By: Ananya Majumdar (L&T MHPS)
Do you wake up every day with a rush of reaching office on time? Run to the washroom to get freshen up… skip breakfast… hurriedly drive your car or take the metro. Then you are irritated that there is so much traffic on the road. Or what an irritating passenger you have to encounter today in the metro. Suppose someone just rushed past your car, or brushed against you in the metro, have you reacted automatically with frustration, impatience and rage? We generally find ourselves reacting in a way we normally would not have intended.
Intention refers to the underlying motivation for everything we think, say, or do. From the brain’s perspective, when we act in unintended ways, there’s a disconnect between the faster, unconscious impulses of the lower brain centre and the slower, conscious, wiser abilities of the higher centre like the pre-frontal cortex.
Setting an intention—keeping those primal motivations in mind—helps strengthen this connection between the lower and higher centres. Doing so can change your day, making it more likely that your words, actions and responses— especially during moments of difficulty—will be more mindful and compassionate.
Hence instead of waking up to a morning where the first thing you do is checking your cell phone for new social media posts or news, practice the following to be clear of your intentions:
On waking, sit in your bed or a chair in a relaxed posture. Close your eyes and connect with the sensations of your seated body. Make sure your spine is straight, but not rigid.
Take three long, deep, nourishing breaths—breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Then let your breath settle into its own rhythm, as you simply follow it in and out, noticing the rise and fall of your chest and belly as you breathe.
Ask yourself: “What is my intention for today?” Use these prompts to help answer that question, as you think about the people and activities you will face.
Set your intention for the day.
“Today, I will be kind to myself;
be patient with others;
or anything else you feel is important.
Throughout the day, check in with yourself. Pause, take a breath, and revisit your intention. Notice, as you become more and more conscious of your intentions for each day, how the quality of your communications, relationships, and mood shifts.
Source : SPJIMR Class notes