Most of us have heard about mindfulness, but what exactly is it? And how could it help us to navigate troubled times? In this audio excerpt from Mindfulness at Work and Home, due for release later this month on Audible, I explain what it is and how to practise.
Take a few moments to tune in and find out more.
Click here to listen.
The Stop Practice
Stress is an inevitable part of life. But stress itself is not the problem - it’s how we relate to it that counts.
The stress response (‘fight, flight, freeze’) is critical to our survival. In days gone by, it might have saved us from the mouth of a sabre-toothed tiger. These days, while certain threats have disappeared, others are on the rise. Our stress response is triggered constantly. It may be triggered by an update on the news, the temporary loss of a mobile phone or the resounding ping of an incoming email. When we are worried, anxious or fretting about something, this is when the stress response activates. Over time, if we are not able to find a way of slowing down and normalising the bodily systems involved in stress, we can start to suffer from problems such as high blood pressure, muscle tension, anxiety, insomnia and digestive problems.
Creating space during the day to leave the worried mind behind and come into the present...
To celebrate the launch of the new 8-week Mindfulness online course, Everyday Mindfulness is offering a 75% discount code (£25, RRP £99.99) to law students, pupil barristers and trainee solicitors until the end of the month.
This brand new 8-week online course explains how to practise mindfulness and start experiencing its many benefits.
Ideal for beginners, the course is packed with weekly videos, audio-guided meditations, lectures, hints and tips on how to practise mindfulness. Each week, a new theme is explored to explain how mindfulness can make a difference to your daily life. From feeling less stressed to having more self-compassion, from managing your inner critical voice to improving your ability to focus – to name just a few.
In the lead up to the launch of the Everyday Mindfulness website, you can now watch my video seminars from the first two weeks of the new 8-week online course. Simply click here to take a look.
Each week, you will learn how mindfulness can help you to feel less stressed, reduce your anxiety, improve your focus, grow your self-compassion and enjoy a greater sense of well-being. You will explore different benefits of mindfulness from managing your inner critical voice to improving your ability to focus, from boosting your resilience to managing conflict.
To find out more about the course, visit the website and get in touch for corporate and personal discounts.
In his groundbreaking research, Judson Brewer explains how mindfulness can help us to get ‘up close and personal’ with our bad habits and how this approach can help us to break them.
To watch his TED Talk entitled “A Simple Way To Break a Bad Habit, click here.
In his article, Train Your Brain To Break Bad Habits, Elisha Goldstein explores how mindfulness can help us to get curious about our triggers and how to observe, rather than react to compulsions. Click here to read more.
To listen to a podcast on “Hack Your Brain’s Habit Loops” with Judson Brewer, click here.
When we start to meditate, there are many challenges. One of the greatest difficulties is finding the time to meditate, even if it's just for 5 or 10 minutes a day. Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn asks us to practice as though our lives depend upon it, such is the importance of the benefits of a regular mindfulness practice. Spending just a few minutes every day engaging our mindful way of being can make all the difference. Short pauses during the day create space to help us decide how to respond to situations, rather than react, perhaps out of old habits or entrenched ways of being..
This week, perhaps try using sound as an anchor to the present moment. Here’s a link to my 6-minute Tibetan Singing Bowl meditation on Insight Timer which invites the mind to focus on resonance and tone, calming the residual chatter.
For further reading, this selection of great articles and video clips will help you to keep your practice going over the next few weeks:
In Mental Health Awareness Week, the theme of “Mindfulness at Home” is conflict. How can mindfulness help us to respond, rather then knee-jerk react when confronted with a tricky situation? Can ‘taking a moment for ourselves’ really mean the difference between a robust argument and an ugly row?
To further the discussion, here is this week’s edit from Mindful:
10 Steps for Mindful Conflict Resolution by Whitney Stewart
Don’t Just Play Nice by Michael Carroll
Five Common Work Challenges Mindfulness Can Improve by Jeremy Hunter
The Daily Practice this week is from Elaine Smookler’s article, Being Gentle With Your Feelings in Lockdown
To join next week’s session, register your place by clicking here.
We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us, that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet.
In Mindfulness at Work and Home, I describe resilience as that which “prevents you from disappearing down a black hole, folding in and giving up when things go wrong. It moves you from passive to active. From victim to warrior – or somewhere in-between. Resilience is the grit that helps you to get up and carry on in the hope that things will get better. It’s the capacity to adjust positively to difficult life circumstances.”
The good news is that more than five decades of research show that resilience is highly trainable. Moreover, the practice of mindfulness impacts resilience as it helps us to find a place of calm within ourselves and to be more in touch with our motivations and intentions. In short, mindfulness helps us to pause, step back, reflect, shift perspectives, create options, and choose wisely.
This week, if you would like to read more about mindfulness and resilience, follow the links below.
The theme of this week’s “Mindfulness at Home” session is self-compassion. To read more about the practice and the seminal research work of Dr Kristen Neff, see the links below.
Dr Kristen Neff
To find out more about the work of Dr Kristen Neff, click here.
The Transformative Effects of Mindful Self-Compasion by Neff and Garner. Click here.
Self-compassion practices to Deepen Your Resilience by Linda Graham. Click here.
To follow a Loving-Kindness meditation, click here.
Mindfulness at Work and Home
To find out more about “Mindfulness at Work and Home” published by RedDoor Press last year, click here.
Image courtesy of Alisa Anton at Unsplash
On Tuesday 5th May, I will be looking at the interplay between mindfulness and self-compassion. What does it mean to be kind to ourselves and how can this help us in our daily lives?
To reserve a space, simply register here:
I look forward to seeing you there!