• Why We Need an Empathy Revolution

    It’s hard to watch someone who is suffering. We may feel their pain or absorb their sorrow; we may worry that we won’t know what to do or say. Those uncomfortable moments might make us turn away from their distress—to preserve our own well-being or to carry on with our lives.But this is the wrong approach, says psychiatrist and researcher Helen Riess, author of the new book The Empathy Effect. The ability to connect empathically with others—to feel with them, to care
  • Tune in: Three Guided Meditations to Conquer Anxiety and Build Resilience

    Build ResilienceUncertainty is like fertilizer for difficult emotions. This meditation reminds you that life is always in flux and the most courageous thing you can do is slow down, turn toward your difficult emotions, and meet them with compassion. By staying with both the highs and lows of your inner experience, over time you become more resilient, meeting each moment with strength.   A 10-Minute Meditation to Work with Difficult Emotions 10:20
    Respond with CalmAnxious feelings often prov
  • Mindful Books to Refresh and Renew this Spring

    AnthropoceneEdward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal, and Nicholas de Pencier • Goose Lane EditionsIt’s a museum exhibit, a movie, a podcast, and a book—all in service of a bold notion that shakes you into an appreciation for just what human life on this planet means. The Anthropocene, so the hypothesis goes, is our current geologic age, wherein the largest effects are not a result of natural events (such as volcanism or glaciation) but rather the outgrowth of human habitation, and i
  • Are We Distracted, or Just Rude?

    An older man and woman carrying packages and two small children make their way onto a subway car—by all appearances grandparents with their grandchildren, who also are carrying bags. No one gets up to offer a seat, not even the young athletic man wearing earbuds.The elevator door opens and you’re about to get out, but several people, eager to enter, are blocking your exit. You have to jostle through. On the way into a mindfulness event, I encounter a man who nearly knocks me ove
  • Advertisement

  • Why You Should Listen to Your Body

    In 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn, a microbiologist working at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA, started a modest eight-week program called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction—inviting patients to take some time for self-care down in the hospital’s basement. Forty years later, MBSR is taught the world over and has become the gold standard for applying mindfulness to the stresses of everyday life and for researching whether mindfulness practice can improve mental a
  • Make Peace with Your Anxious Brain

    It’s there when I wake up. Something’s wrong. I haven’t opened my eyes yet. A minute ago I was sleeping. But now I’m awake and it’s there, lurking: Something’s wrong. My breathing tightens. I stretch my legs beneath the sheets. I feel my heart beating. The sense of creeping fear is diffuse, elusive, hard to pin down. It’s like catching sight of something from the corner of my eye. Something’s wrong.Only nothing is wrong. I know that. I’ve exp
  • Grieving For and Loving Our Planet

    As I start out on one my favorite trails, it takes a while for my senses to open up, but soon I feel embraced into a luminous world, welcomed by innumerable shades of green, tall grasses shimmering, trees swaying in the breeze, and shafts of sunlight peering through the thick canopy. Below me, a family of quail dart in and out of the bushes. As I crest the hill, I feel the invigoration of the cool wind, blown in fresh from the Pacific. I inhale deeply and smell the bite of the salty ocean a
  • Finding Your Way Back Home

    Dena Simmons, EdD, grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx with her three sisters and her mother, an immigrant from Antigua who came to the US with $25 in her pocket. Simmons’ mother was fiercely dedicated to giving her daughters more opportunities than she’d had herself. So, after the rent, the family’s financial priority was tuition to the local parochial school. No surprise, then, that education not only took Simmons out of the Bronx but also brought her back, as a c
  • Advertisement

  • The Science of Bouncing Back from Trauma

    The Vietnam War veteran had enlisted when he was young, serving two combat tours and surviving multiple firefights. “To this day,” said psychologist Jack Tsai of the Yale School of Medicine, “his war memories are triggered by certain smells that remind him of Vietnam”: overgrown vegetation, the acrid stench of burning, or even sweat—like that which ran in rivulets down the faces of men fighting for their lives in the sweltering jungles—brought it all back. It
  • Trusting Yourself Enough to Break

