Building the Life Balance and Happiness muscles

We are looking for tools and practices which can bring more balance in our life. But we all find it difficult to follow any practice in a sustained manner as we go about our busy lives. Brain researchers have found out that any practice done for just 21 days has a lasting impact in our body and mind.

On that basis, these sets of ‘Reminders and Lessons’ will be focused on bringing in simple daily practices focused on bringing greater work-life-heart balance.

Each set of practice involves understanding a principle and putting it into action for the next 21 days. You will be spending not more than 10 minutes in a day. At the end of the 21 days, you will evaluate the benefits of your practice with a simple exercise.

Let us now move into the practice for the following 3 weeks.

Remember to slow down in nature

Principle: Attention brings energy; energy brings joy; joy is living life.

Explanation: Nature has its own rhythm. That rhythm somehow is soothing to us. Allowing ourselves to be present to that rhythm would bring joy.

Practice:
  • ‘Stop’ to observe the scene in front of you. Drink the feel of nature through your eyes.
  • Feel the sensation of the heat, cold and breeze as it touches your skin.
  • Observe the smell of the plants, flowers and soil around you. Take a deep breath to savor it.
  • Slow down to observe the birds, insects and other life forms as they go about their everyday life.
  • Do not forget to thank nature with a SMILE.
Duration: 10 minutes/day

Impact:
This exercise is one of the easiest ways to beat stress and bring meaning to life.

Appreciating Oneself

Principle: What you love comes to you; what you dislike never leaves you.

Explanation: Our mental and physical energies depend on our perception to our actions and thoughts. If we disregard our good qualities and achievements we would be stuck in low energies. This exercise helps you to acknowledge and open yourself to energy sources in everyday life.

Practice:

Affirmation:
“I value and respect myself! I am gentle and caring to myself!”

Action:
  • Take 5 minutes at the end of the day at work ( or when you are traveling back home)
  • Sit erect with eyes closed and take a deep breath. Say the affirmation once.
  • Recap the day and evaluate your performance in terms of your effort put in, new ideas implemented, appreciation received and personal satisfaction.
  • Give yourself a pat with a smile for every good moment you remember.
Duration: 5 minutes/day

Impact: improve energy and increase self esteem and fulfillment.

Mindfulness in Walking

Principle: Meditation is a place of complete inner comfort. It can be practiced in stillness and in movement.

Benefits: This exercise can be practiced anywhere and anytime. It brings greater relaxation, puts you in touch with your body and mind. This is particularly helpful for people who find it difficult to sit still and meditate.

Practice: Mindfulness in walking:
  • Observe your posture while standing. Watch your feet balance and your pelvic bone adjusting to keep the balance.
  • Take easy measured steps as you start walking.
  • Feel the sensations in your feet as you take each step.
  • Observe muscles in your legs, thighs and other parts of your body contracting and expanding with each step you take.
  • Find out what are your feelings as you walk. If your mind wanders elsewhere gently bring it back to your body.
  • Mindfulness is not an exercise to walk properly; but it is to enjoy the walk properly.

Eating Mindfully

Principle: Awareness in action brings energy and fulfillment

Explanation: Mindfulness in eating brings a greater sense of connection with the body and helps move into an emotional balance too.

Practice:
  • Observe the texture, smell and color of your food.
  • Observe your hunger and the body’s response towards the food.
  • Eat small mouthfuls and pay attention to the process of chewing and swallowing.
  • Listen to your body and ‘STOP’ when it feels satiated.
  • Respect and enjoy your food.

Impact: Observe the quality and quantity of your food intake after 6 Mindful eating practices. Note down the changes and fulfillment levels.

Duration: twice a week (any meal you choose)

‘20 Quality minutes in a day’

Principle: Relationships grow in recognition.

Explanation: All of us have the need to feel connected. This connection happens in a space of love and undivided attention. If this space doesn’t happen with one person we tend to move on to another person who can source this attention.

Practice:
Duration: 20 minutes/day
  • Choose the person with whom you want to spend quality time (partner, parent, child or friend etc)
  • Put away your emails, mobiles, TV and books.
  • Bring complete attention to the other person.
  • Observe their mannerisms, smiles, words, feelings, warmth and expectations as you listen to them.
  • If your body or mind becomes restless to engage in any other activity     simultaneously, bring it back with a smile.
  
Impact: Do this exercise for 21 days. Observe the changes in those relationships at the end of the period. It will be a pleasant surprise of what 20 minutes in a day can do!

Remember to breathe

Principle: Awareness of breath takes you directly to the space of ‘being at ease’ with oneself.

Benefits: Proper breathing brings energy and focus. It helps you to switch off your ever-wandering mind, just for a few minutes. Sustained practice anchors your breath to a place of rest.

Exercise:
Duration: 5 minutes/day
  • Sit back from your desk for 3 minutes
  • Keep your eyes closed or focused on one point
  • Take slow deep breaths into your belly.
  • Follow the rhythm of the breath flow.
  • Count up to 40 breaths and slow them down as you proceed.
  • If your mind wanders off bring it back to your breath with a SMILE.
  
Impact: Watch the result after 3 weeks of practice. You will observe that your     ‘breath’ has become your friend and a peaceful resting place.

The Simple Awareness Meditation

Principle: Meditation is a place of complete inner comfort.

Benefits: Helps in reducing restlessness of the body and mind. It also slows down your thought and emotional speed, thus helping you to respond to life situations from a better place.

Exercise:  
Duration: 10 minutes/day
  • Sit in a comfortable posture with your spine erect.
  • Relax your body and keep your eyes closed. Do not move your body through out the exercise.
  • Bring attention to your breath initially.
  • Move your attention to the different sensations and feelings passing through your body.
  • The nature of your mind is to wander around. Every time it happens, gently remind yourself to focus on the body, with a smile.

Practice of the month

‘Building the Life Balance and Happiness muscles’

We are looking for tools and practices which can bring more balance in our life .....
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