There's so much that's wrong with the way we tend to live our lives nowadays. Mostly because our brains are stuck in the past. By which I mean our ancestors evolved in an environment that's completely different to the world we find ourselves in now. And although we're living in the modern world, our minds are running ancestral software that's yet to be upgraded to cope with the everyday stresses we face. To some extent we've done our best to adapt and gain abilities and traits to try to be effective in our current environment. Alas, not always successfully.
We sit in chairs facing a screen all day long feeling aches and pains, we eat takeaways because we’re too short of time to cook, and we face constant stresses from work, from our relationships, and from our finances. Plus, we’re bombarded by news bulletins that make us want to batten down the hatches against a world outside that can appear frightening.
What’s more, we are constantly in demand and endlessly ‘plugged in’ and ‘stressed out’. Our phones are always ringing, texts are always coming in, we get a new e-mail every two minutes. We're expected to wear our 'so busy, too busy' medals on our chests, as if it's something to be incredibly proud of. And even when most of us aren’t working or being bothered, we have a near addiction to technology that means we’re still unable to really decompress.
Is it any wonder that stress and overwhelm are so rife?
Using Mindfulness to Escape Modern Stress
This is probably a big part of the reason that mindfulness is so popular right now. Mindfulness simply means directing attention in a purposeful manner. Sometimes this will mean focusing on our thoughts (in an objective and non-judgemental way). Or it can it simply becoming more present and focusing on our breathing and our environment.
Either way, the idea of mindfulness is to enjoy peace and to stop the incessant chatter of our minds. When you are completely engaged with the world around you, or when you decide to disengage with your thoughts, it provides you with relief from stress and from fear – and instead allows you to simply relax and recover. In a sense, it's a form of self-healing. Just as the body knows how to heal a cut all by itself, because the cells of the body have an innate intelligence all of their own, so too do our minds begin to recover from stress when we turn off the tap of our stress inner-talk. We are self-healing beings but need to take time out from physical and mental stress in order to facilitate the healing.
Mindfulness for Concentration
What’s more, practicing mindfulness is also the perfect tool for improving concentration. Mindfulness forces you to develop a ‘mental discipline’ that is sorely lacking for many of us today. Too often, most of us have too many things vying for our attention. While we have allegedly become better at multi-tasking as a result, we’ve also become much worse at focusing on one thing for extended periods. This makes it harder for us to read a large passage of text for instance, or to work without feeling the need to continuously check social media. It’s a trap that’s too easy to fall into, and it can leave our minds feeling scattered. But the fear of missing out on information, what’s going on, who’s doing what… is simply an unfounded and not helpful fear.
Again, mindfulness is the perfect tonic. Here, you are tasked with focusing on your environment, your thoughts or your feelings for an extended period of time. And as such, you improve your own focus and mental discipline. It may sound a tad too simple to be effective, but the results will have an infinitely profound effect on you!
So, if you’re feeling scattered, it's time to stop and think... of nothing!
“You have a treasure within you that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” – Eckhart Tolle
Here's a freebie book for you to download to help you feel less scattered and waayyy more in control! Click on the link below the image to download:
Please let me know about the tips and techniques that enhance your life - I'd love to hear from you. And if there's a particular issue or subject that you'd like me to explore in a blog, then drop me a line!
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And there's more...
If you find your thoughts racing, then take a look at this bestseller and global phenomenon. It's a set of simple yet powerful practices that you can easily use daily to break the cycle of stress, overwhelm and unhappiness. It promotes a sense of deep down 'happy peace' that enables you to cope with the worst that life throws at you . The book leans on the work of Professor Mark Williams who developed what is known as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Co-developed by Professor Mark Williams of Oxford University. MBCT is deemed as effective as drugs for preventing depression. But, equally, it helps those who aren't depressed by still struggle to copy with daily life in the modern world. The book comes with audio and video additions and it's a gem of a book to help you still those frantic thoughts in just a few minutes each day.
Get your copy here - please click on the link below: Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world - Mark Williams & Danny Penman
Ruby Wax knows a lot about the struggles with mental health and has learned how to deal with depression, stress and lots more. In this book, Ruby shares the techniques that have helped her to attain a level of inner peace that enables her to cope with life.
Discover more - please click on the link below: A Mindfulness Guide for Survival - Ruby Wax:
Who better to teach you mindfulness than the master himself, Thich Nhat Hanh.
Learn more - please click on the link below: The Miracle of Mindfulness - Thich Nhat Hanh:
What if you were able to find a way to train your mind to practice mindfulness? What if you could make it a daily habit? They say the best way to train your brain towards a helpful habit is repetition over 30 days. And that's the premise of these gorgeous cards, which prompt you towards a daily dose of being mindful, to help you become more peaceful within yourself. The great thing is that you can carry them with you as a reminder to practice mindfulness.
Want to access mindfulness easily - please click on the link below: 31 Day Mindfulness Challenge Cards - Take One a Day for a Month of Mindfulness
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