    “Tune in to yourself,” says Taryn Toomey, the latest étoile du jour to light up the fitness world, addressing a women’s retreat in upstate New York last summer. “Know there’s a part of you that really wants the suffering and part of you that really wants the awakening.“Know who’s running the show.”Therein lies the essence of the Taryn Toomey phenomenon—suffering and awakening, hurting and healing. Toomey is the birthmother of The Class
  • Up Your Empathy Game: Practice with Customer Service Calls

    I’m on my fifth phone call to the customer service line when I finally get an answer. After what feels like an eternity of pressing extension numbers, getting transferred, and being forced to listen to hold music that feels like a deliberate torture device, the maddeningly cheery customer service rep explains to me why the computer I ordered—and paid for— is never coming. Ever. And then, to top it off, she has the nerve to tell me the company “appreciates my business.&rdq
  • How to Savor an Avocado

    Avocados strike a magical balance between creamy and light, their high fat levels paired with substantial water content. They grow around the world, from Australia and Indonesia to Peru and the US, but Mexico—where avocados are thought to originate from—is by far the top producer. In the world of fruit, avocados are uniquely buttery; in fact, before they became a luxury food item, some people referred to them as “poor man’s butter.” Their mild flesh pairs well with
  • Advertisement

  • Mindfulness Wants You to Get Real With Yourself

    What are automatic thoughts? We’ve all “zoned out” during a meeting at work, or had that outer body experience of driving home yet not being able recall how we got from point A to point B.These habits help us navigate well-worn routes, but they can be unhelpful insofar as they provide knee-jerk reactions to different stimulus—and stressors—we encounter. Additionally, recent research from Harvard University suggests that wandering minds are not happy ones.Mindfulness
  • Meditation for Beginners

    A lot of us might think of trying meditation, but it can be difficult to know where to begin.Mindfulness meditation consists of three simple steps:
    take a good seatpay attention to the breathand when your attention wanders, come back to your breath.
    Below, Mindful’s Editor-in-Chief Barry Boyce takes us through the basics of meditation for beginners with a practice to re-establish ourselves when we feel off track.
    Daily practice can make a real difference. In fact, a recent study of Mindful
  • The Embarrassing Truth of Self-Care

    Self-care can be touchy subject. It certainly was for me.I used to think that “self-care” was for privileged, entitled, lucky folks who were out of touch with the lives of real people. And that made me angry. Jealous and snarky. I conjured self-care as something for Lululemon-wearing stay-at-home mommies heading off to pilates vs harried, hectic, frantic single working mothers like me who were barely keeping it together.Yep, I was one of those people who sneered at self-care.Instead,
  • A 10-Minute Meditation for Focussing the Mind

    The moment of noticing a thought is a very powerful moment. It’s really where the real meditation occurs. That’s because there’s a spark of insight at that point, what in technical terms is called meta-awareness: you’re aware of your thought process, not just caught up in it. Now at that moment, there’s lots of possibility.You can touch that thought and gently bounce back to attention on the breath and your body. But you might also say “Oh damn, there I go thi
  • How to Be Mindful in Love

    It shouldn’t take a holiday like Valentine’s Day to remind you to pause and reflect on the relationships you value in your life. Whether it be with colleagues, friends, lovers, or a spouse, you can always benefit from taking a step back, appreciating the love you have in your life and making the time to show others you care about them.
    When you are mindful of the love in your life you open yoursel up to the opportunity for love to grow. And not just romantic love, but self-love, and
  • Can Mindfulness Make Us Less Mean to Our Mates?

