• Mindful’s Top 10 Articles from 2018

    Over the course of the last year, we shared practices and stories to help readers like you navigate the stresses of the world, raise resilient children, and communicate compassionately with the people in your life.Every day, we provide resources to add mindfulness to your daily routine—from work, to family, to what to read on the weekend. Our goal is to be your trusted source for authentic mindfulness practices and information, as well as your connection to the leading experts in the field
  • A Meditation for Exploring Your Habitual Reactions

    This meditation is about working with habits. In particular, our habitual reactions to difficult situations that commonly arise. These could be anger at being stuck in traffic, sadness at not getting what you want, or frustration when dealing with companies that keep you on hold for what feels like eternity. Whatever it may be, whether it is something significant or something that might seem mundane, mindfulness practices can help us deal with our habitual reactivity in more skillful ways.Whatev
  • Meditation is the Fastest-Growing Health Trend in America

    Mindfulness is no longer considered a “soft skill,” but an essential part of overall health care. In the past year alone, we’ve seen a shift from doctors prescribing pills to treat ailments, to physicians prescribing outdoor play, trips to the museum, and mindfulness to treat everything from pain, loneliness, anxiety, and burnout. Researchers are looking into mindfulness-based therapies for PTSD, depression, and even as a therapy for chronic pain to undercut the opioid epidemic
  • How Good People Can Fight Bias

    Are you against racism? At the same time do you find that your dinner parties consist pretty much of people who look like you? Do you believe workplaces should provide equal opportunities for women—and yet your own office is run exclusively by men?In her new book, The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias, Dolly Chugh explains why people committed to social inclusion can still suffer from unconscious biases that keep them from achieving their ideals. Through storytelling a
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  • How to Worry Less About Whether People Like You

    Whether it’s at work, school, or a friend’s party, it’s nearly impossible to meet someone new without eventually wondering: do they like me?
    In this video from The School of Life, philosopher Alain de Botton explores why our brains jump to that thought so quickly.
    “The question feels so significant because, depending on how we answer it in our minds, we will either take steps to deepen the friendship or […] immediately make moves to withdraw from it, so as to spare
  • A 10-Minute Practice to Be With the Breath

    In any given moment there are many things right and many things wrong, but for the few minutes when we sit, we’re letting go of the need to sort all of that out—to sort out the rightness and the wrongness. We’re making peace with the imperfection of being human and settling into the natural rhythm of the breath. The path of mindfulness is wide and deep, but it’s forever beginning now. We’re making peace with the imperfection of being human and settling into the
  • 10 Ways Mindfulness Is Driving Real Change

    Mindfulness is a fancy word for something very simple we all have: the ability to be fully aware of what’s going on around us, inside us, and with the people we encounter. We can cultivate this ability, and at Mindful, we make it our mission to support individuals and groups doing just that: improving lives by bringing mindfulness into the heart of our daily experiences, where the rubber meets the road.
    In the midst of increasingly anxious and divisive times, mindfulness feels more relevan
  • How to Make Your Workday More Mindful

    Open offices, long meetings, and continuous partial attention across multiple devices can turn the workplace into a site of stress and burnout. Joe Burton, founder of Whil and author of Creating Mindful Leaders: How to Power Down, Power Up, and Power Forward, knows this all too well. Prior to discovering mindfulness, he worked 12-hour days as the COO of a $2 billion company and was part of the one-third of Americans who suffered from sleep deprivation, along with asthma, and chronic back pa
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  • Why Your Brain Panics Under Pressure

    You spend weeks preparing for a presentation, memorizing important facts and statistics to dazzle your audience and drive your point home. But when the day finally arrives and you’re on the spot, your mind is as blank as a pristine chalkboard.What just happened? As educator Elizabeth Cox explains in this TedEd video, the answer lies in the complicated relationship between short-term stress and memory.How Your Brain Makes Memories
    When you learn something new, facts you read or hear become
  • Connect to Your Anger Without Losing Control

