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Mindfulness

Mindfulness in its modern meaning is inspired by a concept present in the Buddhist tradition. People often spend most of their time thinking about the past and the future. They do their daily tasks while their mind is wandering wherever. We are either in our past when our mind wanders and stops on bad experiences, feelings, anger and regrets. Or we are in the future when our mind wanders often feeling sad because of unaccomplished dreams and anxiety arise.

Mindfulness is a lifestyle. It is to live the present moment with awareness. It means to choose to direct all our attention to what is happening in the here and now, with a curious, open and non-judging spirit. Here are certain things that mindful people do to live better :

  • Meditation : Studies have shown that meditation is the most effective way to become more mindful.
  • Turn Daily Tasks into Mindful Moments : Mindfulness can be practised everyday, simply by paying full attention to daily tasks, e.g. drinking a cup of tea or taking a shower.
  • Deep Breathing : Bring your attention to your breath, you don’t think of the past anymore, you don’t think of the future, you don’t have to make an effort to stop your thinking, your thoughts will subside.
  • Do One Thing At Time : Many people spend their days with a split attention and constantly multitasking, this behaviour keeps people away from the present.
  • Choose When to Avoid Checking Their Phone : This means consciously deciding when not to use it in particular situations, for example with loved ones, and to avoid beginning and ending each day by checking e-mails.
  • Conscious of What They Eat : Mindful eating is fully focused on the act of eating, paying attention to the tastes and sensations, rather than feeding carelessly while we are involved in other activities.
  • They Feel : Mindful people don’t try to avoid bad emotions or negative thoughts, rather, they accept that both positive and negative emotions, nice and bad thoughts, can come and go like sea waves.
  • They Play : Sinking into a game lets us grasp the present moment, the only place where we can find happiness.
  • They Walk : Walking through green spaces may put our brain into a “meditative state” meaning that attention and reflection are tied.
  • Don’t Take Them Seriously : Living a mindful way means to avoid being overwhelmed by emotional flow, maintaining humour about daily problems.

To have psychological techniques at our disposal, drawn from a 2500-year-old tradition, which appear to change the brain, shape our behaviour for the better, and offer intuitive insights about how to live life more fully, is an opportunity that may be difficult for psychotherapists to ignore. Only time will tell what we make of it.

68 replies »

  1. Thank you for this reminder. The term “mindfulness” has opened so many more people into this concept.

    Compare the information and stress burden of today versus 1950. Our children need tools and outlets for the overwhelming tsunami of stimulation and indoctrination they suffer.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Yes indeed Von. Learning mindfulness meditation is straightforward enough to practice on your own, but a teacher or program can help you get started, particularly if you’re practicing meditation for specific health reasons. While some people meditate for longer sessions, even a few minutes every day can make a difference. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 5 people

  2. beautiful reminder and guidance to those seeking harmonious sanctity. It’s a bit humors to think that simplicity need be ‘achieved’/learned/taught….I say earned through mindfulness dedication to the benefit of all in essence…a late start at 47 and physical shape poor unbeknownst to why has been a crippling blow that I wish I could shake off. My mental health has been dependent on medication my whole life [since age 13 basically—now medication free] and battling quite a bit and this reminder is helpful….in many ways. Much Love and have always enjoyed your posts!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am glad you are practising mindfulness Kritika. The Buddha taught that mental suffering arises out of ignorance. By “ignorance” he meant the mind’s misunderstanding of the nature of reality, both mental and physical. For example, a practitioner may have profound insights into the four noble truths (which outline the path to freedom); the three characteristics of existence (impermanence, the existence of suffering, and the absence of a permanent self); or the seven factors of awakening (qualities such as investigation, energy, and equanimity which support realization). Through vipassana practice we have insights about the implications of the constancy of change, the true nature of reality and self, and the empty radiant nature of mind when it is not clouded by desire and aversion. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess I do tend to think of eating more as a chore than a pleasure… Must be because of growing up unsolved traumas maybe. The part about not checking email on the morning makes some sense, but for now that’s when I can more freely do it, so that’s not changing soon. Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand where you are coming from. I think the act of making small talk while eating takes away all the focus from the food. It’s a habit we all have cultivated over the years. In order to overcome a habit we just need to go with the flow. In addition to formal meditation, you can also cultivate mindfulness informally by focusing your attention on your moment-to-moment sensations during everyday activities. This is done by single-tasking—doing one thing at a time and giving it your full attention. As you floss your teeth, pet the dog, or eat an apple, slow down the process and be fully present as it unfolds and involves all of your senses. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I am glad you liked it. Thank you. The cultivation of mindfulness has roots in Buddhism, but most religions include some type of prayer or meditation technique that helps shift your thoughts away from your usual preoccupations toward an appreciation of the moment and a larger perspective on life.

      Professor emeritus Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, helped to bring the practice of mindfulness meditation into mainstream medicine and demonstrated that practicing mindfulness can bring improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms as well as positive changes in health, attitudes, and behaviors. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you liked it. Increasing your capacity for mindfulness supports many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life. Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events. By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent one..!!! Literally I read this post in very “mindfulness” state.. 😊😊 hence, I could taste each and every sentences in it.. 🤗🤗🤗
    Cheers..!!! Thank you for this one..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The life story of Siddharta Gautama who became the Buddha is fascinating. Years of searching and trying different ways of thinking and living led him to the “middle way,” (meditation.) He offers much wisdom in his efforts to to transcend the mind , (achieve nirvana,) to get off the wheel of suffering, and reincarnation, (samsara).

    However, I would not want your readers to believe that they must adopt Buddism to achieve mindfulness.

    That belief has been an obstacle for many people who are attracted to the benefits of mindfulness, but who do not want to involve religion.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Garima, thanks for sharing this article. As a recently accepting emotional and sensitive person, I’ve learned to feel what I’m feeling, understand how and why I feel it versus beat myself up for feeling that way. However, I’m working on being more present in daily tasks. Would love to see an article regarding being mindful in jobs that desire excellent multitaskers.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Garima, thanks for sharing. I’ve learned to accept my feelings in the moment, understand why and how they are there versus ignoring them historically. Im working on being more present in daily tasks. I would love to see an article regarding how to be mindful in jobs where excellent multitaskers are desired.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sure please feel free to reblog. I am glad you like the post. At best, mindfulness is a tool that allows people to be more aware of their physical and emotional conditions without getting bogged down in self-criticism and judgment. Some argue that mindfulness has become overhyped in part because it is big business (think meditation apps and nap zones in co-working spaces), and in part because it is ideal research, in that it brings behavioral scientists into their native element—observing and labeling thoughts, feelings, sensations in the body in an objective manner.

      Liked by 1 person

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