- To feel unworthy is to suffer. It feels like you’re flawed and must conceal your faultiness from others or risk being shunned. But concealing, pretending, and holding yourself apart from others tends to make you feel alienated and then interpret these feelings as proof that you’re flawed. This is a vicious cycle of self-doubts and self-judgments that separates you from others and prevents you from feeling whole and complete. Though you may be stuck in this self-concept, it’s fa
- This mindfulness practice allows us to relate to instead of from our thoughts—we’re building awareness of how we think. When we engage in this practice, maybe starting out for five minutes a day, we can begin to notice the storylines we create in our minds around expectations or pressures, or maybe just how much noise circulates in any given moment. We can train our brain to notice our mental habits—some good, some bad—and in noticing these habits, we have more
- There I stood, surrounded by people from my neighborhood at a cocktail party—our common purpose to celebrate the pristine park that lines the shores of the Long Island Sound steps away from where we live. Typically, I’d look to connect with people I know, or perhaps have met through a friend—in other words, I take the comfortable and easy route. But this time, I opted for a different experience.
Taking in the setting sun and a warm autumn breeze, I noticed an older couple
- We went to Wal-Mart for curtains and a rug on an ordinary autumn afternoon. On our way to the checkout, there was no bypassing the enormous Halloween display: an animatronic skeleton with a fiendish glare sat next to a wall of masks including (but not limited to) a werewolf with teeth like serrated blades and a zombie that lacked half the flesh on it’s ghoulish green face.
“Mommy! Can we get some scary Halloween stuff for the house?” My seven-year-old daughter, Opal, treated th
- The school year is well underway. As October unfolds, you may find yourself already embroiled in a frenzy scheduling, activities, and demands, leading to tense after-school battles and “wars of wills” with your teens. Beyond their reluctance to do homework and chores, a teenager’s constant quest to assert themselves and carve out a personal identity can make things difficult for the whole family. If you’ve found yourself constantly chiding your children or spouting the us
- Can joy be cultivated? And, if so, can we teach our kids how to be more joyful in their lives?
The answer to both of these questions is yes. But it takes knowing what kinds of practices bring true happiness—and not just momentary pleasure—to your life. Once you’ve mastered that, it’s not too hard to introduce those practices to kids in a way that they can understand and appreciate.
Research shows that mindfulness practice can help rewire our brains for happ
- Caught up in a flurry of emails, to-do lists, and the daily grind, most of us take passing thoughts at face value. Something drifts past…we grab hold. I wonder why no one makes savory ice cream flavors and I need to call a tutor about my child’s reading and that new phone looks so cool! Some ideas are valuable, some spontaneous and amusing, while others are habitual, random, or even frightening.
We all develop patterns of thinking over our lifetime, many of which are unconscious and
- What if we tried to be kind to as many people as we could?
A Brooklyn-based start-up called Kindness.org is community-sourcing a kinder, gentler world—identifying initiatives, setting targets, and the sharing results. So far, there’s 11 acts of kindness to choose from—you can pick up litter, give your favourite book away, ask an elder for advice, and more.
“I don’t have money, but I have time.”
The initiative kicked off with a video of London-based math t
- I can still remember the raisin from that first mindfulness class I took in a family friend’s basement office, almost twenty years ago. I myself was only 20 years old and that first awe-inspiring taste of that raisin onward, I was hooked on exploring mindfulness. I walked out of the basement promising myself I would eat every meal like I ate that raisin. Fast-forward just a few hours, and I as eating my dinner as mindlessly as ever. I have however kept up with a few mindful meals to myself
- Many beginner meditators, myself included, start out with a mindful breathing meditation: one breath in, one breath out, the mind wanders, you bring it back.
Armed with an app guiding me through this meditation, I practiced dutifully for several months—but eventually I fell off the wagon. It just stopped feeling right for me.
I didn’t know there were other types of meditation to try. That’s why a new study published in the journal Mindfulness is so encouraging: It com
- This is a body scan for children. If you’re a parent, you might choose to do this with your child, or feel free to use the audio as part of bedtime or at any other time of the day.
1) Lie down on your back. Let your legs and your arms relax and fall to the sides. Settle yourself in a comfort-able position and close your eyes.
2) Start by taking two or three gentle, large breaths. Pay attention to how that feels. Your belly rises and falls. Air moves in and out of your body. If you like, p
- Did you know that authenticity is inextricably linked to happiness? To be authentic is to feel at home in your body, accepted into a particular group, and to feel true to our sense of values. It is a kind of confidence that doesn’t come from attaining something outside of ourselves, but knowing deeply we are enough whatever our particular feelings, needs, or skills are and that we add to the greater whole of life and matter. We can be true to our own personality, spirit, or character despi
Over the last decade, the scientific community has produced numerous studies looking at how mindfulness practice influences our minds, our bodies and our behavior. Today, we are beginning to understand some of the physical and mental underpinnings of how mindfulness can change our lives.