    Sharon Salzberg, renowned meditation teacher and bestselling author, recently sat down with Barry Boyce, Mindful’s Editor-in-Chief, for a Facebook Live event at the Mindful office to discuss how to transform anger into love. The following is an adaptation of their conversation.
    Anger is such a prevalent feeling these days, and so many people are struggling with trying to understand where strength is, and where power lies.
    And what about the things we’ve been taught to think of a
  • A Meditation for Settling Your Busy Mind

    Today we are going to practice noticing and working with our busy minds. As we begin this meditation I’m going to share with you the single most important bit of information that I believe will help you as you develop and deepen your meditation practice. Are you ready? Here it is. When you settle into your meditation practice, bringing your awareness to the sensations of your breath, don’t expect to and don’t even try to stop your thoughts. Trying to stop your thought
  • How Mindfulness Makes You a Better Leader

    Jacqueline Carter and Rasmus Hourgaard of Potential Project recently published The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results, a book about how awareness can allow you to be an effective leader. The Garrison Institute hosted a book launch event with Jacqueline that was moderated by James Gimian, Executive Director of the Foundation for a Mindful Society. The following is an excerpt of their discussion.
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  • How Mindfulness Make You a Better Leader

    Jacqueline Carter and Rasmus Hourgaard of Potential Project recently published The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results, a book about how awareness can allow you to be an effective leader. The Garrison Institute hosted a book launch event with Jacqueline that was moderated by James Gimian, Executive Director of the Foundation for a Mindful Society. The following is an excerpt of their discussion.
  • Why Is It So Hard to Be Vulnerable?

    We all know the experience of vulnerability, even if we don’t call it by that name. It’s that feeling you get when you’re about to tell someone “I love you,” try out a new skill, or ask for forgiveness. When the risk of getting rejected, laughed at, or criticized is real.In her research, University of Houston professor and author Brené Brown has explored some of the reasons why we shy away from vulnerability. While we often celebrate it as a strength in
  • How Does Building Useless Things Spark Joy?

    What would you do if you weren’t afraid of failing? For inventor Simone Giertz, the answer was clear: make something totally useless.Since 2013, Giertz engineered a helmet that brushes teeth, drones that cut hair, and a machine to help you wake up in the morning, none of which really worked they way they were supposed to.“My toothbrush helmet is recommended by zero out of 10 dentists, and it definitely did not revolutionize the world of dentistry—but it did completely change my
  • Open Up to Your Experience

    There’s a period that I’ve seen often when people are sick and dying, when one has a tendency to contract around their experience, whether it’s the experience of loss, dependency, physical pain, or fear. During this period there’s a hunger to cling to whatever is familiar, even if it’s their suffering.
    Often as caregivers we actually exacerbate that clinging. One of the ways that we do that is by focusing on the problem. When we focus on the problem, we cause oursel
  • Why Vulnerability is Your Superpower

    Dr. Michael Gervais has a podcast series called Finding Mastery built around a central goal: unpacking and decoding how the greatest performers in the world use their minds to create amazing journeys while they pursue the boundaries of human potential.He recently sat down with Dr. Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. She h
  • Explore Anxiety with Mindfulness

    Anxiety can range from mild to overwhelming. It can be brought on sporadically by various work or relationship issues or other life experiences. Or it may be a chronic state. You may already have sought assistance from a physician, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional, and you may be taking medications to help manage symptoms. You may have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or social anxiety disorder (SAD). In general, these diagnoses
  • Six Signs of a Strong Friendship

    Making friends is tough. It takes time, trust, and a little bit of luck (who knew that the girl you sat next to on your first day of university would still be your best-friend, all these years later?), but the right friend can be life-changing.  In this video from School of Life, Alain de Botton shares six ways you can tell your friendship is the real deal.  1. They trust youTrue friendship is about trusting one another. While acquaintances or work colleagues may hide their shortcoming
  • The Art of Gathering

    Purposeful get-togethers and nights of conversation between friends can cement our relationships, start movements, and shape our memories for years. Priya Parker, a professional facilitator and the founder of Thrive Labs, asks us to re-imagine our approach to gathering in her new book The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters.  
    The reasons we gather are as varied as we are, says Parker. “We gather to solve problems we can’t solve on our own. We gather to celebrate, t
  • How to Be Mindful About Your Spending

