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  • Jean Ang

I Don't Know How To Practise Mindfulness!



As we all know, Singapore boasts of a highly efficient society. Fast and efficient. The weather here is hot too, thus our metabolic rate and cortisol level are perpetually elevated. We need things done stat, we demand instant gratification. Fast and furious. Sure, it works in its favour, we are competing for the number one spot in almost everything. Unfortunately in a constant bid to be an even more efficient one, we are/have probably been brought up to be impatient (you simply cannot waste time, not by a few minutes) and entitled ("it’s all about ‘me'"). Just try driving during peak hours and you’d witness tactics like tailgating and cutting of lanes abruptly without signalling.


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I listen to podcasts on Spotify behind the wheel. They are usually the audio Bible's and interviews with Philip Yancey. One evening I happened to chance upon Brain Science on the topic of mindfulness by Dr Elisha Goldstein, PhD.


I apologise but I'd go 'ew' whenever I hear of mindfulness. I cannot meditate and it irks me to no end. But what he said about 'slowing down' enlightened me. Old people, because they are physically slow in speed (consciously, unconsciously or being forced to), they are more aware of their surroundings. They tend to notice and observe details that we young(er) ones overlook.


That made sense to me.


In a way, anxiety is also the mind being excessively stimulated. I'd consistently advise my patients to consciously and intentionally slow down their pace and not to be too caught up in a rat race.


My 'personal therapy bubble', which is my own definition of mindfulness, happens when I am writing. I will retreat to this bubble when I will focus on being intensely aware of being in the moment with no distractions (and even if there were I wouldn't feel disturbed). And after an hour or so, I'd notice myself calm, less uptight, more energised and recharged. Writing is my mindfulness.


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Get outside and take a breather. Have an ice cream. Close your eyes for a while and feel your heartbeats. Chew slowly, taste your food. Play the piano. Do something that you like in your 'bubble'. Ask yourself, "What am I rushing for?"


You could find your own kind of mindfulness too.


Photo by yang miao on Unsplash


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