Have you ever felt that you are in autopilot mode?
Driving and reaching a destination without even realising it, not even focusing on the street (especially if it is a daily trip).
The brain has been programmed, says Dr Hamed al Sinawi, Senior Psychiatrist and guest on GreenMent, Oman Observer Podcast.
What we probably need is mindfulness.
So what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is about being in the present moment, explained Dr Hamed — It is about being aware of your surroundings, your body, your senses without judging the situation.
“As you know in life today we are constantly in a rush. Most of the time we are blaming ourselves for the past or worry about the future. This is where mindfulness comes — it is about here and now. When you are relaxing, for example, you have the candle and you can sense the fragrance, colour of the flame and the warmth of it’’, he noted.
A lot of people today are living through stress, not eating healthy and are unable to sleep well.
“Now the research has come up with mindful eating where you are eating and you are aware of the texture, aroma and flavour of the food while taking time to enjoy the process. The fact is the longer you take to chew the lesser the urge to have more food. Most of the people who complain about the food or not being able to stick to the regime have the issue of not being mindful while having food’’, pointed out Dr Hamed.
Now is it important to enjoy the process?
Not necessarily, said the mind expert adding, “Remember we are not to judge the situation. We just have to be aware of it and we can do that by being aware of our breathing.”
Breathing exercise is known to make one more relaxed instead of constantly thinking about the future so we need to bring our mind to this mind.
“As you are sitting here you can feel the softness of the sofa, be aware of the air being inhaled. It helps the brain to be in this very moment instead of floating. There is no need to resist the thoughts because it is difficult to go straight into deep mindfulness’’, he said.
It can be done slowly and gradually to let go of the thoughts. Some people prefer to follow an instructor going through step by step process as it helps to stay focused on what you hear.
“This is why some people experience peace in practising prayers and this is where spirituality comes in. But even there we should remember to be mindful and not rush through it’’, urged Dr Hamed.
For more tips to practice mindfulness join GreenMent on Oman Observer Podcast or visit www.omanobserver.om.