47% of the time you’re thinking about something else than what you’re doing.
Mind-wandering is common. And sometimes, pleasing too. But concentrating on what you’re doing will always make you more happier.
Even if you daydream about something pleasant.
Mindfulness just doesn’t make you happier, it helps improve your memory, increase your concentration and even helps you sleep better.
But controlling yourself from distractions isn’t just a piece of cake, right?
When you pay attention to how many times you’re paying attention, you’ll notice, more often than not, you’re not fully aware of what you’re doing presently.
While meditating is the language of mindfulness, there are several other ways that could help you gain mindfulness.
Here, I give you some tricks to gain mindfulness and develop control towards distractions:
1. Notice The Routine Tasks
When you stop and notice the tiny, routine tasks that you do, you may realize something unfamiliar – they’re interesting.
Start early: Pay attention to how you brush, ever thought of that? 65% of the time, you’re not paying attention. Or noticed closely how the water drips off your body when you shower?
Try listening intently in an conversation when someone talks to you.
Practice this often. And even if you start thinking about something else, it’s fine. When you realize your mind is wandered, slowly bring your attention back.
In the book, The Mindfulness Manifesto, Dr. Jonty Heaveresdge and Ed Halliwell, tell us to focus on day-to-day tasks which we may ignore unknowingly. It could be more engaging than we’ve imagined it to be.
Controlling your mind from distractions isn’t easy, I know. But self-control is like a muscle that gets stronger with use: The more often you practice it, the better you get at it.
Willpower is an old solution, but it’s still what resists temptations.
2. Take A Walk, Not A Drive
Of course you could’ve walked to that nearby mall to get some grocery.
But half your attention would be split in driving, and you’d focus on the road in limited horizons.
So why not, take a walk?
Walking is one of the best types of meditation to boost your mind. Be fully aware of your surroundings and enjoy each step.
Walking could trigger ‘involuntary attention’, which allows room for self-reflection too. See? It just doesn’t help the waist lines!
In her TED Talk, “Got a meeting? Take a walk”, Nilofer Merchant talks about how ‘Walk The Talk’, could drive fresh thinking and bring new set of ideas.
The real miracle isn’t to run on water of run on fire, it’s to walk on Earth.
Debunk the myth of multitasking.
Multitasking makes you loose control over things you thought you’d climb a mountain of. And you don’t do any of the multiple tasks efficiently.
When your mind is engrossed in doing three activities simultaneously, it’s impossible to be mindful in any.
Of course, you can chew gum and clean at the same time. But what I’m talking is about two distinct tasks that require your full concentration.
Keep away the phone when you’re having a conversation. Look up from the screens. Take all in what is.
If you turn off your TV and just focus on every bite of the food you chew, you might notice the process itself is, delicious (even if the food isn’t).
When you do just one task at a time, you enjoy more of how it feels.
4. Go Through What You Go Through
Mindfulness isn’t about being happy all the time.
Nobody can be happy all the time. Everybody’s got their own baggage of unsolvable addictions and problems.
But what mindful people do differently is, they don’t avoid pain.
They completely and willingly accept what they feel. They don’t try to change it or avoid it. They feel it wholly.
While positivity is a nice thing to carry, it can have counter-intuitive effects: It might not help you get rid of any problems. But sometimes, it could make them worse.
In his TEDx talk, ‘The willingness to crave’, Jonathan Bricker, tells to be aware of your cravings instead of running from them.
He tells that the biggest secret to self control is to let go of self control. He tramps all those advises that tells you to distract yourself from distractions.
He says to be aware of them instead. Being willing and mindful of cravings and seeing them as just a thought, a thought separate from you.
5. Don’t Take Yourself Seriously
Mindfulness is knowing that you’re really tiny in the universe.
Don’t be carried away by emotions and anxiety all the time. Sometimes, taking things too seriously than they actually are just piles more shitload.
And eventually, everything, every problem is going to pass anyways. So better enjoy it rather than whine about it.
The right self-control is knowing you cannot control everything, and allowing yourself to cut some slack is necessary.
Else why would they have cheat days on diet plans?
The ability to laugh at yourself helps you deal with stress easier, makes you more humorous, happier and more mindful too!
In fact, meditation and laughter look same in the brain. Amazing, isn’t it?
I promise you this, laughing would make look everything easier.
While meditation is the primary key to mindfulness, there are several other easy-to-apply steps that can help you enhance control over your life:
- Noticing the menial tasks could increase your focus level on the task in hand. While they may seem boring, paying close attention would make you realize how interesting they can be.
- When you feel low in life, take a walk. Just as simple as it can be. Taking a drive over a walk would narrow down your attention on the road. Walking is one of the best types of meditation.
- The myth of multitasking traps you into frustration and low productivity. Avoid doing two distinct tasks at the same time. It steals the joy of both.
- Finally, laugh at yourself. Your problems are too tiny to be acknowledged by the universe, and that’s a good thing. Laughing and meditating look same in the brain, take the hint, laugh it away.
What problems have you faced in gaining mindfulness? How has these techniques helped you?
I’d love to know in the comments below!