Enjoy a Mini-Mindfulness Meditation
The Benefits of Mindfulness
Let me tell you something; when I first started to do this thing called mindfulness, I didn’t get it.
I sat there, trying to focus on the breath. I began to wonder if I was doing this “thing” right. More importantly, why I was doing this in the first place? What was the point?
It wasn’t until I did some study with Dr Russ Harris that it all began to make sense. Apparently, it was ‘the distractions’ that were the problem.
A Trip to the Ancient Times
Go back thousands of years in time, it was ‘distractions’ that kept you alive. The sound of a bush rustling could mean a tiger or a neighbouring villager coming to attack you. Having the ability to focus on those distractions activated our fight and flight mechanism. Being able to flee from that danger was useful in keeping us alive.
Now, we don’t have tigers and villagers in bushes, but that hard-wired mechanism still exists and still serves a purpose. When we anticipate that something is wrong, our natural fight, flight or freeze response kicks in.
The problem is this; what if it goes off over everything? Even the things that it shouldn’t?
The Faulty Fire Alarm/h2>
I think most of us have lived in a home with a fire alarm that seemed to go off over everything.
Take my house for instance. The fire alarm is situated near the bathroom. It gets activated by the steam from my shower if I forget to open the window or turn on the exhaust fan. There isn’t a fire, but the steam tricks the alarm.
Is there a fire? No, it’s just the stream from my shower tricking the fire alarm.
Should I disconnect the fire alarm? No, because there might be a team where there is an actual fire and that fire alarm may save my life.
Anxiety is similar to this. We wouldn’t disconnect our anxious response entirely, as it could save our life one day. We’d prefer to train it to activate only when necessary, not at the slightest hint of trouble.
The Mental Gym
You go to the gym to work out the body. As you lift weights, you can begin to build muscle. With stronger muscles, you can lift more things and become more flexible.
Mindfulness is simply an exercise that builds the brain.
With mindfulness, we are building the brain stronger so that we can determine which distractions get our focus. Do we choose to be distracted by ‘the thought’ or by ‘the breath’?
If we can choose to just become the observer of the thought, let it go, and bring the focus back to the breath, we can learn to recognise when our mind has become the faulty fire alarm.
We can become more aware that the thought is just a thought and not reality.
This is the point of mindfulness.
A Short Mini-Mindfulness Meditation
The beauty of mindfulness lies in its flexibility. Practicing mindfulness doesn’t require a specific place or time. You can practice it anywhere; while commuting, or even while washing dishes. It provides the mind an opportunity to be present in the moment, building mental strength.
Enjoy This FREE Mini-Mindfulness Meditation
I’ve created a short mindfulness meditation that you can listen to that will help you to acknowledge your thoughts and to be able to let them go. I hope you enjoy listening to it and can benefit from it.
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