Mindfulness course 101
Mindfulness meditation: focusing on the breath or bodily sensations, in a nonjudgmental way, acknowledging distractions as they occur, but returning to the present moment.
7 key factors:
- non judging: release the need to judge or change thoughts; see and accept things as they are
- Patience: remain in the present, without thinking of past or future
- Beginner mind: be open, eager, and accepting. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the experts mind, there are a few.
- Trust: have faith in the process. Trust ones intuition, awareness, and experience.
- Non striving: just be. Be here now.
- -acceptance: allow things to unfold. Acknowledge things as they are now.
- -letting go: let go of the past and expectations of future.
Doing and being: we often rush through moments, to try and get to better moments, or to complete a to do list. This is exhausting, and leads to human doing, rather than human being. Shift from doing to being through attention and awareness.
Health benefits: being in this moment can reduce stress. BODY MIND SPIRIT connection can improve our ability to manage stress, pain, and illness. We learn to slow down in our lives, maybe even stop for a while and become comfortable being still and observing our bodies and minds.
-Often used for psychiatric disorders/ substance use disorders. The regular practice may lead to change in thoughts/attitudes about the thoughts, and may redirect attention from distress to a beneficial thought.
Basic mindful Mediation: find a comfortable position. Choose a time when awake. If alert, close eyes, if tired, keep eyes open. Turn off electronics. Begin with taking two or three deep breaths. Let go of thoughts of past and future. Let body relax. Breathe normally. Do not focus on anything specific but instead be fully aware of present moment. If you find thoughts or feelings come, gently bring your attention back to breathing. Sit quiet for 10-20 minutes.
Mindfulness and happiness: 40 percent of our happiness is attributed to intentional activities-things over which we can control. The key to happiness for people is changing the 40% they can control such as engaging in a positive creative experience and positive thought patterns. 50% of happiness is our genetic makeup, and 10 percent is life circumstance. Act of kindness/ social connections: complete five kind acts a day/ or over a period of a week may boost happiness in self. Happiness doesn’t come entirely from within, but change our thinking, engae in practices that increase happiness and you will benefit. Practice gratitude, develop social connections, manage stress, focus on present, commit to goals, and take care of body, mind and spirit.
Mindful eating: Eat with intention and attention. (MORE THAN EAT SLOW and more than EAT without DISTRACTION); Eat, attending to each bite, savoring taste, and the nourishment food will provide. Don’t hurry, cook and eat in a good mood, feel the taste of food, soft, relax music, eat your favorite food last, not multitasking, sit at a real table, respect your body and health, and drink more water. Mindful eating leads to fewer consumed calories, healthier choices, and satisfaction.
- Consider: the source of the food
- start the meal with grace and gratitude
- Pay attention to the food, including colors, textures, smells, tastes, and sounds
- Practice moderation and portions
- Choose to eat small bites and sips; chew thoroughly
- Eat slowly to avoid overeating
- Eat breakfast, and avoid skipped meals, to help curve late day cravings.
Exercise: *the chocolate mindfulness meditation. Allow 15-20 minutes. Chose a new type of chocolate. Take a few deep breaths and relax body. Open wrapper. Inhale aroma. Break off a piece. Look at it. Examine every aspect of what it looks like. Place in mouth. Hold on tongue. Let it melt. Experience the sensation. 300 different flavors in chocolate. Sense them. If other thoughts come, gently refocus back to now, and the chocolate taste. Once its’ melted completely, swallow it very slowly and deliberately. Allow it to trickle down throat. Repeat again with another piece.
Questions: how did you feel during this experience? Was it different than normal? Did the chocolate taste better?
Mindful movement: guide: Focus on your awareness: what you see, hear, smell & feel!
Mindful relationships: starts with the relationship we have with ourselves. Relationships can represent the greatest challenges of human existence. They can also provide some of the most rewarding experiences a human can have. Any conflict can cause stress and unhappiness. Cultivate mindfulness provides us the ability to be live in the present. Pay attention and act with awareness. Improve relationships by being attentive listener, and mindful speech. Pay attention, show that you are listening, defer judgement, and respond appropriately. Mindful speech: pay attention to responses; consider words and how others will interpret them. Be present, honest, and kind in any circumstance, consider your words before you say them.
- reflection of practice
Follow My mother and I on our Facebook Mindfulness Page for short video tips on living a mindful life.