Haven’t we all asked this question: What is wrong with this year? 2020 shows us that we need to be grateful and embrace the Art of living more seriously as the world seems like a really flimsy place.
With the Pandemic, Hurricanes, and Wildfires engulfing the various parts of the world, this year is a bigger reminder that we should focus more and more on the present and be mindful of the present time offer.
What is the Art of Living?
When I was in 12th grade, I remembered a fancy club in school called “Art of Living Enthusiasts.” The club president was looking for volunteers and asking in every class, “Are you interested in the Art of Living? Do you want to join us?”
The heck I did not know what Art of living really was (do not blame me; I was barely sixteen and was more interested in college, boys, I guess). I remembered my BFF made a comment after the club president left, “Isn’t everyone interested in Art of Living?”
Fast forward to 2020; I now remembered that day while writing this article and was feeling a little ironic. In my thirties now, all I can think of is focusing on personal growth and Mindfulness and hence the Art of living.
The Art of living is everything focused on Mindfulness, being very much in the present, increasing self-awareness, and focusing on what matters to your living self.
Heck, a sixteen-year-old would know that….
Why is Art of Living important now?
Given the fact that our electronic devices so much govern our lives and how much social networks and news consume us, it is hard to stay present and focused on ourselves.
You might even eat while looking at your phone or your computer. It is hard to disconnect from these, and you are eating or performing your chores without being fully present there. This is not uncommon, and hence I say the electronic world is consuming us. Consider this as the downside of technological advancement.
Instead, this is increasing your stress chemicals like cortisol and making you stressed out, probably depressed, and overall contributing to your unhappiness (it adds up over the time…)
While 2020 showed us how temporary all our lives are, it is even more important to focus on our growth. Growing to a better self is the key to a happier life instead of living the same day for 90 years and calling it a life.
How can you incorporate Art of Living in your life now?
This does not need to be hard. The Art of living is basically practicing Mindfulness in your life. This is easy when you make it a point to include it in your daily routine:
Eating Mindfully: When you eat your meal, turn off all the other distractions like a TV or your computer or cell phone. Focus on how the food tastes, how you are breaking it in your mouth into smaller pieces, and savor each bite you take. Feel the sense of the taste of the food; it’s the smell, and how it feels inside your mouth. This way, you can focus on the Art of Eating and better appreciate your food.
Breathing Mindfully: Make some time every day, preferably in the morning, to practice focused breathing. Focus on every inhale and exhale and feel how your body reacts to the air you are taking in and breathing out. This exercise makes you more self-aware and also increases your focus.
Gratitude Journaling: This is not overrated and can actually work wonders. Studies show people who actively write down what they are grateful for in life are happier than people who do not. This is convincing oneself by their own self that they have a lot to be happy about—focusing on life’s positives rather than on negatives. This automatically helps shift one’s perspective on life and let them view the world with a different lens.
Creating a Vision board or active visualization of your goals: Creating a vision board for your dreams or goals not only makes you aware of what you actually desire but also helps you see what it would be like to achieve your goals. This is one important aspect of Mindfulness that you can practice and see results right away.
These are simple exercises and very effective. The Art of living need not be complicated when you understand how to focus on the present. These are tips to get you started, but if anything else works for you in your own mindfulness practice, feel free to include that in your routine.
To conclude, I would like to say that this year could be an eye-opener on how we should better focus on our lives instead of getting consumed by the distractions that do not add value to our own lives.
How can we better focus on our personal growth that would increase our productivity? Focusing on how you live every day can better guide you on what you are overdoing and what you are missing out. The Art of living is that same understanding and awareness.
- This is the best time to focus on the Art of living - October 3, 2020