Early from our childhood days, we have been taught to take care of our health, follow habits that include brushing our teeth, bathing, brush our hair, eat good food,learn to find a job,wear good clothes and follow a routine to lead a good socially acceptable life.However, we tend to pay very less attention to maintaining the health of our mind which plays a significant role in a person’s life.
To be truly happy and successful we need a combination of physical and mental health.
Our Mind is a strong weapon that has been gifted to us . It is like a knife that can be used for different purposes. It can be used to cut vegetables or kill a person. Positive emotions of love energizes us whereas negative emotions of fear, hatred, sorrow drains our energy and makes us tired and develops into mental health issues. We often pollute our minds with different kinds of negative emotions and never realize the impact it has on us until it manifests as anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
If we are able to gain self control over our thoughts and emotions through training our mind, we can elevate ourselves to lead a life of bliss as that itself is the doorway to an awakened state.
Today, I am going to share with you 3 simple practices that can help us develop and maintain good mental health.
The first practice is Meditation . Meditation means giving love and attention to ourselves in order to tap the infinite potential of our minds.Meditation can help us to create inner peace and joy within us in order to prepare us to stay calm while we encounter the challenges for the day.
I would like to give you an example of how meditation has helped me to remain calm and provided me clarity to accomplish a recent achievement in my life.
As a part of progressing in my career, I had to complete a certification .So I started my day with meditation and prepared myself for the day before heading out for my examination. When I reached the exam centre , the examiner verified my details and tried to enter an authorization code to start the exam. However the code did not work even after several attempts.Meditation helped me to remain calm, patient and grounded .This allowed the examiner also to try alternatives and find a solution that helped to get a new code which worked. Although I started my exam 15 minutes late, I was able to remain calm, think clearly and focus on my responses . That helped me to provide accurate answers that helped me to accomplish my certification successfully.
The next practice is incorporating a positive mindset into our daily life . This means entertaining positive thoughts as much as possible even in the worst circumstances. For example -One of my hobbies is singing .I had recently registered for a cultural event in a community centre. Just 2 days before the performance,I received a call from the organizing committee saying that they will not be able to accommodate my performance.I listened to the person without judgement and responded with a Thank You. However I remained positive believing that it happened for a good reason and that a brighter opportunity is waiting for me. This positive thought brought in a surprise 2 days later as an invite from a different organization requesting me to perform for their inaugration event.I felt very happy and delivered my vocal performance which was highly recognized and appreciated than how I imagined.
The next practice is Mindfulness. Mindfulness is an act of living in the present moment. This means being mindful of every moment in your life paying complete attention and not getting caught up in your past or future. Mindfulness can be practised anytime and anywhere. I have found mindfulness helps me stay focussed on my present moment and utilize it by being focussed completely on the activity at hand. This activity not only helps to train our mind to improve our focus but also helps us to observe and respond to situations around us rather than reacting spontaneously. I practise it everyday in my life and have seen profound benefits of protecting myself from negative experiences 90% of the time . For example - I apply mindfulness strategies during my communications with my family members and co-workers. This has helped me to construct responses appropriately depending on the situation without getting into a conflict . The way I have implemented this into my life is by being present and focusing on myself today and looking at each person I interact with as they are now without bringing in past or judgements . This has allowed me to look at people and situations with gratitude.
By developing and inculcating these powerful practices into our daily life, we can develop a mental hygiene that develops our internal environment and prevents the external environment from affecting us.
“When there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.” - Winston Churchill