14 Tips to help you reach a mindful state!

14 Tips to help you reach a mindful state!

1.  FOCUS ON ONE TASK AT A TIME

Modern gurus can agree on one point and it is that multi-tasking does not work.  Of course there are moments when you have no choice but to juggle.  However, try to focus on one thing at a time.  If you are having lunch, just have lunch.  Do not attempt to eat a sandwich crouched over a computer or answering text messages.  Focus on what you are doing and let the background noise stay where it belongs – in the background.

2.  BE SLOW, BE DELIBERATE

Rushing is the original sin of modern life.  Everything is just in time:  we are out the door 3 minutes later than we should be; we walk into meetings still on the phone; pull into the driveway with just enough time to shuttle the kids into the living room and throw on the dinner.  Where possible-step back.  Carve out time for the tasks that are important.  Be deliberate and contemplative.  By not rushing, long-term you will achieve more.  Try it – you will be amazed.

3.  DO NOT TAKE AS MUCH ON

We like to pat ourselves on the back about our super-human productivity.  High-soaring career, rewarding family life, a multitude of hobbies – we are so hard at work trying to be the best version of ourselves we can be, we do not notice how incredibly exhausted we are, all the time.  Here is one simple solution.  Do less.  Leave blank spaces in your diary – at the weekend schedule an hour or two when you have absolutely nothing to do.  How will you fill the free time?  Who knows? Who cares?  With nothing to distract or divert you will find you are fully inhabiting the moment.

4.  STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE FUTURE:  IT WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF

Are you the sort of person who is forever fretting about next week, next year, what you will be doing in a decade?  These thoughts can have an enormous drain on your resources.  Consciously set them aside: focus on where you are, what you are engaged in.  This moment is yours: allow yourself to enjoy it.

5.  SAVOUR EVERY MEAL

Eating used to be a ritual: a part of the day set aside for quietness and contemplation.  Today, this is no longer the case; nowadays people rush through their mealtime like…..In fact, mealtimes are the perfect opportunity for mindfulness.  Focus on your meal, the tastes, the textures.  Savour the flavours and also the opportunity to shut out the world and its incessant …….hubbub.

6.  TALK TO PEOPLE – REALLY TALK TO THEM

Often we are too caught up in thinking ahead to give due attention to the person in front of us.  It is said there are three types of listening:  1.  Waiting for a gap to give our view 2. Judgemental listening 3.  Attentive listening.  Don’t let your eyes glaze over.  Consciously lend an ear to the person opposite; understand what they are saying, and what they may be trying to communicate with their tone and body language.

7.  MEDITATE AS YOU GO

With the school run imminent obviously you do not have time to fold yourself into the lotus position and think about shafts of sunlight penetrating your soul.  But you can practice mindfulness in other ways: such as while carrying out ‘boring’ tasks like cleaning, cooking, cutting the grass…you can be away in another world.  Concentrate utterly on the task – live in the now and enjoy the benefits it brings.

8. DO NOTHING

Step outside the rough and tumble of the everyday for just five minutes.  Listen to your thoughts, concentrate on your breathing.  Let the silence – where ere you find it – wash over you, guiding your mind where it will.

9.  MOVE YOUR BODY

Throughout the day, our muscles will contract as stressful situation is piled upon stressful situation.  Over time, these physical blocks can cause emotional and physical distress.  Take a moment several times each day to ‘reset’ your body, by breathing deeply, stretching and rolling your shoulders, shaking the stress out of your body.  Mindfulness is, in part, learning to know our bodies better.  By taking these physical timeouts, we are taking the first steps towards achieving that.

10.  TAKE A WALK

If you are distressed or overwhelmed, a straightforward walk can work wonders.  It will help you feel ‘grounded’; especially if you focus on the simple sensation of placing one foot on front of the other.  If possible, avoid ear plugs.  Listen to the sounds around you; the wind in the tress; the hum of traffic, the traffic, the squawk of birds.  These sensations will help in anchoring you in the here and now.

11.  SHARE

Anxiety can build inside us, like steam in a pressure cooker.  Eventually the stress requires release.  Consider sharing with a friend; just verbally acknowledging your fears and worries can help put them in perspective and bring you back to the moment.  Otherwise, you may sink deeper and deeper into distress, your fears rattling around your head until they are all you can hear.

12.  BE COMPASSIONATE TOWARDS YOURSELF

We have all hear it:  that voice in our heads telling us we are no good, that we are constantly letting ourselves and those around us down.  Try not to be too harsh on yourself.  Often it is the standards we set ourselves that we find hardest to live up to.  Be kind and compassionate towards yourself – as much as you would towards someone else.  Long-term this will make your life more rewarding and productive.  Stewing in your perceived failure is no use to you.

13.  BREATHE

Breathing focuses your body and helps anchor you in the now.  Try to find somewhere relatively private to do it.  You should inhale so deeply that, were a person sitting next to you, they would be able to hear it.  Breathing steadies your attention, and helps in screening out needless distractions.

14.  START OVER

Life can drag us down and become a dreary drama in which nothing feels new or different.  With a little conscious effort, you can refresh the page.  Very deliberately, turn off the autopilot in your brain.  Learn to look anew at everyday things.  Embrace the senses – be fully aware where you are and what you are doing.  And remember, don’t live the same year 75 times, and call it a life….

What is Lifelong Learning?

What is Lifelong Learning?

Lifelong learning’  is defined as the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated”  pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Therefore, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also self-sustainability, rather than competitiveness and employability.

The concept of Lifelong Learning was introduced in Denmark as early as in 1971.

The term recognises that learning is not confined to childhood or the classroom but takes place throughout life and in a range of situations.

During the last fifty years, constant scientific and technological innovation and has had a profound effect on learning needs and styles. Learning can no longer be divided into a place and time to acquire knowledge (school!) and a place and time to apply the knowledge acquired (the workplace!).

Instead, learning can be seen as something that takes place on an ongoing basis from our daily interactions with others and with the world around us. It can take the form of formal learning or informal learning, or self-directed learning.

The concept of lifelong learning has become of vital importance with the emergence of new technologies that change how we receive and gather information, collaborate with others, and communicate.

The emergence of Web 2.0 technologies has great potential to support lifelong learning endeavours, allowing for informal, just-in-time, day-to-day learning.  In order to survive and thrive, organisations and individuals must be able to adjust, and enhance their knowledge and skills to meet evolving needs. This means the most important thing someone can learn is how to learn.

In India and elsewhere, the “University of the Third Age” (U3A) provides an example of the almost spontaneous emergence of autonomous learning groups accessing the expertise of their own members in the pursuit of knowledge and shared experience. No prior qualifications and no subsequent certificates feature in this approach to learning for its own sake and, as participants testify, engagement in this type of learning in later life can indeed ‘prolong active life’.

In Sweden the successful concept of study circles, an idea launched almost a century ago, still represents a large portion of the adult education provision. A study circle is one of the most democratic forms of a learning environment that has been created. There are no teachers and the group decides on what content will be covered, scope will be used, as well as a delivery method.

The learner in this system is not restricted by time, space or age. A learner can think and learn at his own will, at his own place and at any time whenever he/she feels free to learn.