Reasons to practice mindfulness

  • Understand your pain. Mindfulness can help you reshape your relationship with mental and physical pain.
  • Connect better. Mindfulness helps you give your full attention to people you interact with.
  • Lower stress. 
  • Focus your mind. Meditation hones our innate ability to focus.
  • Reduce brain chatter, that nattering, chattering voice in our head seems never to leave us alone. 

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What mindfulness is

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

What meditation is

Meditation is exploring. When we meditate we venture into the workings of our minds: sensations, emotions and thoughts.

Mindfulness meditation asks us to suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness, to ourselves and others.

Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. And then I sometimes add, in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.”
Basics of Mindfulness Practice
  • You don’t need  special equipment, but you do need to set aside some time and space.
  • Observe the present moment as it is. 
  • Let your judgments roll by. 
  • Return to observing the present moment as it is. Our minds often get carried away in thought. 
  • Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up.
  • Sit comfortably. 
  • Notice what your legs and arms are doing. 
  • Straighten your upper body—but don’t stiffen. 
  • Soften your gaze. Drop your chin a little and let your gaze fall gently downward. It’s not necessary to close your eyes. 
  • Feel your breath. Bring your attention to the physical sensation of breathing.
  • Notice when your mind wanders from your breath. 
  • Be kind about your wandering mind. Practice observing them without reacting.
  • When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze. Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. 

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Mindfulness meditation made easy!
Settle in
  • Find a quiet space. Using a cushion or chair, sit up straight but not stiff; allow your head and shoulders to rest comfortably; place your hands on the tops of your legs with upper arms at your side.
Now breathe
  • Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and relax. Feel the fall and rise of your chest and the expansion and contraction of your belly. With each breath notice the coolness as it enters and the warmth as it exits. Don't control the breath but follow its natural flow.
Stay focused
  • Thoughts will try to pull your attention away from the breath. Notice them, but don't pass judgment. Gently return your focus to your breath. Some people count their breaths as a way to stay focused.
Take 10
  • A daily practice will provide the most benefits. It can be 10 minutes per day, however, 20 minutes twice a day is often recommended for maximum benefit.

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IDEA

Mindfulness is more difficult than it sounds as our attention is gone in a few seconds from our intended focus point.

Take note of your daily habits and stuff you do without thinking, like checking your phone notifications, or washing your hands, and plant ‘cues’ in them to be mindful. Feeling the sun on your skin, adjusting your posture, or relishing your coffee are all acts of mindfulness.

  1. Gentle, Loving Sounds: Your day should not start with a jarring alarm, but with gentle and soothing chimes and bells.
  2. Body Needs Water: Drink lots of water before you fill yourself up with coffee.
  3. Go In Nature: Don’t lie in bed with your smartphone, but go in nature and make your morning richer.

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