Being Mindful…

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A few weeks ago I experienced a lot of busy-ness as I was preparing for my finals and sorting out my little daughter. My mind was full of calculations, strategies, assessments, thesis and reports. I had to make a change, and found this wonderful information that supported me:

  1. Stop multi-tasking: when you eat, you eat. When you walk, you walk.
  2. Take your time: make your actions deliberate
  3. Do less by prioritizing: it is all a matter of what is important and letting go of what is not.
  4. Plan your schedule and leave enough space between tasks: it takes away stress and gives you a break.
  5. Sit in silence: only 5 minutes of silence and breathing will do you, your thoughts and your body very good.
  6. Focus on the present: stop worrying about the future, or outcomes. Let it go and focus on what you do now.
  7. Be present: listen and talk to others by being completely in the now
  8. Eat to enjoy: savor your food and eat slowly. You deserve this break and take time to digest.
  9. Live your life: savor your life and slow down. Enjoy each and every moment even the stressful ones with deadlines and tasks.
  10. Meditating house chores: put cooking and cleaning into practice of mindfulness. Be present to every task you do and watch your thoughts then change your thought patterns consciously.

During this time I learned a lot about myself, my thought patterns and my insecurities especially on my incapabilities of what I’m currently doing. In fact, if I look at the events now, I am grateful for the challenges because I could locate these habitual patterns that kept me sort of ‘stuck’ in life. Practicing the above will not only support me in achieving that what I want but it will benefit me in the long run to living a mindful, stress-free and productive life. Try it 🙂

Of All the Forms Of Courage the Ability to Laugh is the Most …

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Laughter as we know best is part of a fun time, where we get to experience tickling sensations in our bodies leaving us with sore, achy stomach muscles and scratchy throats. But hey, do we care as the tears pour down our faces and the corners of our mouths are hurting from too wide smiling. No, it’s just too funny and feels too good to stop 🙂

Laughing is releasing, relaxing, it opens us up and feels absolutely liberating. Besides these fun and happy moments, it is also important to laugh during the difficult times.

Having the courage to laugh about something that is an issue or a problem for us, is just as liberating. When we laugh in these uncomfortable situations, we automatically drop the heavy weight of the issue from your shoulders, allowing us to view it from a different perspective.

Even letting out that crazy, hysterical nervous laugh can give us that relaxing feeling. Laughing it out doesn’t mean we care less about the issue, it means we take the stress off our shoulders. Once the stress is gone, we are left with clarity, strength and energy to tackle the issue or not. I found in most cases that stress is the culprit to the complications, troubles, confusions and anger found in our difficult moments and issues in our lives.

I guess we should all be brave and laugh it off anyway. I am laughing right now as I have only two weeks left to finish my postgraduate studies and as usual….I left everything for the last-minute!! So here I go: Hahahahaaa!!!!! 🙂
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If You Chase Two Rabbits, You Will Lose Them Both

An old Native American quote: “If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.”

Focus on only one thing at a time. You cannot hunt and shoot two rabbits at the same time. Rabbits will run around purposely just to distract you from each other. A survival skill. If you go for one rabbit, the probability are greater. Focussing on one task, the chances are you will finish it quicker and get better results. 

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While researching on the topic, it dawned on me: I was one of those ‘hunters’ who multitasked! I thought I was a good multi-tasker, being a mom and all… I was wrong! No wonder I experienced stress and was still fighting a low immune…

It is impossible to do two things at the same time. The issue lies in the absorption of the actual task experience. When you do two things at once, your senses interfere with each other, creating a feeling of confusion and stress (adrenalin). Your body creates that same thing those rabbits did, as it is under the impression of flight or fight. Using this mode too often can lead to stress and other unpleasant conditions. At the end, you might have done your activity, but the experience itself will be less absorbed in your mind. And your life might feel like an exhaustion blur of unappreciation.

Why not try doing two things at once but separately by taking a 2 minute break in between. You will focus on that specific task until break time. Afterwards continue with the next task. You can repeat this until you’ve finished.  One thing to note is today’s technology creates convenience and there are many App’s we can use. Try the Reminder App , its easier to divide your priorities and allocate your time.

Multi-tasking is something from the past. It contributes to stress, a short life and unnecessary, unaffordable mistakes.

Cultivate Peace of Mind

peaceful buddha

During my travels in Thailand, I came across this wonderful article on cultivating a peaceful mind.

Its called: HAPPY ON THE GO! 

1. Set aside time for exercise to lower your stress. Make it short, everyday with one day rest per week.

2. Allow yourself time for your favorite activities and hobbies. Listening to music, watching movies, reading, shopping, playing, etc.

3. Have a balanced, nutritious diet. Add more fruit and vegetables and cut down on the bread.

4. Ensure you have enough sleep! Try this: Sleep without an alarm clock for a few nights, and see how many hours your body craves. Once you are clear on the amount of hours, use that amount of hours to sleep every night!

5. Avoid coffee and tea that contain caffeine. Or cut down to at least to 1 cup a day in the morning only. You will enjoy it so much!

6. Take an afternoon nap! 15 to 20 minutes is all you need. Or just relax and feel your body become one with the chair or sofa, focussing on each part of your relaxed body (start with your feet and move upwards)

7. Give your office or home a makeover. Clean out unnecessary things. Your bedroom is your sanctuary. Keep things organized and neat. Your mind will follow!

8. Switch off! Turn off your phones, your emails, etc. Just knowing you are unreachable, gives you peace of mind.

9. Avoid stressful activities, people, environment, etc until you are strong enough.

If you have any more ideas, please feel free to comment 🙂

Why Am I So Stressed Out!

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Stress affects us all. Today I was victim of this uncomfortable emotion that drove me totally insane! All I wanted to do was to finish my work but unfortunately stress found its way into my system and confronted me with a tough lesson. At the end, I was so unproductive except for writing this post! 😉

Why do we stress? Stress is a small word that causes a lot of problems for so many. After my experience with stress (so far my entire postgraduate year!) I have to share with you that I am not managing stress very well. What is stress and why do we have it?

Apparently stress is necessary to survive in this life.  It can be a positive, negative or neutral experience. I found out that the key to handle stress lies in how we manage it when the feeling of stress comes our way.

Here are some interesting facts about stress: 

  • When you’re overwhelmed with too many things in your life or experiencing something out of the ordinary, stress is what you feel. 
  • Your body responds naturally as though you would be in danger (survival)
  • Your body experiences a release of hormones that makes your heart beats faster, you breathe faster and you get a boost of energy.  
  • The body’s response to stress is called the fight-or-flight mode. 

When it happens, this is what you can do:  (between brackets are my own examples) 

  • Acknowledge that you have stress (yes, about 8 out of 10!) 
  • Find out where it comes from (university and personal) 
  • Write it down and get a clear picture of your situation (thesis and assignment deadlines and my housework) 
  • Prioritize your situation and manage your time by using a time-table for that specific period (weekly timetable done for August with checklists) 
  • Find better ways to cope with situations like to call on support if you need to. (asked my mom and friend to support me with my housework and lighter projects)  
  • Learn from your past and make positive changes for your future. (saying no to social commitments!)
  • Go for a massage, meditate or have a relaxing weekend away in the country. (celebrate my achievements and make time for the most important person in my life…me!) 

I already booked that massage for next week and I am feeling better already! I hope you do too 😉