Mindfulness is considered to be multifaceted within the field of scientific research. For example, while some studies define mindfulness as present focused-attention, others will refer to it as open monit
- This short mindfulness exercise that can be learnt and then practiced at any time to take a quick audit of our present moment experience, stabilise ourselves with single-pointed attention on the sensations of the breath and then expand our awareness out to sensations in the whole body and beyond.
- There’s a growing amount of evidence that mindfulness can help us kick our bad habits.
In a recent study, 63 participants who were addicted to stimulants received behavioral treatment for 12 weeks. Four weeks into the program they were randomly assigned to either one group who received mindfulness training targeted at cravings and urges or another group, who received health education. At the end of 12 weeks, researchers measured changes in participants use of stimulants and symptoms of anx
- Although in some ways it can seem quite simple, mindfulness is a multifaceted skill. The body scan is a great starting practice because it fundamentally trains so many aspects of working skilfully with experience. Here are seven aspects of mindfulness that are practiced in the body scan.
• Attention. By consciously choosing to place the mind on an object, we are training our capacity to pay attention. Attention is also trained by moving the mind from one object to another, and by
- Racing to never-ending deadlines, work piling up, doing more with less. Employees are asked for higher quality, faster turnaround time, greater efficiency and more innovative output….but is creativity possible with today’s workplace mindset where “busyness” is the modus operandi?
There is a fundamental problem with organizations trying to be both efficient and generate innovate ideas. The corporate culture is biased toward rewarding an accelerated pace and greater cost-c
- Hiking with friends while enjoying great conversation and laughter is one of my favorite activities. But unless we make a conscious effort to stop every now and again and really pay attention to where we are and what we are doing, we can miss a tremendous amount. Stopping and consciously engaging our senses when out hiking not only calms and grounds us—relaxing both mind and body—but it also deepens our connection to the natural world. Excuse the cliché, but mindful hiking is
- Telecommuters might feel guilty or ungrateful admitting it, but let’s be honest: We often miss the office. Even the too-talkative, too-messy, or too-cutthroat colleagues you willed yourself to ignore when they sat near you can seem endearing when you’re toiling away to the ticktock of your kitchen clock.
I’ve been telecommuting for almost 15 years. Sometimes it’s been across oceans and time zones (we are a military family), and sometimes it’s been acr
- It’s the 4th quarter of the game and the score is tied. There are 24 seconds left on the clock and the ball ends up in your hands. Your team, the fans, the GM up in his skybox—they’re all counting on you.
You take the shot … and miss.
This is the kind of pressure top athletes face every single game. The expectations are immense and the stakes are high. There’s no time to get caught up in your head, questioning why or beating yourself up for a mistake. You have to s
- Human beings have a deep-seated desire for certainty and control.
Several studies show this need serves at least two important purposes. First, it helps us believe that we can shape outcomes and events to our liking. That is, the more in control we feel, the more efficacious we feel about achieving the outcomes we desire, and this sense of competence boosts well-being.
Control also feels good because it makes us believe that we aren’t under someone else’s control. In one st
- “It feels awful, so I try to do everything perfect,” says one student.
It’s a statement we can all relate to—that anxious thought loop: if I just work on myself a little bit more, I’ll make fewer mistakes, and everything will work out better. This short film, titled “Release” takes us into the minds of middle-schoolers, struggling with social queues (“the 7-th graders think they’re the best” and “do I wear makeup?&
- Imagine discovering that your home’s water supply is tainted with toxic amounts of lead. That has been the reality for the hundreds of thousands of residents of Greater Flint Michigan since September 2015. Now the community is desperately seeking solutions to cope with a massive public health crisis. That quest has brought them to mindfulness.
The Extent of the Lead Problem in Greater Flint
Greater Flint has felt its share of strife. Once a booming center of auto manufacturing, the region
- Over the last two decades, much research has been published about the positive impact of forgiveness, particularly on the forgiver and in relationships. Now, a new study—building on a smaller but growing body of research in the workplace—supports the power of forgiveness to potentially improve well-being and productivity in professional settings.
