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Join the Mindfulness Revolution – 10 Awareness-building Moments Every Day

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8 Things Suссеѕѕful People Dоn’t Waste Tіmе Dоіng

A recent issue of Time Magazine had a feature image on the cover for mindfulness, calling it a revolution. You might be asking; why has it become so popular? You might even wonder; what is mindfulness, really? You may even want to know how you can develop it, or why would you want to.

Here are four definitions of mindfulness, all of them accurate.

1. Mindfulness is awareness.
2. Mindfulness is being more present – More embodied in the moment.
3. Mindfulness is calm, alert, presence with equanimity (Equanimity is being even-minded or non-judgmental).
4. In the book Full Catastrophe Living, the author Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as paying attention on purpose in the present moment without judgment.

To help clarify what mindfulness is, it can be useful to know what it’s not. It is not absent mindedness, mindlessness, or conceptualizing – Unless the latter is intentional and you’re aware of it. An example of non-mindfulness that most of us have experienced is driving down the freeway and suddenly realizing we haven’t noticed anything that we have passed in the last ten minutes. We were caught up in our head; someplace other than where we were.

If we were being mindful in this example we would have noticed the scenery as it went by. This is an example of mindfulness of sight, or seeing what’s there in the present moment without getting caught up in thought.

 

Join the Mindfulness Revolution

 

You can be mindful of many things including your body, anything perceived by your senses, and even your feelings and thoughts (when not carried away by them). For example, in the time you’ve been reading this article, have you had any sensory awareness of your body? Have you noticed feeling any pain, temperature, or pressure such as the chair against your back? If you had some awareness of any physical sensations, then you’ve had some mindfulness of the body. Regardless of whether you experienced any of these things before I mentioned them, there’s a good chance you noticed some of them as I pointed them out. At that moment you were mindful.

Take a moment right now and check in with your body; feel the pressure of the floor against your feet, and also the pressure of the chair against your back, if you are seated. Notice your eyes taking in these words, and observe your thinking as you read. There. That’s mindfulness of your body, seeing, and thoughts.

It’s now probably obvious to you that you have some mindfulness some of the time, but maybe you have it less often than would be beneficial to your greater wellbeing. In the busy modern world we are often caught up in our heads un-mindfully. One big reason that practicing being mindful, especially of the body, more of the time is that your nervous system calms down and you feel good – You have a felt-sense of greater wellbeing. Your body enjoys your mindful awareness.

 

join the mindfulness revolution

 

You are probably seeing how practicing mindfulness can counter stress and anxiety. When we are anxious our nervous system is highly activated; we’re hyper-aroused. If we are mostly disconnected from the direct experience of our body we feel nervous, jittery, and frazzled, and we have a difficult time concentrating. We may even be numb to how our body feels. This is not uncommon. When we are stressed we may not even notice that our breathing is more shallow and rapid. We may go through most of the day in this state, and by the end of the day our nervous system flips from a frenetic-state to a state of severe exhaustion and fatigue.

 

join the mindfulness revolution

 

On the other hand when we are connected to our body it is soothing to the nervous system and we are less likely to become hyper-aroused. When we do experience stress, if we’re mindful of how we’re feeling, we can choose to be present in the body and take a few deeper breaths. This regulates the nervous system to a state of greater calm and we experience wellbeing and greater resilience to additional stressors. By practicing mindfulness of the body in this way we can learn to consciously regulate our nervous system and over time we can settle into a pattern of alertness (high state) and relaxation / recuperation (low state). This is compared to the un-mindful states of high-anxiety and extreme fatigue.

You can now see more clearly the reasoning behind definition number three above. Mindfulness is Calm, Alert, Presence, with Equanimity. Calm and alert can seem contradictory until they are seen in this way – that of a well-regulated nervous system. An easy way to remember this definition is with the acronym C-A-P-E which uses the first letter of each of the key words; Calm, Alert, Presence, and Equanimity. In a sense this state of heightened mindfulness is a type of super-power; an inner one that positively impacts all areas of our life.

 

join the mindfulness revolution

 

This is one example of mindfulness; that of the body, which you now see can increase our sense of wellbeing and over time our resilience to the stressors of modern life. Other benefits include acting with greater self-awareness, and non-reactivity.

You may be wondering; how does one go about increasing mindfulness? We do it by practicing. Now; how to practice? There’s formal meditation which is great, but it is not for everyone in the beginning. Another excellent way to get started is informal practice throughout the day.

To begin informal mindfulness practice, choose something as a trigger; as a reminder to practice. Using transitions works well for most people. Transitions are times you make changes throughout your day, such as going through doors, or switching tasks. Use these as a trigger or reminder to take a moment and notice what your body is sensing. For example, you walk out the door of your house; take a second and notice the temperature change on your skin, the brightness on your eyes, the smells – run through all your senses if you like. Practice this way consistently for a week or so and you’ll begin to be more in touch with your body, which will calm your nervous system, which feels great. Keep doing this and you will experience ever greater depths to being present in your body.

You will likely go through ten or more transitions every day that can be used as reminders to be more present. You can begin by setting the intention to use these as triggers to practice mindfulness ten times each day. Congratulations, you now have a mindfulness practice.

 

join the mindfulness revolution

 

There are many reasons why this and related practices, like yoga are becoming popular. A big reason that mindfulness is so popular is that it’s greatly needed. As life gets more stressful for more people we are seeking natural ways to counter stress and enhance our wellbeing. By starting your practice you become a part of this really good revolution. Give it a try. All you have to lose is your stress!

