• Being Bored is A Gift: Here’s How to Use It

      Point of View Episode 12: Mindfulness and Boredom 25:58
    Stephanie Domet: Listen, I hope you can stay awake for this one. I need you to focus in. You know, I’m with Barry in his office at Mindful, the windows open. Squeaky chair is here and we’re getting ready to talk about, are you ready for this? We’re gonna talk about boredom. 
    Barry, I feel that boredom is such a rich topic for a writer and for a meditator, and you start by writing about those long afternoons of
  • How to Be Kind When Confronted with Cruelty

    Kindness is not necessarily at all passive or meek. The manifestation of kindness is not just in being nice and sweet—it has great forcefulness. The certainty of someone’s conviction that we can be happy, manifested through their caring, animates a potential within us that might otherwise just have lain dormant because we simply did not believe in it.Kindness is a practice of inclining the mind, of intention. Rather than laying a veneer of idealism on top of reality, we want to see q
  • Why The Army is Training in Mindfulness

    Army Lieutenant General Walt Piatt currently serves as the Director of the Army Staff. Piatt has been working with neuroscientist Amishi Jha to understand the impact of mindfulness training for high stress situations. Plus, listen to neuroscientist Amishi Jha explain the science of focus and attention.I first met Dr. Amishi Jha back in 2010. I was a brigade commander in Hawaii, and we were on a deployment rollercoaster like everyone else, year on, year off since 2001.
    We were
  • Four Ways to Calm Your Mind in Stressful Times

    Life throws chaos at us on a regular basis—whether it’s our finances, our relationships, or our health. In the work world, around 50 percent of people are burned out in industries like health care, banking, and nonprofits, and employers spend $300 billion per year on workplace-related stress.In response, we just keep on pushing through, surviving on adrenaline. We overschedule ourselves; we drink another coffee; we respond to one more email. If we stay amped
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  • The One Question That Can Save Your Relationship

    For a moment, think of seeing your partner or close friend as they walk in your front door. You jump up to greet them, exclaiming that their new jacket looks great on them, and you’ve been excited to see them all day. In the midst of your rush of enthusiasm, how are they reacting? Do you have a sense that they believe and trust what you’re saying, or do your compliments seem to isolate them? Although love is the quality we tend to glorify the most in romantic relationships, trus
  • Mindfulness Could Decrease the Severity of Opioid Cravings

    Opioid addiction can be very difficult to treat, particularly for those suffering from acute or chronic pain. Now, a new study finds that people suffering from opioid addiction and chronic pain may have fewer cravings and less pain when adding mindfulness to the traditional methadone treatment.Roughly half of people who are addicted to opioids also suffer from acute or chronic pain. In a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers at the University of Utah and Rutgers University
  • Could Mindfulness Decrease the Severity of Opioid Cravings?

    Opioid addiction can be very difficult to treat, particularly for those suffering from acute or chronic pain. Now, a new study finds that people suffering from opioid addiction and chronic pain may have fewer cravings and less pain when adding mindfulness to the traditional methadone treatment.Roughly half of people who are addicted to opioids also suffer from acute or chronic pain. In a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers at the University of Utah and Rutgers University
  • Sparking Joy: A Mindfulness Practice for Everyday

    Mindfulness involves several attitudes of mind that are pivotal to the transformation and liberation of the mind: befriending, compassion, joy and equanimity. These qualities are seen as the foundations of all our development as we embark on a path of mindfulness practice. They are seen as being potentialities and capacities of every human mind that can be cultivated, trained, and naturalized in the same way that attention can be trained and developed. In the face of great distress, though, befr
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  • The Nine Benefits of Mindful Leadership

    We can experience great joy and great love right in the midst of pressure, exhaustion, and overwhelm when we practice mindfulness. In fact, it is possible for mindfulness practice, work, and leadership to be contextualized as one activity, right in the midst of many activities. This requires self-awareness, awareness of others, awareness of time, and awareness of the quality of one’s efforts. Mindful work and mindful leadership both require and cultivate the essential skills we need to thr
  • The Mindfulness Skill That Is Crucial for Stress

    Life can be stressful. Whether it’s the stress that comes with having too much work to do in too little time, fulfilling caregiving obligations, or dealing with a major illness or setback, sometimes it can be hard to cope.In response to stress, many people today are turning to meditation or mindfulness apps (myself included). But not all mindfulness practice is equally effective for combatting stress, a new study suggests. It’s possible that some of our practices may be missing
  • Four Ways to Wire Your Brain for Gratitude

