Are you Multitasking?
The hectic pace of modern living would have made ancient men tired?We take our multitasking so seriously , that not doing a million things before breakfast, makes us feel guilty. I am a multi thinker.Multitasking was a natural progression.All women, especially mothers have to try multitasking, to be able to manage it all.
But how healthy is this Habit?
Is Multitasking good for you? Not Really! As we increasingly multitask our ability to truly concentrate dwindles.
This study by Microsoft had a startling result. The more we get technology dependant the more we lack an ability to really concentrate.The average human attention span in 2000 was found to be only 12 seconds.In 2013, it was 8 seconds! A gold fish has a 9-second attention span.
I am a doctor, mother, wife of a child specialist, teacher in a medical college and a blogger.I really love all that I am blessed to be doing.
But the regular grind of household chores is a real job.Keeping the house clutter free, managing my home and workload keeps me, breathless…literally. For the last few months, I was having shortness of breath, palpitations and had started to worry about a multitude of things. On top of that, we experienced the aftershocks of the Earthquake that left Nepal with thousands dead and injured.
Alone at home with my 3-year-old, I did what any mommy would do.Grabbed the water bottle, and rushed out in the open grounds with the baby in my lap. We suffered 2 more vibrations over the next 3 days but none was as bad. The news about Nepal kept coming. The total devastation there as made me take stock. Gratitude for the life we have here now is uppermost. Before the earthquake hit Nepal, I had read a book Love the home you have by Melissa of The Inspired Room.
The overall tone of the book has a lot to do with living in the present and being thankful for all the blessings you have now. Tomorrow is a dream, the past has gone, but today well lived will make our life here on this earth worth it.
A lot of my friends, relatives, and patients complained of a feeling of panic and light-headedness in the days after the quake. Since I too was suffering from similar complaints related to Post-traumatic stress disorder, a solution was urgently needed.
I tried the many relaxation and mindfulness techniques for calming an anxious mind. Some worked well and others not so much.
Then I discovered mindfulness!
So what exactly is mindfulness?
The word literally means being aware of one’s own mind.
The formal definition of mindfulness:
Intentional acceptance and non-judgemental focus of one’s attention on emotions, thoughts, sensations occurring in the present.This can be achieved by training in meditation practices. Mindfulness is a concept having its root deep in Hinduism. The Sanskrit term Smriti and Buddhist term sati mean to remember….not the past but a conscious remembrance of the present.That’s where mindfulness comes from.
Mindfulness signifies the presence of mind and being attentive to the present.The mind which does not fritter between thoughts, but concentrates on one thought at a time! A clear, conscious, focused mind is what mindfulness aims to make. Seriously this was easier to write than doing .
As with most things in life which are worth doing, the going for this too was definitely not easy. Whenever I started to concentrate on this post, 10 different things that needed doing, rushed through my mind.
All of us mothers have to manage so many stuff that we forget,to really focus! Life rushes by. I have tried to give you some ideas about the methods which worked.As I get more mindful I will be adding them here to really become mindfully yours. So here goes.
5 Best ways to be mindful for your inner wellness(absolutely essential for sanity)
1) Pause every morning 5 minutes to 25 minutes (according to time you have) close your eyes and focus on your breathing.While doing this initially you will find your mind wandering.Just get hold of the wandering thought and refocus. Just imagine your brain is a naughty child always in search of new stuff, but you have to be strict ! Close your eyes and visualize a black dot in front of you…and concentrate.
2) Stop multitasking. It takes at least 15 minutes for us to concentrate deeply.Multitasking often decreases your capacity to really give your best to a job. Refocus scattered thoughts.
- Do one thing at a time
- Do it deliberately, concentrating on it and complete it
3)Take time out. When doing any job, if you find your mind wandering too many times..take a break and try.Often it’s some other chore nagging you from your subconscious brain. You can either do that chore first then get on with the new job with full attention. The other way is to write down whatever that needs to be done so that you are not distracted by trying to keep remembering. Have a daily ritual for
- Housework…mindfully, Love the home you have (Thanks Melissa
- Cook..mindfully.Will definitely taste better
- What you do when you get up in the morning
- What you do just before going to bed
- What you do just before/after exercising
- Being grateful
The art of mindful living.Image @Healthwealthbridge
4) Eat well mindfully. Up to 75 % of overeating is emotional eating. Mind-body disconnect during eating causes excessive eating and binges. Savoring each morsel of food helps in decreasing cravings and improve satiety.Mindful eating is great for your mind and awesome for your Body! We see and smell the appetising food, taste the true flavors , eating is a truly sensory experience.
5) When interacting with others be mindful. You become the good company and a better judge of character. While researching this mindfulness practice I came upon this article where videos help you become more conscious of your inner self. Often in the race of life, you forget to breathe deeply. Health benefits of mindfulness are many most significant is its effect on stress hormones.
Chronic stress is responsible for many your health problems and mindfulness can help you. But if you are reading this post you must have already realised that you are blessed to have this life.Living in the present and really appreciating every moment is mindful living.
Mindfulness has been described as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally.”2
Traditional cognitive behavioural therapy(CBT) targets dysfunctional thoughts. Mindfulness-based CBT helps individuals learn, to become aware of their own thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations in the present.Awareness and acceptance are more important than taking action.1 I know it’s easier to say than do.Believe me I struggle with this every moment of every day. When I cuddle my baby I wish I could bottle up these golden moments .But forever is only in our minds.So I cherish every moment I spend with loved ones …always.
That’s a start to walking the mindful path. Are you Mindful? Have you ever participated in a mindfulness session? Write to me and tell me about your mindfulness efforts. Live well mindfully.
1)Biologic effects of mindfulness meditation: growing insights into neurobiological aspects of the prevention of depression.J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2011 Mar; 36(2): 75–77.
2)Kabat-Zinn J. Wherever you go, there you are: mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York (NY): Hyperion; 1994.
3)Matousek RH, Dobkin PL, Pruessner J. Cortisol as a marker for improvement in mindfulness-based stress reduction.Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2010;16:13–9.[PubMed] [Ref list]