Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Five Ways to be Mindful

I know I have been writing about mindfulness alot lately, but it has been on my mind (pun intended).  One of the blogs I follow, 'Beyond Meds', wrote a post 'Five ways to be Mindful', based on teachings of Jon Kabat-Zinn, who developed mndfulness meditation for stress management.  Here is a summary of that post:
1. Consider what's right with you.  We tend to focus on what is wrong with us, and that keeps us stuck. “Until you stop breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong with you,” says Kabat-Zinn.  Every day, thank your eyes for seeing, your feet for carrying you from place to place, etc.
2.  Love yourself unconditionally.  Don't wait until you lose that weight, love yourself as you are, now.
3. Live in the present moment.  Live as if this moment truly matters, and you can really enjoy the creamy smoothness of a piece of chocolate, or the little interactions you have throughout the day.
4. When life gets tough, don't take it personally.  When problems occur, it is hard not to blame yourself, and to get stuck in the 'if only' mindset.  Instead of dwelling on the past, take responsibility by asking yourself what are you going to do different right now to move forward?
5. Put the 'being' back in human.  We are so busy doing, we don't take the time to just be. Just sitting and contemplating is what separates us from the nut gathering squirrels. It is a great stress reliever, too.

For more on each of these points, read the post by Beyond Meds.  It is a very different way of thinking and focusing than most of us are accustomed to, and one which I think is worth practicing.

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