    There are many different ways to express gratitude—be it a quick thanks, a heartfelt card, or maybe a favor in return. No matter how you express it, being mindful of the moments when you feel gratitude can rewire your brain for the better. Research has found that simply feeling grateful, even if you don’t necessarily share those feelings with anyone, can boost your mental health in the long run and have lasting effects on the brain.  Furthermore, expressing and accepting gratitu
  • Finding a Mindful Balance

    Mindful’s content director Anne Alexander sat down with Army Lieutenant General Walt Piatt, who currently serves as the Director of the Army Staff. Piatt has been working with neuroscientist Amishi Jha to understand the impact of mindfulness training for high stress situations.
    Anne Alexander: You have been in extreme situations, including combat. How do you deal with fear?General Piatt: You have to embrace every environment you’re in and fear is a real thing; it serves a real purpos
  • Director of Operations

    Come join the dynamic team at Mindful—a mission-driven media company that is dedicated to sharing mindfulness and meditation practices to support good health, positive relationships and a more compassionate society. We publish Mindful Magazine and direct its associated websites, newsletters, events, directories and courses. With a monthly audience of over two million, this is a chance to make a real impact. You’ll enjoy our positive, flexible and collaborative work culture. 
    We&
  • A Kindness Practice for Families

    Empathy is declining in our children. Recently, researchers surveyed 10,000 middle- and high-school students—eighty per cent reported personal achievement was more important to them than caring for other people.It’s neurologically impossible to be both stressed out, and really loving and kind at the same time.What’s at the heart of this crisis in compassion? Too much screen time, for one. Stress is another factor. The hormone oxytocin, responsible for connecting and bondin
  • Five Common Work Challenges Mindfulness Can Improve

    Mindfulness can easily be thought of as a retreat from the outsized challenges leaders often face. But when things get tough, that’s when your mindfulness practice actually shines. Here’s how taking the time to ask yourself what’s actually happening can make or break your work day.1) Things get hot in a meeting and emotions take overResponse: If you ask yourself, “What outcome do I truly want here?” you may be able to see your true aim more clearly and defuse the ex
  • Three Things That Get in the Way of Making Good Decisions

    We’re faced with dozens of decisions all day long. Most of the choices we need to make in the average day are no big deal, like deciding whether we need a jacket before we leave the house. But even when they won’t matter in the long run, small choices made at a bad moment can be inconvenient—we’ve all been caught in the rain, wishing for that jacket we left at home. And when we have big choices like whether or not to accept a new job, end a relationship, or move houses, t
  • Mindfulness May Reduce Stress for Students of Color

    We’ve long known that racism and  discrimination negatively impact the mental health and well-being of ethnic minorities. A new study shows that a combination of compassion-focused meditation and psychoeducation may help to relieve race-related stress and improve mental health among Asian college students in the US. Racism on college campuses received increasing attention in recent years. Studies showthat students of color often feel the effects of race-relate
  • A Meditation on How We Meet Endings

    I want to draw our attention to endings: the end of a day, the end of a meal, the end of something precious and rare, the end of this sentence. How do you meet endings? I mean, most of us have some developed habits about the way in which we meet endings. Are you aware of your habits? Without any judgment or criticality, let’s just take a look to see what our relationship to endings are. Like when you go to a party, or you go to a conference: Do you have a tendency to leave emotionally
  • Finding Light in the Darkness

    Last winter I decided to head to the “land of fire and ice”—Iceland—ostensibly for a yoga retreat. Nearly every one of my friends asked me some version of this question: “Why don’t you wait until summer, when the midnight sun burns all day and night?” My answer was twofold: I hoped there’d be lessons to be found in the long and dark days; and (mostly) I wanted a chance to see the magic of the aurora borealis.Experiencing the northern lights remains
  • Three Meditations to Foster Deep Gratitude

      A Loving-Kindness Practice to Foster Acceptance 3:09
    Open the heart. If you want to appreciate the life that you already have, it’s helpful to stop yearning for things to be “different” or “better” than they are right now. By practicing loving-kindness, you can connect to a place within yourself that fosters love and compassion and allow that place to flourish. Follow this three-minute practice to open up your heart to all the good in your life.   A Guid
  • The Bright Side of Boredom

