With Ramadan here, expect things to slow down as our Muslim brothers and sisters take a break from their usual routines.
The solemn season, however, is also a great opportunity for all of us to get in touch with our inner thoughts and feelings.
“Ramadan encourages us to be more self-aware, as it is also a time for mindfulness in daily life; mindful talking, mindful action, mindful eating and mindful attention,” said Resha Erheim, CDA licensed and Canadian certified counselor.
“When we are more aware of our thoughts, our feelings and our behaviour, we are less emotionally reactive to others and situations, we are calmer and act with more purpose and intent rather than on autopilot or mindlessly.”
One way to achieve mindfulness this season and moving forward is through meditation. “Mindfulness also encourages us to practice non-judgment. This similarly is preached in Islam in relations with others,” said Resha.
“Certain verses in the Quran refer to negative judgments, assumptions or backbiting- talking negatively about others as a sin. “Several other verses in the Quran and the Hadith dictate a similar mind-set of non-judgment towards others.
“Mindfulness particularly focuses on awareness and non-judgment of one’s own thoughts and feelings and of others’ subjective experience.”
Being in the present moment not only helps you focus better but also helps you avoid unnecessary stress and worry while noticing more details around you.
So the next time you are feeling stressed or bogged down by a wave of thoughts, try doing the following:
- Become aware, let go of those negative thoughts without judgment.
- Mindfully breathe; bring your attention to deliberate breaths by meditation or yoga.
- Focus on the present; this will help you recognize and experience more pleasant moments-of joy and happiness.
- Practice gratitude by noting or writing down 3 things you were grateful for that day.
- Take ten minutes daily to do nothing, just be present- in the here and now.
- Observe what is going on around you with curiosity.