    You sit on your new meditation cushion—the lovely purple one stuffed with organic buckwheat hulls—and nestle into your favorite shawl. You are looking forward to an uninterrupted mindfulness session. The room is blissfully quiet and you have no commitments this afternoon—not until your Valentine’s dinner with your sweetheart tonight.You gather your attention, inviting it to focus on the breath. You notice the subtle sensations at the belly—rising, falling. You remem
  • The Science of Staying in Love

    We all hope to find a healthy, engaging relationship with a special someone—but the truth is, a long-term partner is a lot harder to find (and keep) than they make it look in the movies. So what gives?
    It turns out, “falling in love” and “building a relationship” activate completely different parts of the brain, and they don’t always work together well. The rush we get when we first fall in love activates regions of the brain linked with drive, craving, and ob
  • Meditation is About Recovering Your True Self

    As part of the “Real Love with Sharon Salzberg” event hosted by Women of Wisdom and Mindful, meditation teacher and author Sharon Salzberg discussed the true meaning of love for ourselves, others and life. The following is an excerpt of her talk.   Real Love with Sharon Salzberg3:00The first meditation instruction I ever got was sit down and feel your breath, just feel the natural flow of your in and out breath. And as
  • Meditation is About Recovering and Starting Again

    As part of the “Real Love with Sharon Salzberg” event hosted by Women of Wisdom and Mindful, meditation teacher and author Sharon Salzberg discussed the true meaning of love for ourselves, others and life. The following is an excerpt of her talk.   Real Love with Sharon Salzberg3:00The first meditation instruction I ever got was sit down and feel your breath, just feel the natural flow of your in and out breath. And as
  • Feeling Overwhelmed? Remember “RAIN”

    When I was in college, I went off to the mountains for a weekend of hiking with an older, wiser friend of twenty-two. After setting up our tent, we sat by a stream, watching the water swirl around rocks, talking about our lives. At one point she described how she was learning to be “her own best friend.” A wave of sadness came over me, and I broke down sobbing. I was the furthest thing from my own best friend. I was continually harassed by an inner judge who was merciless, nit-pickin
  • The Most Courageous Self-Care Act: Learning to Say, “I Need Help”

    Are you the type of person who’s too busy driving from place to place to stop and fill that gas tank with the beaming low fuel light? Too busy rushing about to take a moment? Too guilty to take a pause even though it’s clear you need one? Perhaps, you don’t feel empowered enough to demand a break? Or, maybe you’re just so caught up in your day it’s easier to ignore all the signs telling you it’s time to pause, breathe, and assess the situation.Being able to id
  • A One-Minute Meditation to Focus Your Mind

    In mindfulness practice, you’ll often hear the term “natural awareness.” By “natural awareness” we mean the awareness that just comes with being a human being. It’s free from judging and characterizing—it’s just noticing and sensing the world. It’s done when you open your eyes, you see something, or you hear something, or you touch something. So, the simplest awareness that just comes as part of the equipment of being alive, without a lot of
  • Have You Been Neglecting Your Love Life?

    Falling in love is easy. You chase those glorious falling-in-love feelings as hard as you can, and when you catch them, you clamp down like your life depends on it. You have excitement, focus, and interest— the ingredients of thrill. You develop intimacy as you share your history, hopes, and dreams. You pursue sensuality with presence and delight, intentionally choosing seductive underwear and planning an evening that will dazzle your date. Passion blooms without effort, a perfect triangle
  • Five Ways Sleep Is Good for Your Relationships

    I’m a sleep lover. I like going to bed at the same time every night and getting a full night’s sleep. Deprive me of just one hour of blessed sleep, and things quickly go downhill—just ask my husband. I become bad company—snarky and irritable, hardly able to keep up my end of a conversation, let alone negotiate difficult issues.Sleep is clearly important for our health, helping our bodies function at their best. It’s also key to our productivity, helping us stay fres
  • A Meditation on Freedom, Sex, and Blended Orgasms

    “What’s So Indecent about Female Pleasure?” This provocative title caught my attention in The New York Times and led me on a mindful reverie about my personal freedoms and yours, too.According to the story, an ingenious CEO and her team invented a female personal sexual pleasure device—yes, a vibrator—that, somehow, operates hands-free and produces “blended orgasms,” which sound like fruit smoothies, but apparently are orgasms achieved by simultaneous in
  • Spark Joy By Getting Rid of Bad Money Habits

