Mindfulness

Cultivating Emotional Balance with Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the internal action of paying attention on purpose in the present moment, without judgement. The more we cultivate paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and reactions, pleasant or unpleasant, and do our best to objectively observe our responses, the better our awareness of ourselves and others can be. 

As attention grows, if we wish, we can choose a different and potentially more effective response. 

This is an invisible act any of us can do. 

When we notice something, in ourselves or outside, and simultaneously we’re aware that we are noticing, we are the actor and the witness. 

Life throws many demands at us...

The more we cultivate paying attention, the better our self and other awareness can be. The better our attention, the more we can choose the response and behaviors we most wish for and will be most effective. Through the practice of paying attention on purpose we can learn to observe our reactions to life’s stressors and then do something different: choose how to respond.

If you pay attention at every moment, you form a new relationship to time. In some magical way, by slowing down, you become more efficient, productive, and energetic, focusing without distraction directly on the task in front of you.

Michael Ray, School of Business, Stanford University

Are you thinking or feeling:

Tense

I clench my jaw, raise my voice, or feel tense in my stomach.
I need to stop all this, but how?
I need to calm down, I worry a lot of the time.

Anxious

Could I be addicted to my anxiety or stress?
I want to be calmer and happier.
I need to be less like a wound up top, less reactive, more thoughtful.

Tired

I am not sleeping well. I go to bed filled with things I've got to do and I wake up often during the night worrying about what I did wrong.

Benefits of practicing mindfulness:

Inner nourishment

Deepened awareness and attention feed the heart, mind and soul.

Calmness and control

Not feeling in touch with ourselves is part of what creates a kind of background anxiety. If we're not really present for our lives, that creates stress. Who is choosing things if you're not fully present? Who is running the show? Who is making the decisions?

Maximally leveraging time

Paying attention on purpose is an energy efficient way of living and working. You can choose what you want because you're observing what is going on in you and how you respond. Instead of looking back with regret and wondering why you did what you did, you save time, energy, and improve your life by ongoing self-observation.

Increased vitality and focus

Bringing awareness to routine tasks can decrease time spent auto-pilot mode. The feeling of being present to what's happening allows us to feel calmer, more satisfied, stronger, renewed.

Improved management of physical symptoms and psychological stressors

Mindfulness can support managing medical problems, physical pain and psychological symptoms. Pain levels may improve or people can learn to cope with chronic discomfort.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lie our growth and our freedom.

Viktor Frankl

I can help.

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