Be well.

Brad

 

Brad Maybury teaches mindfulness practices, helping clients connect more deeply with their body and gain greater calm, vitality, and wellness! Those with symptoms of anxiety, stress and trauma go from surviving to thriving.

Visit his site to learn more: http://www.traumarecoveryresources.com/newsletter

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6 Reasons Why You Should Create A Bucket List

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Reasons Why You Should Create A Bucket List

The term ‘bucket list’ has become quite popular in recent years. It has been used in pop culture references and as a casual topic of conversation when someone wants to do something. Chances are, you have heard someone say, “Oh, that’s on my bucket list!” But, a bucket list is more than just a fantasy, an out of reach dream or an excuse to say that you want to do many things, only to never follow through on them.

There are actually many benefits to creating a bucket list, if you just put in the time, the thought and the dedication into it. Making a bucket list is a perfect way to set your life goals and to stay focused on making them a reality. Still not 100% convinced? Let’s take a look at six reasons why you really should create a bucket list. Maybe, by the end of this article, you will be ready to put together one of your very own.

1. It Gives You a Purpose

While putting together a bucket list won’t tell you what the meaning of your life is, it can help to give you a purpose to your life. A bucket list should be more about the major goals that you have for yourself, rather than a bunch of fun little things that you might want to do. A bucket list gives you something to get out of life and allows you to stay focused while you are doing it.

Have you ever been bored, wondering what you’re going to do this weekend to fill up your free time? A bucket list can give you that answer, encouraging you to always work towards the things that you truly want to do and experience in life.

2. It Brings Your Goals to Life

As stated above, a bucket list should be about exciting goals that you have for yourself. But, it is also an opportunity to hone in on those goals. Many people have ambitions and even make goals or resolutions for themselves each year only to be forgotten a few days later. But, when you have a specific list of goals written down, it can help to make you more motivated and focused to achieve them.

Goals are incredibly important to have, and the fact that your bucket list can make those goals clearer and more tangible is really important.

3. You Will Create Lasting Memories

Memories are one of life’s greatest treasures. As you start to accomplish the things on your bucket list, you will also be making wonderful memories each time. Since you are doing the things you really want to do, those memories will bring you comfort, a sense of achievement and give you something positive to look back on and share with others.

Bucket list Create Lasting Memories

4. It Will Pull You Forward

Have you ever been in a “funk” in life, or maybe you have had bouts of feeling down or depressed that have kept you from doing the things you typically enjoy? No one wants to stay in that kind of mindset for long. Because a bucket list can help to give you a sense of purpose, it can also give you the motivation to pull yourself out of a funk. It can call you to do something new, something different, or something that even challenges you. Sometimes, that’s all a person needs to be pulled out of a tired or depressed state.

Additionally, doing something on your bucket list will help to distract you for a while. That can be a great solution for someone who has anxiety or tends to focus too much on the negative things in life. Sometimes, a distraction can be a welcomed reprieve.

5. You Will Experience Life-Long Learning

When you commit yourself to having new experiences, you are also committing yourself to learning something new. So many people think that learning stops when you finish school, but you can learn so much more simply by living and trying more new things throughout your life. People who embrace this type of lifestyle are called “lifelong learners”. The reality is this; you will never be able to learn everything there is to know. But, because all of us have such a short time on this planet to figure things out, the more experiences we participate in, the more that we will learn and grow. Not only can a bucket list help you to learn things about different cultures, skills, situations, people and personalities.

It can also help you to learn more about yourself. Closing your mind off to the idea of lifelong learning will cause you to become stagnant with your thoughts and your growth. As a human being, you should have a desire to continue to grow and achieve as much as you possibly can throughout your life. Working through your bucket list can help you to achieve that.

Bucket List For Life long Learning

6. You Will Never Run Out of Things to Do

If you sit down to make a bucket list, you might write down anywhere from 10-100 things that you really want to do. But, it doesn’t have to stop there. Chances are, as you start to work through some of the things on your list, you will come up with more ideas.

Experiencing new things, and even challenging things, is a great way to get inspired and motivated to continue on that trend. A bucket list can truly be never-ending as you come up with more exciting new ideas and goals for yourself.

Building Your Bucket List and Bettering Your Life

There are so many additional reasons why you should create a bucket list for yourself. Remember, a bucket list is a very personal thing, and the experiences you put on the list should be things that you truly want to do or accomplish. Don’t make them  so unrealistic that you will never plan on committing to. Instead, promise yourself that you will immerse yourself in those experiences.

A bucket list might be something you create to accomplish things before you pass on, but in creating one and diving into new experiences, there is a good chance you will feel more alive than ever!

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8 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Every Day

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8 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Every Day

Self-care is a term that gets thrown around a lot lately, to the point where it’s easy to ignore or blow it off as some kind of “buzz word”. But, it’s so much more than that, and when you are willing to take self-care seriously, you might just start to see how much easier it will be to get through each day. (more…)

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The Top 8 Most Important Things in Life

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The Top 8 Most Important Things in Life

It is easy for people to speculate and debate about the most important things in life. You have probably heard that “the best things in life are free” or that “love is all you need”, but what about what are the most important? What do you really need in this life in order to find contentment and fulfillment? (more…)

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