    My mother, like so many mothers, must have gone crazy from hearing the refrain over and over and over again: “Mom, I’m bored.”My oldest brother, helping our dad in our vegetable garden, asked after about five minutes, “Dad, do you still have to keep working after you’re bored?” My dad found this particularly amusing, since he was an HR manager who dealt with adults struggling with the same question.Boredom was for me a state truly to be loathed, brought o
  • Mindful Books to Read This Winter

    Widen the Window: Training Your Brain and Body to Thrive during Stress and Recover from TraumaElizabeth A. Stanley • AveryLiz Stanley—a graduate of Yale, Harvard, and MIT; a retired military officer; and an associate professor of security studies at Georgetown University—readily admits to operating in overdrive. Early in Widen the Window, she lets us know that a Stanley has served “in the US Army every generation since the Revolutionary War, including on both sides of the
  • The Ultimate Quest to Find Meaning

    I used to believe in something I called Cosmic Hints. Big signals from the universe about what I should or shouldn’t do, did or didn’t want. I believed the universe was looking out for me, particularly, and putting symbols and metaphors in my path that helped me see who I was and who I wanted to be. I was forever in search of the Big Why—constantly looking for meaning, making narratives that sewed together the events of my life, the coincidences and conditions and happenstances
  • The Beauty of Everyday Miracles

    Today, Dr. Christopher Willard lives in a charming house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife and two small children, not far from Harvard Medical School where he teaches—but a long way from an “epic meltdown” he experienced in college that led to drug addiction and homelessness. Now a successful speaker, book author, and educator who travels the world teaching mindfulness in schools, hospitals, NGOs, and other institutions, Chris opens up about how he discovered meaning,
  • How to Deal with Toxic Competition

    How competitive are we? Very, if you consider the 200 participants in an experiment at Stanford University. They had to ponder a string of letters (RSLALHT, for example) and make as many words as possible (rash, salt, thrall, etc.). After each round, the researchers informed the participants that an unseen student with whom they’d been paired had beat them by making even more words.Practically speaking, that didn’t matter: The participants would win a $5 Amazon gift card if they made
  • What to Do About Your Mean Streak

    Internet trolling, bullying, and epidemic snarkiness (online, in the grocery store, or even directed wordlessly to random people walking by) seems to be the new black. Sometimes I wonder, is this our paradigm now? Are we becoming meaner? Is our nature essentially nasty? Have we stopped noticing how participating in meanness never makes us feel better, really?
    In fact, being mean—spreading rumors, excluding others, trying to make someone feel bad, or even just indulging in mean thoughts&mda
  • Being Mindful About What’s in Your Chocolate

    Do you like your chocolate sweet and creamy, bitter and dark, or perhaps a bit fruity or with notes of smoke? Whatever flavor you desire, rest assured there’s a bar for that. As the global demand for chocolate keeps growing, amounting to $98 billion in annual sales, the options keep coming. And thanks to a craft chocolate boom, the world’s favorite confection now enjoys a foodie reputation rivaling coffee and wine—with prices to match. In some groceries and specialty shops
  • Top Mindfulness Research Fall 2019

    Loving-Kindness for Slower AgingPracticing loving-kindness may protect your genes and slow aging, a new study finds. Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill wanted to know which forms of meditation were most protective for telomeres (segments of DNA that stop chromosomes from deteriorating too rapidly). One hundred seventy-six adults with no prior meditation experience were assigned to learn either mindfulness meditation or loving-kindness meditation, or to be in a no-train
  • What Awe Looks Like in the Brain

    When was the last time you experienced awe? Perhaps you were stopped in your tracks by a beautiful vista on a recent hike, or captivated by a painting at your local art museum, or moved to tears at a concert or church. Or maybe you were just sitting on your couch breathlessly watching an episode of Planet Earth. Whatever it was, you probably weren’t thinking much about yourself or your to-do list.The Science Behind AweWhat makes awe so transporting, overwhelming, even mystical at time
  • Mindfulness: How to Do It

    What is Mindfulness?Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.It’s not all in your head—you can practice mindfulness by sitting down for a formal meditation practice, or by being more intentional and aware of the things you do each day.If you want to learn more about mindfulness and how to practice mindfulness meditation, visit our Getting Star
  • Break Your Bad Mood in Three Minutes

