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How to find your mindfulness | Psyche Guides

Mindfulness and simple knowing

Mindfulness and simple knowing

Mindfulness is the act of being aware of our present experience in real-time.

Normally people start processing inside their minds what they experience, creating perceptions. At its core, mindfulness puts our attention towards the present moment, with kindness, empathy and interest. This continuous act of being in the present moment with interest is called ‘simple knowing’.

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How to find your mindfulness | Psyche Guides

How to find your mindfulness | Psyche Guides

https://psyche.co/guides/how-to-find-the-mindfulness-practice-that-works-for-you

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Key Ideas

Mindfulness and simple knowing

Mindfulness is the act of being aware of our present experience in real-time.

Normally people start processing inside their minds what they experience, creating perceptions. At its core, mindfulness puts our attention towards the present moment, with kindness, empathy and interest. This continuous act of being in the present moment with interest is called ‘simple knowing’.

One Medicine Many Cures

Mindfulness can be practised to:

  1. Manage pain, anxiety, stress, or mood swings.
  2. Provide the body and mind an oasis of calm in between a hectic lifestyle
  3. Reduce suffering, distress and trauma caused by pain and depression, along with the negative emotions that come with life-threatening diseases.

The Space Inside Us

Mindfulness opens up a space inside our minds that helps us respond to outside situations with ease, instead of just reacting impulsively.

We become aware and are able to detect our default setting, which is our ‘driven-doing mind’, and catch hold of it before any impulsive reaction is acted upon. It also helps us arrest our cycle of negative thoughts.

Start Your Day With Mindfulness

Stop the rush of the mind from planning the day and simply take some slow, deep breaths.

While falling asleep at night, set an intention to ‘see’ the morning experience as soon as you wake up. As soon as you realize you are awake, notice the smells and sounds of the morning, checking up your mind, body, breath and energy levels. Do not rush towards the smartphone.

Mindfulness And Your Daily Tasks

Mindfulness can be applied to any task, by paying your full attention and gentle interest.

Even the taste of your breakfast will be different if you pause and savour it. You can also pay attention to your body sensations, moods, thoughts as the day goes by.

Reminding Yourself To Be Mindful

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.

Inevitable Challenges Of Mindfulness

Mindfulness may make you mistakenly assume that you are having lots of negative thoughts, but the reality is that now you are more aware and attentive to your thoughts and are able to register them.

Mindfulness can require some resilience, as you may be tempted to go back to being in a perpetual mind-sleep again when you are not completely conscious of yourself.

The DO-IT Formula For Mindfulness

The DO-IT formula makes us take any task, like eating a meal, going for a walk, or being with friends and family as a mindfulness practice:

  • D: Directing oneself to be attentive.
  • O: Observing the experience.
  • I: Investigating one’s responses and reactions.
  • T: Trying again.

The Mindfulness Technique

To help stabilize your attention and set you up on a higher frequency, you can start a formal meditation practice, setting aside just 10 minutes in the beginning:

  • Adjust your body towards an alert and upright position.
  • Close your eyes or lower your gaze, allowing you to concentrate.
  • Bring your kind-hearted attention to the next few moments, being aware of the sensory experiences like touch, sound, sight, and smell.

Confronting Yourself

  • As your mind starts to wander or gets distracted, and random thoughts related to the regrets, dreams and worries about the past or the future begin to flash before you, try to observe them neutrally as passing thoughts, without clinging to them.
  • Do not resist, chase or pull away from your chain of thoughts, and try to recognize your moment-to-moment awareness.
  • Apart from thoughts, you may find certain changes in the mood or other feelings bubbling up on the surface for you to explore.
  • Be aware of the rhythmic breath of your body, from the tip of your nose to your chest/belly.
  • Focus on any sensations that occur on your feet, legs or hands.

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  • Breathe before eating. 
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  • Eat according to your hunger. You can more mindfully choose what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. 
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  • If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. Make a mindful choice about what to eat based on what you really enjoy.
Mindful Pause
  • Trip over what you want to do. If you intend to do some yoga or to meditate, put your yoga mat or your meditation cushion in the middle of your floor.
  • Refresh your triggers regularly - add variety or make them funny so they stick with you longer.
  • Create new patterns. You could try a series of “If this, then that” messages to create easy reminders to shift into slow brain.

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What mindfulness is
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
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.”

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Use of mindfulness
Mindfulness can be used as a preventative treatment for depression.

The idea is that you actively pay attention to the moment, without judging. It helps the mind to revisit thoughts about...

Mindfulness as an effective treatment

There is clinical evidence for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy as a way to prevent depression and anxiety.

Mindfulness may be good for other psychiatric conditions including bipolar disorder.

There is also growing evidence that mindfulness is effective for chronic long-term health conditions.

Mindfulness can be overstated

Mindfulness is not a cure all. With all the hype around mindfulness it can sometimes be difficult to tell whether the information is quality-controlled and reliable. We need  to be careful not to overstate it's usefulness.

Mindful learning

It means cultivates insightful knowing rather than just a brain overloaded with information

Mindfulness creates space to let new information in and to allow us to see how it rel...

Mindful Reading

It is a process of quiet reflection that requires mindful attentiveness, letting go of distracting thoughts and opinions to be fully in the moment with the text. 

It slows down the reader and the reading—that alone changes the experience. It moves the reader into a calm awareness, allowing for a more profound experience and understanding.

Mindful Writing

Writing benefits from the capacities that mindfulness cultivates: being in the moment, even when remembering the past or imagining the future; not judging others and oneself while still exercising discriminating wisdom; holding multiple perspectives; being open to the new; and practicing kindness, compassion, and patience. 

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Mindlessness

Mindlessness, or going on autopilot, can result in missing the good things in life or ignoring important information about relationships or health.

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Tips to practice Mindfulness
  • Allow your mind to wander and gently return awareness to your breath sensation.
  • Notice any tendency to be hard on yourself. See this kind of judgment and gently return awareness to your breath.
  • Embrace relaxation and being present with awareness.
  • Expect to notice more things, including more painful things.
  • Practice staying present. Stay open to all the possibilities in each situation.
  • Be careful not to try too hard. Experience life directly as it unfolds, paying careful and open-hearted attention.
  • When starting a new activity

    Start a meeting with 2 minutes of silence, your attention focussed on your breath. Or take a few mindful breaths before starting your exercise routine.

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    • cognitive (the thoughts that go along with the emotion).
    • behavioral (the things you do or have urges to do when you experience an emotion). 

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    As you unpack your stuff, use this golden chance to keep only the essential stuff and completely declutter your new home. Don’t hold stuff that keeps you tied to the past.

    Do not be overwhelmed with the piled up work. Practice deep breathing, reflecting on the present moment and gratitude.