Our mind is a tricky place. Billions of thoughts cross our mind every day, vying for attention and action! Studies say that a staggering 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts cross the human mind per day, which means that we think anywhere between 40- 50 thoughts in a minute or about one thought per second!
Well, that’s not all, because the thoughts do not just come to our mind, they criss-cross, jump, meander and wander at will! And before you realise it, a simple thought can run into hundreds of parallel or unconnected thoughts in a single moment! How does one tame this monkey mind that shows no keenness to slow down?
With our thoughts running at the speed of light or maybe faster, we carry out most activities without even being aware of it. In the morning, we get into our cars and begin our drive, say, to our office. The next thing we realise is that we are already parking our car in the parking lot. We are not even aware how we drove to office! In fact, we do every task as if we are automated machines. We eat, but we have no idea what we ate or how much we ate! We start a task, and we continue doing it, all the while letting our minds be plagued by a million thoughts.
That is why it is so important to bring awareness into whatever you do. Don’t focus on the past or the future but limit your thoughts to the present. Employ all your senses when you do a task. When you eat, devote yourself to eating. Look at the food, smell its aroma, feel the texture with your hand, and tongue, pleasure your taste buds and feel it fill your stomach and heart. Express gratitude to the Lord for putting food on your plate. Chew every morsel well.
Don’t resist your thoughts.
If you resist your thoughts, they tend to persist – much like a nagging child. Don’t shoo them away. Instead, develop the art of listening to your mind. Listen to what the mind keeps chattering about all the time. Give it a patient hearing. Listening helps to not just have clarity in your thoughts but also to lets you plan what should be done about it. If you just keep pushing the thoughts out of the mind, they keep coming back with renewed vitality and continue to occupy your mind space.
Being grateful for everything that we experience in our day to day life is a simple yet underrated practice. When the mind is filled with thankful thoughts, it begins to fill our heart with joy. Slowly it becomes a part of our thoughts. Negative thoughts are replaced with positive ones.
Meditation is easier said than done. But learning to sit quietly for a little time every day, learning to breathe well, to relax and simply let the mind idle away can have long lasting benefits. Meditation is known to bring about physiological, psychological and physical changes in us- every cell in the body undergoes change and is filled with energy and healing. It is this renewed vigour in the cells that results in the positive changes that occur in the body.
As you learn to meditate, your breathing becomes more rhythmic, heart rate stabilises, and the mind and the body relax. With regular practice of meditation, you will be able to sleep better, stay stress-free, and even concentrate better.
Sleeping well is quite important to have a healthy body and a healthy mind. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, so that the body’s internal clock falls into a pattern. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another, so choose your sleep hours according to your lifestyle. Eat light. Limit technology at bed time. Over a period of time, not only will the body learn to relax completely but your mind will learn to calm down as well.