A lot of people think mindfulness is meditation, sitting in silence. Many of my patients report that ‘they don’t have time to meditate’. In today’s busy world, that can seem true.
However, there is more than one way to practice mindfulness. For example there is gratitude, savouring, breathing, relaxation, meditation.
The goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. This allows the mind to refocus on the present moment, rather than being in the past or worrying about the unknown future.
So the best form of mindfulness for you, is the one that allows you to be in the moment. You have to try the different types to find the one that works for you in that moment. You also have to have a tool belt of different types that can work for different situation. Lastly, you have to do them regularly so they go from annoying things to do, like starting a new exercise routine to become habits without thinking, like brushing your teeth.
The Science of Wellbeing is a free online course run by Yale but can be found on Coursera is a great course to give you an understanding why some of your habits are stressing you out and affecting your ears more than you think they should.
It is designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change.