Conflict among colleagues is inevitable, and—left unheeded—associated with significant stress, health problems (both mental and
- A beloved friend, we’ll call him Sam though that’s not his real name, came to visit for the weekend. Sam is an amazing man who has been friends with my husband, Jesse, since birth. He’s generous and funny and one of my favorite conversationalists. He has a grey brillo beard and bristly appearance, and a laugh that is wildly contagious. But even though my six-year-old daughter, Opal, has met him a handful of times, Sam wasn’t a familiar presence to her, and she was tentati
- Focused attention is the basis for effectiveness. Without it, any sort of complex activity is made more challenging, if not impossible, to skillfully execute.
We all need to become more active and muscular in setting boundaries and priorities about how we work and live. This is becoming increasingly more important as old boundaries dissolve (think 9-5 workday, leisure-time on the weekend, vacations that allow undisturbed away time), and work permeates every nook and cranny of life. It’s ea
- Social justice activist Dr. Marisela Gomez and Police Lt. Richard Goerling stand on seemingly opposite sides of the heart-wrenching conflict unfolding in America between communities of color and the police.
Dr. Gomez is a community activist, author, public health professional, and physician who has spent more than 20 years in Baltimore involved in social justice activism and community building. She is the author of Race, Class, Power, and Organizing in East Baltimore. Lt. Goe
- It’s not unusual to feel that the vital resources we need to live satisfying lives can be found in the outside world. This is certainly a constant trope for advertisers and marketers. Anyone who has experienced periods of depression or anxiety will also recognize the tendency to secure self-worth and wholeness through external gains and status. Few of us are immune to this siren song and when we let ourselves be guided to search externally we may overlook valuable capacities we already hav
- How we relate to our thoughts has a big impact on how our day unfolds, and also how we approach triggers in our lives. By taking a few mindful moments, we can gain some space between us and our reactions, and have some freedom from what triggers us—we don’t have to respond the same way every time. It’s a practice in breaking our habitual negative responses by first tuning in to how a thought or action makes us feel, and how it generates certain storylines in our minds. We can s
- 1) ON THE VERGE
Wake Up, Show Up, and Shine
Cara Bradley (New World)A business coach, a basketball coach, and a congressman endorse this book, which gives you a good idea of whom it’s aimed for. Bradley is a former professional figure skater—think of many long cold mornings of practice and thousands of trips and falls—who now teaches yoga and mindfulness, to develop what athletes call “mental strength” or agility. Bradley’s upbeat spirit jumps off the page in
- The United Nations International Day of Peace was established in 1981. This year’s theme is sustainable development and outlines 17 goals, including eliminating poverty and hunger and making healthcare accessible to all. The UN calls on countries to achieve these goals in the next 15 years. (To read up on all 17 goals, check out this rap rendition courtesy of the UN Department of Public Information.)
This year, the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison h
- Meditation Gets Real(ish)
Meditation, so we have heard, allows us to connect with the world, and with ourselves, in a powerful way. With the help of a new app, you can now meditate to connect with the virtual world as well.
Guided Meditation VR is the first virtual reality meditation app to hit the scene. Developed by Cubicle Ninjas, it allows you to “expand your mind,” by placing a headset over your eyes and ears and immersing yourself in a serene illustrated environment like a lush
- “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia, author of Living, Loving and Learning’ (1982)
I (Mitch Abblett) have 20 years of clinical experience with a range of challenging clients, from teen sex offenders to combat veterans to teens at intensive residential and therapeutic school settings. I’
- Join a small team of media specialists who are establishing the most trusted voice and go-to brand in presenting secular mindfulness to a mainstream audience. Collaborate with us by bringing your experience in brand management and content marketing to our multi-media platforms, driving continuous readership growth and circulation profitability at our flagships, Mindful magazine and mindful.org, as well as our emerging online video courses and events. Coordinating across teams, you will implement
- As long as we are the apple of everyone’s eye and have all our needs and desires satisfied, as long as there is nothing at all that we want that we don’t have or can’t have now, life is a wonderful dream. But the instant that we want what YOU have, the seeds of envy are planted.
