and Facebook.

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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Life

5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Life

Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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