    As the holiday season approaches, many of us may start to feel rising anxiety about money. It’s not just presents we spend on; it’s food, drinks, decorations, donations to charity, flights to see family. Taking a mindful approach to spending can help you focus less on the money you’re spending, and more on the experiences you’re gaining—so you can stop worrying you spent too much, and truly appreciate your holiday.Mindful spending begs you to consider
  • A Guided Meditation to Cultivate Kindness

    Each time we bring our mind back to the present, or work mindfully with thoughts and sensations, we are invited to practice kindness. With kindness practice, we train in warm-heartedness more explicitly, by offering good wishes to those in our lives.With kindness practice, we train in warm-heartedness more explicitly, by offering good wishes to those in our lives.It’s not a problem if you don’t feel loving kindness during or after this meditation. Just keep working with the practice
  • 10 Things We Know About the Science of Meditation

    During the past two decades, more and more scientists have studied mindfulness—a collection of practices aimed at helping us to cultivate moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and our environment. Their early findings triggered an enormous amount of enthusiasm for meditation.Sometimes, however, journalists and even scientists (who should know better) have overstated the physical and mental health benefits, which has fed growing skepticism about mindfulness.Indeed, the science behind
  • Two Lessons on Emotional Growth

    While scientists grapple with the question of how much our brains grow as we age—do we make new neurons, or are we stuck with the ones we made in adolescence?—our physical bodies are constantly changing and maturing. Just look at a picture of yourself from two years ago, one you didn’t like then; weird fashion phases and haircuts aside, it probably looks a whole lot better to you now.Less talked about, but more important, is what’s happening on the inside—our fluctu
  • This Loving-Kindness Meditation is a Radical Act of Love

    As the pace of our lives continues to accelerate, driven by a host of forces seemingly beyond our control, more and more of us are finding ourselves drawn to engage in meditation, in this radical act of being. We are moving in the direction of meditative awareness for many reasons, not the least of which may be to maintain our individual and collective sanity, or recover our perspective and sense of meaning, or simply to deal with the outrageous stress and insecurity of this age.By stopping and
  • Self-Care Is An Act of Resistance

    This morning, the day after the US midterms, after a bitter election season with hard-fought victories, severely-close bitter losses, and some horrific violence in its wake, I found myself thinking back to a program I put together for the Women’s Convention last October in Detroit for thousands of impassioned, powerful women. We were all embarking on a journey we knew would be long and hard.
    I called it Self-Care is An Act of Resistance: Shifting the Fight-or-Flight Response
  • A Seven Minute Mindful Phone Practice

    The beeps and buzzes of our devices can also be reminders to take a breath or check in with ourselves. Mark Epstein, a psychiatrist and writer, suggests sometimes not shutting off the cell phone when you meditate. Instead, just sit in meditation and notice the body’s and the mind’s reactions to each beep and buzz of the phone, the stories and urges and emotions as they arise.As you become more aware of the emotions and body sensations you’re actually inviting into your day when
  • A Meditation on Your Self-Critical Voice

    Mindfulness is about paying attention to our present moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is. Mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment with openness to things as they really are, as opposed to how we want them to be or how they could be, or wishing that they were different, which we do quite a bit.Self-compassion is the idea that even with all of our flaws, we can still care about ourselves.I want to talk about the concept of self-comp
  • The Psychology of Voting

    Voting is an act of altruism. When you vote, you are taking your personal time and effort to advance the collective good, without any guarantee of personal reward—the very heart of what it means to be altruistic.For many, voting is a civic duty. However, in the United States, there is a large contingent of people who don’t vote, even in presidential elections. Voting can be particularly low in midterm elections—which are coming up on November 6—where the number
  • It’s Ok Not To Be in the Moment