    “Money can’t buy you happiness”—it’s a well-worn saying. But Vicki Robin, author of Your Money or Your Life, says the reason why money doesn’t buy happiness is because money doesn’t actually guarantee financial freedom.In this video from Big Think, Robin says everyone gets caught up in consumer culture, and that paying attention to how we spend creates happiness.“Financial freedom is like freeing your mind,” Robin says. “It is understan
  • How to Meditate

    How do you learn to meditate? In mindfulness meditation, we’re learning how to pay attention to the breath as it goes in and out, and notice when the mind wanders from this task. This practice of returning to the breath builds the muscles of attention and mindfulness.When we pay attention to our breath, we are learning how to return to, and remain in, the present moment—to anchor ourselves in the here and now on purpose, without judgement.In mindfulness practice, we are learning how
  • Train Your Mind to Work Smarter

    Office politics. Dictatorial bosses. Coworkers’ emotions bouncing up and down and sideways. Hi-tech tools that keep changing and updating. An uncertain economy and a volatile job market. Escalating levels of expectation. Loss of direction. Too much to do. Too little time. Not enough sleep.Whether you work in a traditional or progressive environment, on your own or in a sea of cubicles, work life is full of challenges. Most of us are beholden to the income we receive from our jobs, and beyo
  • Is It a Bad Day or Is it Burnout ?

    There’s a difference between a period of bad days, which we’ve all encountered, and serious burnout. Burnout is something that creeps up on you. Imagine a leak in your bathroom pipe that has been dripping unassumingly behind the walls for months or even years. One day, the pressure becomes too much, the pipe ruptures, and that water comes bursting through the walls with devastating results.It’s when every day seems riddled with strife and anxiety until you reach that tipping po
  • Is It a Bad Day or Is it Burnout?

    There’s a difference between a period of bad days, which we’ve all encountered, and serious burnout. Burnout is something that creeps up on you. Imagine a leak in your bathroom pipe that has been dripping unassumingly behind the walls for months or even years. One day, the pressure becomes too much, the pipe ruptures, and that water comes bursting through the walls with devastating results.It’s when every day seems riddled with strife and anxiety until you reach that tipping po
  • A Guided Meditation to Encourage Deep Breathing

    What is Belly Breathing?With belly breathing, you simply take long, conscious breaths. Ideally you breathe in for a count of three and breathe out for a count of five. Repeating this cycle will trigger the relaxation response—it’s the opposite of the fight-or-flight stress response in that you engage the nervous system to tell your body to relax and your mind to be at ease.Two Basic Belly Breathing Tips
    1. Breathe deeply. When you breathe deeply, your diaphragm at the base of your lu
  • How to Support Students Dealing with Trauma

    Six-year-old Jada feels a persistent expectation of danger. She overreacts to provocative situations and has difficulty managing her emotions, which often flare up without warning. To her teachers, Jada appears touchy, temperamental, and aggressive. She is easily frustrated, which makes her susceptible to bullying. When something happens at school that triggers Jada, she may lash out in fury.How can teachers manage a kid like Jada who may have suffered trauma, but whose emotional reactions make
  • Three Mind Tricks That Keep You Addicted to Your Phone

    The average person spends a combined total of one entire day per week checking their phone, according to recent research. And that constant connection is not making us feel closer to our loved ones—it’s actually leading to feelings of unhappiness. But if that’s the case, why don’t we all just throw out our phones and delete our social media accounts?In this video from the PBS science series BrainCraft, creator and host Vanessa Hill explains that our phones—specifica
  • How Do I Bring More Mindfulness Into My Life?

