A Mindful Antidote to a Pandemic

We’d do well to unlock ourselves, during the lockdown, from meaningless trepidation and worry.
Rajgopal Nidamboor, mindfulness, meditation, thinking positive, tips for lockdown, mindfulness antidote, how to stay positive during lockdown, tips for self-isolation, mindfulness practice, positive thinking benefits

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April 25, 2020 07:00 EDT

We live, as Charles Dickens may have verbalized, in the worst — also the most turbulent — of times. It is, however, hard to imagine that the great writer could have visualized the sinister COVID-19 tempest.

In the present context, the foremost thing that each of us could do is to make — not just attempt — a constant and resolute effort toward harmonious living and a good work-life balance while heeding medical advice. But we must also listen to our body’s signals and improve the quality and depth of our conscious awareness. In other words, we’d do well to unlock ourselves, during the lockdown, from meaningless trepidation and worry.

Mind Mantra

To achieve this outlook isn’t easy. We have to use our instinctive and intellectual mind with better judgment, foresight and sensitivity. This will permit us to untangle ourselves from our flawed emotions and dispositions. In the process, it will help us to understand ourselves as being capable of spirituality and not just as corporeal entities with a fixed mind and a proximate, yet distant, soul. Call it the pursuit of mindful consciousness and mindful living, with family and loved ones, while maintaining a discreet physical and social distance.

Such capability exists within each of us, if only we are receptive. It supplements and drives every task and process in our body. It “ups” our normal healing processes with a gush of restorative energy that directly impacts every bit of illness or its probability. It also leads to nothing short of what we call a “maximum” cure while heralding the surging influence of our expanding mindful consciousness that encompasses everything in us. It consists of our beliefs, thoughts, cells, tissue or anything that you’d connect to — inside and outside of us. It echoes our convictions, not just emotions.  

For most people who delve into and are focused on their mindful consciousness and spiritual awareness, their intent is obvious — to retain and embrace the “divine in us,” at all times. The most remarkable part is when you walk the path or find the framework of the divine connection within, you begin to understand that the core of your self-conscious awareness is just as connected to the mind as one’s inner soul. What does this connote? That true consciousness, including what philosophers and scientists refer to as mindfulness, is the fundamental crux of our entire being — a sublime prism that exemplifies the breath of life, juxtaposed by the grammar of all our feelings and emotions.  

This appears unpretentious on the surface, but it is actually profound and intense. This is because no matter the quantum of our life experiences, there are certain thought processes that are not permanent and merely fleeting. It is only when we achieve a stable state of constant, continual awareness of ourselves that our conscious awareness becomes all-encompassing and capable of understanding.

Things to Do

There are some simple actions we can practice every day to cultivate our mindful consciousness.  

Rewire with others. You’ve missed connecting to an old friend. Now is the time to text them a simple “How are you?” message, or call up. This is just the right thing we all need to do to feel “normal.”

Flex it. Exercise is good for mental, emotional and physical health. It pumps our body with endorphins, the feel-good chemicals, while leaving us with a clear, fresh mind after every session. Do what you can. Most importantly, keep at it.

Think of a hobby. Hobbies are a great way to spend your time or disengage from a boring routine. They not only bring in a draft of fresh air, but also provide a “no-pill” way to fulfillment and quality time with your family and loved ones.

Count your blessings. Write all the things that you are grateful for and keep adding new elements to it. Take a moment to acknowledge everyone’s presence in your life, right from the milkman and the greengrocer. You’d take note of just about everything — from the small to the big — like getting out of bed, making a fresh cup of coffee, a beautiful sunrise, a loved one, a parent or friend, even if they may be far away.

Be there for others. Together we stand tall. Help with the household chores. Prepare a new, exotic dish for your family. Do everything you can. Volunteer to help someone in need, especially an elderly neighbor, or simply lend your ear on the phone to have a good chat. In times of uncertainty, empathy goes a long way.

Nostalgia time. Go back to when you were a child. Your favorite film, or your grandma’s bedtime story that mesmerized you to sleep. Pick a game you loved, or a song that you used to hum. Cherish your inner child and “mind-cuddle” the things that you knew used to bring you joy. There’s relaxation and pleasure in stepping back in time.

Write your journal. Daily jottings are good for you. When you go back, long after the COVID-19 nightmare is over, you will know a new you.

Sing a new song each day in a language you know, or don’t.

Art of the Matter

There’s a need for a constant, enduring sense of mindfulness, self-awareness and self-care in each of us to reach the most profound level of our unconscious self. This is, of course, not as easy to achieve as it may sound. What we consciously experience or understand as the divine is perceptibly limited to our unconscious self, including the perimeter of our thoughts and feelings from deep within, or from the inside out. It is only when we transcend the humdrum that we can attain a lasting state of conscious awareness, one that is in complete fusion with the universe and the law of karma.  

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New research suggests that all our troubles not only exist in our mind or emotions, but also in our genes. Our genes predispose us to anxiety, depression, misery and a host of other illnesses. Yet there is a silver lining: Not all unpleasant conditions, such as anxiety, fear or depression, are totally awful. They have a significant biological function to protect us from harm. Just think of it: Someone who cannot feel pain may injure oneself with disastrous consequences without being aware of it.

Balance works best in every situation — good, bad or ugly — provided you are conscious of your emotions and express them with positive intent. When you suppress your feelings, they will not only bottle up negative energy, but will also use far too much active, bustling energy to keep the distress in check while not being able to deal with anguish effectively. When you, likewise, endeavor to vanquish agony from deep within by way of powerful positive emotions and without unwanted baggage — from the center to the periphery and slowly out of their system — you will begin to feel better. You will also be able to purge their disquiet, stress or fear with good, positive outcomes.

Mindfulness communicates to us that our intensely united sense of ourselves is essentially a presence in our sphere of consciousness. It does not lead to the idea of “only you” or “oneself.” Every such element of reason connotes, no less, a rightful conviction or optimism, even when we fail to identify ourselves through our rational minds. The best part is that mindfulness does not alter the perimeter of our thought — it changes how and what we see, including our view of our mind and our world. It provides autonomy from our so-called special identities. Put simply, it emerges for a reason. What’s more, it enables us to have greater freedom within our own ambit, lockdown or no lockdown.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

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