    We all have bad days every once in a while, but sometimes a bad day become a week, and then a month, and then it begins to feel endless. The more periods of this depressed mood we have in life, the more likely we are to fall back into them again. Why does this relapse occur, and how can mindfulness offer hope?The practice of mindfulness teaches us a different way to relate to our thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they arise. It is about learning to approach and acknowledge whatever is happenin
  • A Conversation on Mindfulness, Bias and Racial Justice

      POV Podcast: A Conversation on Mindfulness, Bias and Racial Justice 1:27:52
    Stephanie Domet: I’m Stephanie Domet, an editor at Mindful magazine and a writer and podcast producer for mindful.org. This is a special edition of “The Point of View” podcast featuring Mindful magazine and mindful.org founding editor Barry Boyce in conversation with Rhonda Magee, Ram Mahalingam, and Mirabai Bush.Mirabai Bush is the co-founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, whic
  • Mindfulness for Middle Schoolers

    In recent years, mindfulness education has become a mainstay in many schools. However, we know little about how it affects students’ developing brains or their academic performance.
    Two new studies from Yale and Harvard Universities and MIT shed some light on the question, finding that mindfulness may reduce emotional reactivity in the brain as well as improving mental health and academic success for middle-school students.
    Mindfulness Boosts Emotional Well-Being in Teens
    In the first stud
  • How to Meet Loss and Pain Without Fear

    Mindfulness involves several attitudes of mind that are pivotal to the transformation and liberation of the mind: befriending, compassion, joy and equanimity. These qualities are seen as the foundations of all our development as we embark on a path of mindfulness practice. 
    Every one of us can cultivate, train, and naturalize these four qualities, in the same way that attention can be trained and developed. In the face of great distress, though, befriending, compassion, joy, and equanimity
  • Five Essential Elements to Develop Your Mindfulness Practice

    Science continues to reveal that an active practice has important health benefits, relational benefits, and even corporate benefits. But no matter how much we talk about it, read about it, or study it, putting a mindfulness practice into practice can be challenging.Sometimes, all we need is a simple road map to get us started—or restarted, if it’s been some time since we practiced. Here are five essential elements to creating a mindfulness meditation practice in daily life:1. Prepare
  • Binge-Watching the Stories in Your Head

    We are drowning in stories. Ads tell stories. Video games, movies and TV shows, too. A lot of journalism is politically-motivated fiction. And even science is story; authors convince us through compelling narratives, weaving together select findings and literature. We are storytellers. It’s who we are.
    I know what it’s like to be totally wrapped up in stories. In my teens and early twenties, I was immersed in them, and to me, they were absolute, unshakeable truth. I debated aggressiv
  • Five Obstacles to Happiness (and How to Overcome Them)

    “You’re making Daddy late for work!” I said, standing over my then-three-year-old daughter with the winter coat I was insisting she wear. “No! I’m not wearing it!” Celia screamed. My anger surged. Thoughts of “I’m sick of this” and “She’s doing this on purpose” swept through my mind. I was scheduled to conduct a 9 a.m. parent training therapy session, and her resistance would make me late. Ironically, it was on “m
  • Turn Negative Emotions into Your Greatest Source of Strength

    I always say if there’s anything we’re assured of in life besides death and taxes, it’s stress and pain. While that may seem like a doomsday statement, if you look at it again, it’s actually quite freeing—if you know stress and pain are inevitable, then you can learn how to be grateful for the good when it’s here, and be graceful when the stress and pain arrives.I wrote about this in my book, Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler:
    “It is what
  • Why It’s So Hard to Let Others Care For You

    Both of us have experienced (and, so far, survived) cancer and its treatments multiple times. Evan twice, and Pat three times. On this matter, at least we can invoke authority through experience.
    When first diagnosed and in planning treatment one can usually rely upon support from partners, friends and family, as well as the numbness of shell shock, to get through the initial period. Most of us are pretty good for the short-term. Then the routine of hospital visits, coping with side effects and
  • Finding Space to Love, Trust and Rest

    Frank Ostaseski  a well respected meditation teacher, is the co-founder of the Zen Hospice Project, the Metta Institute and author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully. He recently suffered a severe stroke. This brief article speaks to what he is learning in his recovery about the relationship between the brain and witnessing awareness.Over the last few months, I have actually suffered several strokes or TIAs. Some more impactful than others. Each
  • How a Lack of Gratitude Kills Relationships