    Have you ever started eating an ice cream cone, taken a lick or two, then noticed all you had was a sticky napkin in your hand? Or been going somewhere and arrived at your destination only to realize you haven’t noticed anything or anyone you met along the way? Of course you have! These are common examples of “mindlessness,” or as some people put it, “going on automatic pilot.” Which may lead you to wonder—how can I bring more mindfulness into my everyday life
  • How to Find Your Self-Care Squad

    Self-care is not a lone pursuit. Having someone you can reach out to when you need an extra push or a compassionate ear can very well be the difference between burning out or becoming your most powerful self.
    Today we’re going to explore how we can build powerful communities of care.
    Throughout history, our greatest cultural shifts and positive leaps have been born from a place of collectivism. The idea that “united we are stronger” has been proven time and time again. But what
  • A Guided Meditation to Label Difficult Emotions

    “Name it and you tame it.” Naming or labeling difficult emotions helps us disentangle, or “unstick,” from them. Research shows that when we label difficult emotions, the amygdala—a brain structure that registers danger—becomes less active and is less likely to trigger a stress reaction in the body. When we gently say, “This is anger” or “Fear is arising,” we usually feel some emotional freedom—there is some space around the feelin
  • The Mindfulness of Mary Oliver

    Mary Jane Oliver surrendered her mortal body to merge completely into amazement on January 18, 2019 – she was 83 years old.  I am one of her countless admirers and I suppose that like me there are many of us still moved to tears by her poetry even after reading it for decades.  I hope you might indulge me this urge to share a few words of gratitude and praise for the many precious gifts’ she has left us. I fell in love with her poetry after hearing “Wild Geese”
  • Can Mindfulness Help Us Dismantle Inequality?

    Mindfulness is often packaged as an individual pursuit: you carve out a space in a comfortable setting or a studio that suits your needs so you can take time to calm down, relax, or focus better for work. The benefits advertised are very me-oriented.This personal project, essential to mindfulness, overlaps with an inherent tendency in society to stack or silo individual and community, says Rhonda Magee, mindfulness teacher and law professor at the University of San Francisco, in a recent podcast
  • How to Be Grateful for Your Morning Cup of Coffee

    We’re used to saying a quick “thank you,” to the barista who serves us coffee, or the kind stranger who holds the door open as we leave the cafe. But how many people would you have to thank if you wanted to express gratitude to absolutely everyone responsible for your morning cup of coffee?That’s a concept writer AJ Jacobs explores in his TED Talk and new book, Thanks a Thousand, based on his journey to thank everyone involved in getting that daily cup of joe into his han
  • “No” Is A Complete Sentence

    Saying “no” is all about creating personal boundaries that allow you to focus your time doing the things that will make the most impact.Here are 3 ways to create say “no” so you can choose how you spend your time.
    Let’s start by agreeing on this premise: If we don’t know how to say ”no” to things, then saying “yes” loses meaning.  
    If we say “yes” to everything, we are actually building movements and communities that ar
  • A Basic Mindfulness Meditation for Labelling Thoughts and Emotions

    This practice involves labelling our emotions as they surface. Labelling emotions accurately means going beyond recognizing when anger or fear is present — There are many flavors of anger, for example, such as annoyance, rage, resentment, and aggravation. Finding the right label can give you the same feeling as hitting a tennis ball on the sweet spot of your racket—it just clicks. Sometimes emotions can feel threatening and there may be a fear that they might swallow us up or overwhe
  • Mindfulness, Compassion, and Inclusivity Summit

    Dowloads:1) The Summit Welcome PacketDownload2) The Inspirational JournalDownload3) Summit Agenda DownloadLive Stream:Day 1 – The Science of Mindfulness and Compassion
    Day 2 – A Day of Mindfulness and Compassion Practice Workshop
    Day 3 – Individual and Collective TransformationYou may send live questions to questions@1440.org during and after the summit. We will do our best to answer as many as possible.Visit the MCL SUMMIT Livestream Page
    The post Mindfulness, Compassion, and
  • 10 Powerful Women of the Mindfulness Movement

    In the weeks leading up to the third annual Women’s March this weekend, I got to speak to ten of the leading women in the mindfulness movement and find out what’s on their minds.
    This is by no means an exhaustive list of the women leaders in the mindfulness space—there are many more amazing women leaders, and we’ll be profiling as many of them as we can over the next year. These ten women were chosen based on recommendations from their peers. They come from across the cou

Follow @NewsMindfulness on Twitter!