Few months before (precisely I think 4); I set a goal for myself. The goal was to be “mindful’. I am not sure, what triggered it. May be it was kind of consequence of the nonfiction reading over the period. Meditation in some form has been part of life for me. However, I still had my issues of losing calm (may be not always on outside); being in stress and reacting in ways beyond my own liking and expectation. It is kind of useless if we do not carry the meditative thought in routine.
So, heeding to the saying that “knowledge not put to action is useless”, I set the goal for myself. The four month experience of this journey can be something as below
Learning about your emotions:
Monitor your thoughts, emotions and reactions: Most of the time we are so busy observing and assessing other’s behavior and reactions, that we lose connect with our own emotions. If we can keep a close tab on what is going through in our mind at a moment, we can also control the reactions rising from them. For example, I have an anxiety with respect to routines. If there is a plan to be at a place on particular time, I bound to abide by same. It is more out of the habit now and uneasiness creeps in if there is delay. However, when there are others involved, things can happen in different ways and many times it lead to feeling stressed, shouting and angry. Post this exercise, as I started monitoring my emotions, I could see myself losing the calm. Now I give myself some set of deviation activity to shift my focus from the timing and delay in that particular period. It has helped me to restrict the agony and rage episodes.
Non Judgmental observation: One adverse effect of being mindful is that we start knowing ourselves more. And as we observe ourselves more, we come across with the not so good attributes of ours. In such cases it is very easy to fall in the trap of hating oneself or criticizing. This can be something like calling out; “I am an angry person who goes out of control.” Caution here is to observe the emotions and also remember that those emotions are part of you at that moment. These emotions do not define you. You need to just better the emotions and their execution.
Handling your emotions:
Indulge in your reactions: Don’t try to suppress the reactions arising out of a situation. Observe them and find a way to make them positive. Saying that I will change myself in a person who will never get angry, sounds great but the practical chances of same are always doubtful. Rather we can create a mechanism that when we find ourselves getting hyper, we initiate the process of controlling the damage. The methods can vary for everyone.
Deviate your mind: When we find ourselves getting uneasy, stressed; it is better to distance from the situation for time being. We can come back to find the solution for the problem or understand the things.
Focus on root: Mostly we try to handle the problem at surface but don’t address the root cause. This is a very common issue. The real reason for the unrest can be something else, however, on surface it appears totally different. Irony is we ourselves are mostly unaware of same. So, read your emotions clearly for finding the real reason. It is mostly that the uneasiness arising out of something else spills over everything around.
It is really a great feeling to be with yourself throughout. Knowing what is going in your head at a particular time, being connected with your train of thoughts could be so enriching. You need to live it to believe it. The way I started it is by taking small 5 minute breaks in between the hustle bustle of life. Just sit still, center your thoughts around your breath and what is going inside you. Do it with some breathing exercise and it gives you a lot of new energy. After some days of doing this, you fall in a habit of this and are mostly doing it in tandem with the chaos around.
It is a long journey and there is no destination but improvements and growth only. Give it a try to experience, you will love it.