There comes a time in life when we lose the race to our thoughts. Instead of moving towards the ‘Zen’ state, our thoughts find themselves continuously muddled. Those who meditate, know the importance of practicing the techniques at least once a day to have a somewhat peaceful state of mind. On the other hand, others find various hobbies like art, traveling, dance, and music, which provide that therapeutic element.
Yet, despite the availability of these methods, most of the population today still sleeps with a cluttered mind and an uneasy heart.
This is when introspection, the observation of one’s mental processes, should come into play. Now how does this unassuming yet effective technique benefit anyone? Here is a plan that I follow to achieve an uncluttered mind and a happy heart:
GATHER THE MATERIAL
The simplest, yet extremely essential step is to select some background music, choose a nice pen, pick out some sheets, and don’t forget to have some fun. With the commencement of this task, you will be laying out a map for your coming days.
It is indeed important to possess some stillness to achieve an uncluttered mind. Turn off your phone notifications and sit in a comfortable position. Free your hands of any material and mentally observe your breath for about 5 minutes (or till the time your brain starts to fidget).
WRITE DOWN THE TOPICS
What are some of the topics that are a part of your life? Family, friends, career, love, health, fitness, hobbies, moods, and pets are some from which you can choose. This step inculcates jotting all those elements that comprise your life as a whole.
Consider the areas that you have listed as your guides. Ponder upon them one by one by the act of introspection and jot down the sub-points you have for each topic. It doesn’t matter if these are positive, neutral, negative or even irrelevant. Simply put them on paper. For example,
* The boss has been giving extra workload
* My salary was increased
* Need to stop eating those kachoris during lunch break
* Explore various sides of the same topic and explore all those points related to it that are essential or that have been bothering you for a while.
Once you’ve written down those sub-points, expand the ones that may need more attention. These may already inhabit your mind, making you wonder why you need to make the effort to use a pen and paper after ages. But, lemme tell you, by the act of putting them down, you release them from the confines of your thoughts alone.
PONDER UPON “WHY?”
Why is your boss bothering you at work? Why is your health deteriorating over time? It’s time to answer the pesky ‘whys’. Out of all the sub-topics that you have in front of you, of course, you’ll see at least a couple of issues glaring back at you. This is the time to depend upon your practical side and answer these questions. If you haven’t been able to hit the gym after 2nd January, why? Is it because gyms smell funny, it’s cold outside and being around people makes you agitated? Answer all your questions as honestly as possible. And remember to make this fun! If some sub-questions happen to arise, respond to those as well, till the time you reach a point where you are largely satisfied. And do not forget the key to right answers: honest introspection.
You’ll notice while respondingto the questions that you may stumble upon the same answers. For example, maybe you’re too anxious to show your parents your credit card bill and you also find your anxiety levels rising every time your boss passes by your cubicle.Perhaps your introverted side is coming in the middle of you making new friends and getting a love life! Examine those common factors and scribble them downon a clean sheet of paper. That is a list you need to consider workingon.The answers to most of life’s issues lie in gradually working on these areas.
STEPS TO STEPS
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Throw some confetti in the air. You really are determined to unclutter your mind; full points for that. I ask you now to see how you’re going to simplify your life. If it is laziness, perhaps you can set small goals and make sure you achieve them. You can even keep a jar of positivity in which you can put a Rs. 100 note every time you achieve a goal! At the end of the month, you could buy yourself a treat with it!
FORMULATE THAT PLAN
It is now time to formulate a plan. I highly suggest that you frame an achievable one. Prioritize your goals according to what is most essential at this point in your life. Once you have done that, you’ll have a clearer guide in front of you to attain what you need.
SIT BACK AND RELAX
Stop now. Let go of the pen and all the thoughts that swirl around you. Sit back, relax and focus on the soothing music in the background. By now, your mind would’ve been somewhat organised and sorted. Also, don’t forget to turn your notifications back on!