It's hard to slow down and figure things out in a busy world. Try to intentionally give open, tolerant, and demanding attention to everything you do. Treat yourself like you would treat a good friend, focus on your breathing.
Mindfulnesslowers physiological markers of stress and improves the brain's ability to control stress.
Mindfulness does this by increasing connectivity in the area of the brain that is important for attention and executive control (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). Since ending our addiction to technology is a much bigger task (and a topic for another blog), we need to develop practices in our daily lives to return to what really matters. While there's nothing better than a good mindfulness meditation, it can sometimes be difficult to dedicate 20 to 30 minutes to meditation in our busy lives. Instead, we can create micropractices throughout the day to focus our attention.
The body works without your participation: you breathe automatically, your heart beats continuously, and your body functions continue to work regardless of what you do. But the body constantly sends us messages through the sensations of the body. Take a moment and check with your body, what do you notice? Where do you keep your blood pressure? Do you have aches or pains? Do you feel heavy or light? Focusing your attention on your body can help realign your attention to the present, but it also connects you to the information you need to better care for your body. For more tips on how to rely on body wisdom, you can check out my new course on how to develop more confidence.
Mindfulness is the practice of gently focusing your awareness on the present moment over and over again. It offers tools to improve your work and concentration through breathing practices and self-compassion exercises. A 20-minute bedtime practice to help you stay calm and less focused on your thoughts while you sleep. The easiest way to practice mindfulness is to focus on your breathing, focusing your attention on inhaling and exhaling repeatedly.
No, but since it's a beneficial practice, you may very well discover that the more you do it, the more beneficial it will be for your life. A practice for teaching preschoolers the basics of mindfulness based on the elements of nature. The study also noted that mindfulness and meditation practices translate well to people of different ages and skill ranges. Kabat-Zinn combined his studies of Hatha yoga with the mindfulness practices and Buddhist principles he learned from his many teachers.
After the training session led by Westbrook, one participant said she couldn't stop thinking about what was for dinner during the meditation practice; other people nodded their heads. The more you practice mindfulness, the more you'll understand how your thoughts, feelings, or sensations influence each other, as well as your mood and the way you respond to the world. Metta McGarvey (not pictured) teaches the practice of mindfulness, a workshop for educators inside the Gutman Conference Center.