One day a man was walking in the park with a big dog on a leash, all of the sudden the dog tried to leap on to the woman sitting in the park. Woman shouts control the dog, but the man says tell that to the dog, as it is him who is controlling me. Same is happening with us, we are unable to control ourselves and our life. Our emotions like anger, fear, anxiety, greed are controlling us more than we are driving our life consciously. We are too much tangled with our thoughts and feelings.
Humans have six sense doors: eyes(seeing), ears(listening), nose(smelling), tongue(tasting), body(touch) and mind(thoughts). Whatever we receive through these doors, results in us developing perceptions which leads to our decisions and actions. For example Rose with good smell and beauty looks better than any other flower which has no smell and looks. But in reality, they both are flowers. Because Rose felt great with good pleasant sensations, so we made great perception about it and made attachments with it. This is how we make attachments, which leads to expectations, desires and eventually suffering and we start to differentiate between things, even though the other flower is also a flower. Learn how we generate pleasant or unpleasant sensations based on our memory and experience, click here.
Similarly we start to differentiate between our own emotions, by running away from one sort of feelings and towards another type. As I always say a coin has only value when it has 2 sides, not when it's just plain on one side. Same way, us running away from one sort of feelings makes us weak internally and prone to lots of depressions and anxieties, because we are not accepting both as a part of our whole life.
Understand this, that our mind and body are highly interconnected. What thoughts arrive in our mind, you will feel exactly the same on the body. Our thoughts are very frequent, they jump from one thought to another very fast, but it takes the emotions some time to distance them from the body. But both processes are highly impermanent, neither stays there forever. Important point to notice is that our thoughts go in a circle and also we can only think about what we have accumulated over our life till now, there is nothing new we can think of. Is there something which you don't know? Our entire thought process is just an accumulation of experiences and things we have seen over our lifetime.
Means our thoughts are just based on our memory and our identity. Most of the times, these thoughts they go compulsive as we think in circles, so our thoughts are not affecting us, its their compulsive nature is what is affecting us and just because we think them again and again, they produce tremendous feelings, we start taking them as us. So a negative thought, thought in a repetition with the feelings it's generating makes us anxious and highly stressed. This goes in a circle forever and now we become the victims of our own accumulation, we start fearing our own thoughts and then start fearing the fear of anxiety, which is called panic attack.
Now over a period of time our judgmental nature makes us weak from inside, a scared human being, who is anxious, depressed and prone to lots of panic.
So the next question arises, how to calm ourselves down and gain that mental strength?
The Obvious Answer is Mindfulness and Awareness, so that we don't make wrong perceptions, be aware of what is coming on the sense doors and how not to get influenced by them, rather make right calls. By being mindful and aware I mean staying aware of how mind works, how it brings stresses in our life, how to make right conscious decision, being aware of the impermanence of life, being aware and mindful of how not to fall for the trap of emotions and feelings. Being aware of how to make right choices towards better living. Learn more about letting go, click here.
Important thing is our mind is very powerful and how hard we try to stay in the present, it will bring us back to our normal way of living with lots of thoughts, impaired judgmental calls and weakness. But it doesn't mean that the mind can't be trained for mindfulness and living in the present with high awareness. Slowly with good diligent efforts things can definitely be turned around. Learn how to sleep well, when suffering from anxiety, click here.
Various ways to train mind for Mindfulness.
1. Breath Meditation: This is the best way to understand and hence control your mind. As per my own experience I found it more difficult than other kinds but very effective in understanding our mind, thoughts and feelings. In this we sit down in a comfortable position and bring our entire focus on the breath around our nose area or our contracting and expanding stomach. Most of the time you will find yourself thinking some thoughts, but every time you catch yourself, bring yourself back to your breath and get back in meditation. Slowly the quiet time will increase and so the benefits.
2. Walking meditation: Here you meditate while walking and bring your focus on the bottom of your feet. It's more about feeling your feet and at the same time being aware and mindful of yourself and your surroundings. Every time your feet's touch the ground, you bring your entire focus on the touch and feel the touch. This meditation has great power to make the person alert and aware very fast and bring in the present moment for a longer run.
3. Eating meditation: We spend a minimum 3 times a day eating food, every time spending almost 15 to 20 minutes. We can use this time for meditation, by being aware of our eating, chewing and swallowing. Eat slow and chew more and be aware of what you are doing and your surroundings. It is majorly we are practicing on how to be more present and making our mind habitual of living in the present moment.
4. Activity mindfulness: When we do any work, it could be anything doing exercise, work or yoga, watching tv one should be aware of what one is doing, mostly being aware of the actions one is taking( aware of body, breathing, surroundings). Being aware of your actions will not only reduce the habit of excessive thinking but will also increase your productivity toward things.
A very crucial thing to remember here is that, the more you practice, the more you will understand your mind and more you will be able to make it quieter. Our mind is a very strong entity in itself, it will make you drowsy, sleepy, bring doubts, make you feel it is fruitless to do this, will bring fear, but you have to keep your practice active and not give in to your mind. Every moment of quietness adds up to longer peace. We always feel it is pointless but in reality things are working in your favor and always moving forward. Learn more about Acceptance, click here.
What Will Happen: With Mindfulness and Awareness, more acceptance will come towards our emotions, feelings and you will be able to easily drop things which are troubling you and make better choices. For eg, you will bring more acceptance towards fears, depressions, anxieties as a part of life and won't run away from them rather easily let go of them. You will see how your mind is scaring you and keeping you busy with lots of stresses and worries. You will receive the calmness you always wanted plus happiness and peace will just come along.