For instance, your body. It’s really, really nice. I bet it would look great on me. The more I think about it, seeing you in that body makes me feel fat (how dare you, by the way?), and I can&rsqu
- Sometimes, you get lucky in life, when the most important thing you need to do turns out to also be the simplest. One example is breathing. Breathing is the most important thing we need to do in our lives, and for most of us, it is also the easiest thing we ever do. If you belong to the population of people who can breathe effortlessly, you are so lucky! The same turns out to be true for meditation, that the simplest skill in meditation is also the most important. What is it? The simplest, most
- Imagine this scenario. Harry wakes up on a typical workday, a Wednesday, in a mood—a frighteningly intense mood. A free-floating anxiety courses through his body, making him edgy and angry. When he gets up and goes into the kitchen, he hears his roommate opening a bag of chips to put a handful in his brown-bag lunch. The crinkling of the chip bag sounds like the roar of a jet engine to Harry; it’s that irritating. He wants to scream at his roommate to quiet down and just go away, now
- The Laboratory of Neuroimaging at the University of Southern California says that a person has about seventy thousand thoughts per day. Whether that is true or not, one thing you can be certain of is that the mind never stops thinking, analyzing, and trying to figure things out. It doesn’t matter whether you’re awake or asleep; the wheels keep turning. Our minds work just like a movie—in both images and words. Some of us think more often in images, while others experi
- Mindful movement can help you tap into that space beyond your busy mind where you are already calm and clear. By focusing on the breath while doing some simple movements you can synchronize your mind and body with breath and rhythm. What happens when you do that, even after just a few minutes, is you begin to pause and start to focus.2-Minute Mindful Movement Practice for Strengthening the Mind and Body
You can do this standing movement practice anywhere:
Separate your f
- The hallways of high school often feel like battlegrounds—with potential social stressors lurking around every corner. When teens get ditched by their best friends or teased for their looks, the sharp pain of exclusion feels like it will last forever. But what if we could help teens take a different perspective?
In a recent study, psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Rochester set out to see if a small shift in mindset could reduce teenagers’ socia
- “How are you doing?”
Do you frequently answer that question by saying something like, “Real good, real busy”? There’s a subtle implication that we are good because we are busy. Is that true? Some very compelling research suggests the opposite.
We all have peaks and valleys of energy and productivity, what the renowned psychologist and sleep researcher Nathaniel Kleitman called circadian (daily) and ultradian (shorter, sometimes hourly) rhythms. Paying attention to w
- If a true vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it, then not many of us can say that we’ve actually gone on vacation recently. But, according to the latest Harvard research, going on vacation, and adding some regular meditation into the mix, might help you live longer and heal faster.
Vacations and Meditation Change How Our Bodies FunctionResearchers from Harvard Medical School, the University of California, San Francisco, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai w
- “Creating space in the day to stop, come down from the worried mind, and get back into the present moment has been shown to be enormously helpful in mitigating the negative effects of our stress response,” Elisha Goldstein writes in Mindful magazine. “When we drop into the present, we’re more likely to gain perspective and see that we have the power to regulate our response to pressure.”
In the video below, Goldstein goes through a short practice you can weave
- Boredom is a sign that we’ve become habituated. We’re getting stuck on automatic pilot, and losing touch with actual experience.
We can overcome boredom by freshening up our routine, seeking out new situations and experiences, inviting a different perspective. Try one of these each day for a week and notice what happens:Take an unfamiliar route to work, or to a regular appointment. Change your mode of transport—if you usually drive, take the bus, or train, or walk.Follow a reci
- The practice of mindfulness meditation promotes self-awareness and the ability to direct your attention; you can then apply the mindful attention you develop in meditation to life and leadership. The practice begins with concentration and observation. To observe is to notice and examine dispassionately—without judgment or interpretation. Observation demands a form of objectivity often associated with scientific research. Scientists studying aerodynamic phenomena, for example, engage with t
- Three years ago California rapper Tim Scott Jr. was working at a YMCA branch as a front desk greeter—“hitting members with handshakes and smiles and joy”—when mindfulness hit him. At a job training session, he drew the attention of educator J.G. Larochette, founder of the Mindful Life Project in Richmond, CA. Larochette asked Scott if he knew what mindfulness was. “Nah, not really,” Scott replied. Over a cup of coffee, Larochette introduced him to mindfulness
- If you’re going to take something up—learning a language or taking a course in managing difficult people or, say, meditating—you’d probably like to know whether it’s going to work, why you’re doing it, and what you might get out of it. Increasingly, we like those answers to come, if at all possible, in the form of some kind of data. We want evidence. Which is probably why mindfulness has grown in popularity in the 30 years since researchers started studying it
- Are you familiar with the mid-afternoon slump? You know, the fog that rolls in sometime between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., without so much as a warning, destroying your will to do anything except curl up in a ball under your desk. You’re not alone. The afternoon slump is a real, biological phenomenon that lots of people experience every single day. In fact, it’s a sign your internal clock—fluctuations in energy and body temperature regulated by our circadian rhythms—is running on
- Pain. Even hearing (or reading) the word can elicit a wince from just about anyone who has ever experienced it—and that would be everyone.
Pain presents itself in myriad forms and textures—acute and chronic, intense and mild. It affects us physically and emotionally—sometimes both at once. Experiencing it is an unavoidable reality of being human. And yet we spend a significant portion of our lives trying to avoid it.
What might happen, then, if we were to stop trying to resist
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