• Trishna Patnaik

Are you missing out on mindfulness?

Mindfulness, a very well-known term in today’s world. But what does it actually mean? In simple terms, it means living in the moment. Better explained, when you go through the day, doing each task, not just for the sake of doing it, but being present in the moment and being completely aware of oneself and one’s surroundings.

At Elate Wellbeing, we do this via Meditation and also various kinds of activities. In fact, as a Nutritionist, I also try to incorporate mindfulness in terms of eating the right quality and quantity of food. As we strive towards delivering a healthier and happier you, we answer a lot of questions on a daily basis on how mindfulness can be incorporated in our lives on a daily basis. One such purpose came to my notice whilst I was researching on meditation and food.

A recent study at Harvard showed that through meditation and mindfulness, one can find a purpose in life, I know this sounds way too philosophic for most of us! Let us just say, if you are focussed on a goal, with clear mind and intentions and you are aware as to why you want to achieve that, why it is important, how are you able to give back to the universe through that particular task, then to summarize I can say that you have found a purpose and meaning in life and not just wandering off into the unknown aimlessly.

Such kind of knowledge, according to this latest Harvard study by Harvard Health Publishing, can help you lead a healthier life. It says, “Researchers asked 1,042 adults, average age 65, to fill out questionnaires about meaning in their lives, and compared their responses with data on their physical and mental well-being. Respondents who believed they had meaning in their life had better physical and mental health scores and higher cognitive function compared with those who didn't.

The differences in health between the two groups may be related to the respondents' outlooks. More meaning in one's life would likely make you feel more content and thus less stressed, suggest the researchers.

Yet, if you feel you don't have meaning in your life, or that your search for it is unsuccessful, you are more likely to feel stressed and anxious. Additional research will be needed to determine whether finding a purpose in life, even if a man does not feel it now, will lead to better health.”

This is pretty obvious, is it not? As the Wellness Expert at Elate, more often than not I have seen clients who focus on overall wellbeing and not just weight or size, are happier than the ones who are singularly obsessed with weight. Alternatively, it can be said that people who put in their efforts in gaining good health reflect that same kind of positivity in other important aspects of life too, e.g., family, social relations, work, etc.

Through meditation, you are able to focus better on little things that matter to you, think clearly, detaching yourself from the things that do not matter. This is the first step towards finding your meaning in life. If you know deep inside what you are meant to do, where your meant to go and how it that you are connected to the different aspects in this world, your mind shall be at peace. If your mind is at peace, all your physical aspects shall slowly fall in place. This will not only bring you success but also happiness that is not born of a materialistic world.

There are certain things that you can do to make this process easier:

1. Journal the answers to the following questions:

· What drives you?

· When are you the happiest?

· What gives you a sense of contentment?

· What can you do to step outside your personal bubble?

· Evaluate your interests

2. List your interests and passions.

3. Write about what you love

4. Talk about your source of joy in life

5. Use backwards planning method- imagine yourself to be old and visualise the kind of life you wish for, now go back on it and plan till today as to what you need to do in order to plan that life.

6. Don’t try to adhere to social norms if it brings you unhappiness.

7. Define your purpose towards humanity

8. Try to step out of your comfort zone in order to achieve something you want.

9. Find people who motivate you and ask them what they think your strengths are

10. Act on purpose.

There can be so many things you can do to find your meaning in life. But stop thinking in absolutes. Nothing in this world ever will make absolute sense to you. Try to leave that bubble. Don’t be bent on finding values in everything. Being happy and healthy should come to you naturally and not feel like a task. At the end of the day, you are the one who creates and breaks your own boundaries. Rest is all just a well-defined myth!

(Reference: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/finding-meaning-in-life-could-improve-your-health)

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