    We’ve all had those days where we just don’t feel all there. It could be during a friend’s party, where you struggle to stay jovial and laugh while stuck in your worried thoughts. Or it could be during more somber occasions, where you feel detached from the same sadness that is weighing on everyone else.
    Living in the moment is often a challenge, even for those who practice mindfulness regularly. In this animation from School of Life, Alain de Botton shares four ways you can re
  • A 23-Minute Anxiety Practice

    When we were anxious, we’re usually caught up in fearful or worried thinking about what might happen. Learning to work skillfully with our thoughts, observing them without identifying with or believing in them, and opening fully to the bodily sensations and emotions associated with anxious thoughts, is essential to finding lasting relief and release from anxiety.We can allow ourselves to experience the feelings and make a choice of whether we act on them.Mindfulness is key to working with
  • From Anger to Love: The Art of Self-Intervention

    Anger is uncomfortable—but it’s also addictive! In tough situations, anger emerges as a defense mechanism, a tool to help you energize so you can handle whatever catalyzed the feeling. We convince ourselves again and again, whenever we get angry, that the inner fire of anger will help us deal with whatever or whoever injured us. Little do we know that we often injure ourselves even more deeply by allowing the toxicity to take over.We can intervene in moments of anger, as we learn tha
  • Five Ways Mindfulness Meditation Is Good for Your Health

    Ask a group of people why they meditate and you’ll get a list of replies as varied as the people you’re asking—generally, the reason will have something to do with each individuals’ idea of the best, most-fulfilled (dare we say happier) version of themselves.In recent decades, researchers have been gaining insight into the benefits of practicing meditation. They’ve found that learning to pay attention to our current experiences and accept them without judgment might
  • An Astronaut’s Guide to Navigating Stress

    An essential part of astronaut training is navigating uncertainty and risk. Having worked as an astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Chris Hadfield has firsthand experience negotiating acutely stressful situations.In this video for BigThink, he shares his toolbox of practices for expertly managing stress.1) Understand what scares youWhile blasting toward the unknown, Hadfield explains that astronauts have to prepare for what’s to come. Unshakable bravery is essential, which means understanding
  • 10 Ways to Define Mindfulness

    Mindfulness is undeniably a buzzword in today’s culture, reaching the heights of popularity that yoga enjoys. Similar to yoga, close inspection of the word “mindfulness” reveals that it doesn’t just mean one thing—it’s a complex term that names multiple, distinct yet interlinked ideas.This plurality gives rise to confusion as soon as one definition is treated as interchangeable with another. Likewise, when it comes to critique, conflating different notions of
  • “Just Like Me” Compassion Practice

    This is a practice for increasing compassion. It helps us to remember what we share as human beings. It’s not a replacement for methods of coming to appreciate our differences, yet those are incredibly important too. It helps us to remember what we share as human beings. This practice compliments those, by helping us to know how we are the same. You can do the practice by bringing to mind a friend, a colleague, someone who is neutral, or someone who is difficult. You can also do
  • Our Readers Tell Us How They Really Eat

    Do you enjoy cooking?  The majority—54% of respondents—say they enjoy cooking when time and energy allow them to. A more enthusiastic 20% always savor their kitchen adventures, while 13% said they like to cook for someone else, but not only for themselves. For 10% it’s a chore to avoid whenever possible, and the last 3% said they don’t know how to cook.What food do you think is underrated by most people?“Vinegar: so many types, so many uses!”“Simple
  • How to Be Mindful When Opening a Pomegranate

    As the days grow colder and darker, the food we eat can get rich and heavy. Pomegranates add much-needed brightness to a winter diet, with their glossy seeds (called arils) glowing ruby red with delicious juice. Opening a pomegranate can seem a messy and meticulous task, but it can also be both beautiful and fun. Bring some festive color into your life with this simple technique. As you go, take your time and feel your way through, stopping to notice the textures, shapes, and colors of each step
  • The Mindful Path to Financial Freedom

    The true litmus test of a budget—what I like to call your “money map”—is whether it’s leading you toward a happy life. And you’re the only one qualified to define what a happy life looks like for you—and what steps you’re willing to take toward it. For some people, this may mean earning more money, spending less, or aggressively paying down debt. For others, it might actually mean working a little less, so they can enjoy time with family or recoup
  • The Power of Vulnerability