    Imagine that you’ve embarked on a quest to be more grateful. You dutifully journal about the happy events in your day, training your mind to see the positives. You notice and begin to appreciate all the little things your partner does for you, from brewing your morning coffee to letting you pick what movie to watch. This can only be good for your relationship, right?According to a new study, it depends—on whether your partner is grateful, too.While gratitude has been shown to be
  • Seven Ways to Slow Down

    When young children break down in a fit of tears, we are quick to recognize that this is a case of being overstimulated: too much noise, too many people, too much to manage. We put them down for a nap, and know things will be more calm in an hour.
    Yet we often fail to recognize the same signs of stress and overwhelm in ourselves. We take on work projects, make plans with friends, push ourselves to go to the gym, keep up with the news, and tackle new recipes, then question why it is we feel so fr
  • Practicing Self-Compassion Can Boost Your Mental Health

    Most American adults will experience stress, anxiety or depression at some point in their lives. Therapies that teach mindfulness and self-compassion may provide some relief. A new study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, looks at whether focusing on self-compassion may be as effective as a mindfulness-based therapy for improving mental health.
    Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) are two of the most widely used clinical approaches for treating depr
  • Tame Reactive Emotions by Naming Them

    It was a particularly difficult day. My then nine-month-old daughter had a terrible night and left my wife and I with only a handful hours’ sleep. Needless to say, we were slow getting up and out the door that morning.  Before we left, my wife and I “discussed” who should’ve gotten up with Celia during the night (we’d been down this road before—these back-and-forths never help solve this issue, and somehow, we yet again veered this way). We barely spoke i
  • What to Do if Your Partner Won’t Meditate

    Critics of the modern mindfulness movement often note that those of us who promote the benefits of mindfulness have a way of getting evangelical in our attempts to raise awareness about the practice.  “If it’s great for me,” we think, “it must be good for you, and you are missing out!”  
    The culture of mindfulness often reinforces this attitude in subtle ways: books, articles, and podcasts present these practices as a kind of panacean remedy for all o
  • What Is the Best Diet for Mental Health?

    Should you eat an apple—or a bag of Oreos? Go to McDonald’s—or the vegetarian restaurant on the corner?When we make these everyday food choices, many of us think first of our physical health and appearance. But there’s another factor we may want to consider in picking foods: their impact on our mental health.A growing body of research is discovering that food doesn’t just affect our waistline but also our moods, emotions, and even longer-term conditions like depress
  • Mixing Meditation and Magic Mushrooms?

    In recent years psilocybin has become the focus of a new wave of research. Neuroimaging and behavioral studies show that psilocybin-assisted therapy may help to ease mood disorders like depression and anxiety, and enhance forgiveness, acceptance and gratitude.  In the past, even Harvard University had a Psilocybin Project, where famed researchers Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (more commonly known as spiritual teacher Ram Dass) conducted experiments (sometimes on themselves) to test its e
  • Three Practices to Shake Up Your Routine

    On the daily grind, life can get bland—downright boring, when you think about it.Boredom is a sign that we’ve become habituated. When we get stuck on autopilot, we lose touch with actual experience—which can always be interesting if we bring our curiosity to it.
    For a moment, stop thinking and drop into your senses instead. By helping us shift our state of mind from thinking to sensing, these practices invite us to rediscover interest, beyond our expectations.
    Three Practices t
  • Three Ways to Raise Empathic Kids So They Become Compassionate Adults

    In this series of articles, we have been examining how mindfulness can sometimes inadvertently reinforce the self-centeredness and self-absorption of our current times and how we may counter this through compassion in action. We need to remind ourselves that the true roots of mindfulness and compassion are intended to relieve the suffering of others as much as ourselves.
    In exploring the ways that we can direct compassion to others, what better way than to consider children. Endeavoring to raise
  • Caring for Yourself While Caring for Another

    Lisa, whom I had just met at a conference, tearfully described to me her agony as sole caregiver for her disabled husband for 33 years. As I listened, her pain made me think of the burden that 34 million Americans caring for loved ones with dementia, disabilities, and other enduring illnesses carry. Most caregivers report significant stress, and that’s certainly consistent with my experience over the last seven years serving as the chief caregiver for my wife, Susan, who has Alzheimer&rsqu

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