    Trained in East Asian medicine in Japan and in psychology at Harvard, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu teaches throughout Asia and at Stanford University. His Heartfulness program at Stanford combines traditional wisdom practices such as mindfulness with current science. Among his courses is “Transforming Self and Systems: Crossing Borders of Race, Nation, Gender, Sexuality, and Class.” His book, From Mindfulness to Heartfulness: Transforming Self and Society with Compassion (published Febr
  • Meditation and Baby Goats

    Meditation meets baby goatsEvery meditator knows what it’s like when your mind simply won’t slow down. Now a mindfulness teacher in Brisbane has taken that inner challenge and put it out there…by having new students meditate with baby goats. “It’s a metaphor. Your meditation is not going to be perfect, and it certainly won’t be still,” Berenice Tan told Yahoo 7 Australia. The rescued kids are brought in halfway through Tan’s popular &ldq
  • How to Find an Authentic Mindfulness Teacher

    Search “mindfulness instruction” online and you’ll come up with all kinds of offerings, from private practitioners to independent mindfulness programs. There are Yelp listings of the top 10 mindfulness coaches and smartphone listings of the 10 best mindfulness apps. More and more medical centers offer mindfulness workshops; so do many colleges, universities, and corporations. But how can anyone know if the people who are teaching mindfulness are qualified? What does it even mea
  • Why Cancer Survivors Need Mindfulness

    A friend told me that after the treatment of her cancer, it took her a year to return to being a “normal” person, getting on with the day-to-day business of living. Recovery is not typically recognized as a transition requiring adjustment. It’s kind of like when you lose a loved one and you get three days off work to grieve: We often need more time than expected. Likewise, once a fight with cancer is over, you cope with the end of your role as the star
  • Finding Strength in Healthy Doses of Solitude

    My father died suddenly during the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college. The loss unhinged me. Even though I lived with two roommates and was surrounded by fellow students and teachers, I spent the next three years of college in a fog of depression and isolation. After graduation I joined the Peace Corps, partly in order to avoid the draft—it was the height of the Vietnam War—and partly from having no idea where I wanted to go with my life.Arriving in East Africa
  • How to Boldly Move On

    Actor Nana Visitor, 61, has been in “the biz” her whole life. Her aunt was the actor and dancer Cyd Charisse; her father, Robert Tucker, was an esteemed choreographer; and she was married to fellow actor Alexander Siddig. She is well known for her roles playing Major Kira Nerys in the long-running television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9) and on Broadway as Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago. Behind the scenes, however, Nana struggled for years from post-traumatic stress diso
  • Let Go Of Your Labels: A Mindful Practice

    Growing up, were you labeled the “sensitive genius”? The “rebel”? The “problem child”? The “nice guy”? I’ve especially enjoyed sporting the “smart aleck” persona, which is just one of the many identities I’ve walked around with, or have been dragged around by, over the years. Some were self-imposed, others gifted to me from hither and yon. Labels come and go, and they are incredibly subjective. For instance, where one person
  • Why Crying Equals Thriving

    If you are a Harry Potter fan, the deaths of Fred Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks, and Remus Lupin during the Battle of Hogwarts might do it. If you’re more of a traditionalist, maybe it’s Beth’s demise in Little Women. If your lachrymal glands don’t respond to the written word, surely they do to the scene in The Green Mile where a terrified John Coffey, in the prison’s death chamber, tearfully begs the warden not to lower the executioner’s hood over his head&hellip
  • When Should I Meditate and When Should I Relax

    In Maurice Sendak’s classic Where the Wild Things Are, young Max’s bedroom transforms into a jungle filled with wild things who roar and bare their teeth and menace with their claws. He tames them into stillness and they become his friends. Having journeyed to where the wild things are, Max returns to his room to enjoy a nice hot meal. A delightful round trip.Generations of children and the adults reading it to them (it’s 55 years old now!) have reveled in this miniature versio

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