What Is Mindfulness And Why We Need It?

Have you ever caught yourself having an argument or debate with someone and getting yourself all worked up and upset only to realize that the whole discussion was taking place in your mind? The other person wasn’t even there. It was just you and your mind. Your mind began the argument without even letting you know and it’s hard to decipher exactly what the trigger was. We do this constantly and cause ourselves unnecessary stress and anxiety and can even lose sleep because of it. Much of the time, the things we worry about are not even going to happen, but our mind convinces us that they will. It’s quite amazing to think about how much of our life is spent in the reality that our mind creates versus the actual reality that is in front of us.

An untamed and untrained mind negatively impacts our physical health. When we experience a nightmare, our body begins perspiring, our heartbeat increases, and our breathing speeds up. All of these physical symptoms were solely caused by the mind. The mind made us believe that we were in danger and this convinced our body to react as if it was really happening.

The more we understand how the mind works and how it affects our physical and mental health, the more we have to conclude that the mind is the main cause of our problems and suffering. We give ourselves so much anxiety by misunderstanding and misinterpreting another person’s words or behavior. Too often, we can let that misunderstanding brew in our mind for days, weeks, months or even years.

While this tendency cannot be fully stopped, by becoming aware of the way the mind functions, we can significantly reduce the amount of anxiety we experience due to false conceptions. With a little training and practice, we can begin to learn to press the pause or stop button when we see the mind causing us anxiety without any good reason.

Mindfulness practices are not complicated. However, in order for them to be effective, some consistency is important which is the case for almost everything else in life that we hope to benefit from. If we can simply sit everyday for five minutes and gradually increase our practice by one or two minutes each month, we will see our perspectives on life change for the better. Deep intentional breathing and focusing on how we’re feeling are simple ways to start a regular practice.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gadadhara-pandit-dasa/what-is-mindfulness-and-why-we-need-it_b_12530946.html?utm_hp_ref=stress-management

4 Ways To Improve Your Mood Instantly

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Happiness is one of the most talked-about emotions – behavioral scientists study it relentlessly, meditation experts teach several techniques and social psychologists comes up with various explanations for how our brain tricks itself into believing various things. And of course, there are countless books on the subject.

Yet, being happy is one of the most elusive emotions. Understandably, it’s not easy being upbeat all the time. We are humans, and no matter how much we try, we are bound to have our low moments. Although this could be normal, prolonged periods of time feeling depressed can be detrimental to health.

Here are a few ways to shake off the bad mood and get back on track to positivity.

Work out

Exercising regularly helps build a resilient mindset. The physical benefits are obvious. Exercise also releases the happy hormone called dopamine which improves our mood immediately after a great run or a sweaty, hard workout.

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This Yogi Is Discussing Mental Health In The Most Stunning Way

Heidi Williams posing in the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

It’s easy to get lost in the beauty of Heidi Williams’ yoga-inspired Instagram account― but the images are also spreading an important message about mental health.

Williams started practicing yoga after she was diagnosed with a constellation of mental health disorders that she believes stem from an incident in 2013 in which her infant son, Silas stopped breathing and had to be revived.

“He basically died and came back to life,” Williams told The Huffington Post.

Though her son returned to perfect health, Williams had difficulty letting go of what happened. She would get triggered every time her son would whine or cry and even had multiple episodes of self-harm, she said.
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11 Happy Skills Everyone Should Learn Before They Turn 50

1. How to count to 10.

Anger isn’t your friend. In fact, learning to control it could add years to your life. A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health in 2014 found that angry, argumentative people lived shorter lives. Besides, nobody really likes that guy who screams at the waiter because the soup is too salty, now do they? Don’t be that guy.

2. How to play nice with strangers.

Be the guy who lets the other driver cut in your lane. Give up your seat on the subway for someone who needs it more. Doing nice things for people makes us feel better. In fact, studies show that those who volunteer reap health benefits that may help them live longer.
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Here’s The Perfect Reminder That You’re Capable Of Anything

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Feeling stressed? You’re not alone. We all have a center of wisdom and balance within us, but sometimes life takes over and we can feel all over the place! We all need a course-correcting tool — A “GPS for the Soul” — to help us find our way back to center. The guide below will give you the tools you need to reach that calmer state of mind.

Reminder: You are worth it and deserve to go for your goals. In the GPS Guide below, reader Alex Beasley shares some quotes that will motivate you to do just that. Beasley also recommends taking time for yourself each morning by meditating, drinking coffee and journaling in order to reduce stress and get inspired. Take a look at these quotes the next time you need encouragement and keep in mind that you have the power to do anything.

“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” –Pema Chodron

“You are imperfect and wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” –Brene Brown

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” –Stephen King

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

12 Ways Successful People Stay Productive And In Control

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TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). The hallmark of emotional intelligence is self-control — a skill that unleashes massive productivity by keeping you focused and on track.

Unfortunately, self-control is a difficult skill to rely on. Self-control is so fleeting for most people that when Martin Seligman and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania surveyed two million people and asked them to rank order their strengths in 24 different skills, self-control ended up in the very bottom slot.

And when your self-control leaves something to be desired, so does your productivity.

When it comes to self-control, it is so easy to focus on your failures that your successes tend to pale in comparison. And why shouldn’t they? Self-control is an effort that’s intended to help achieve a goal. Failing to control yourself is just that — a failure. If you’re trying to avoid digging into that bag of chips after dinner because you want to lose a few pounds and you succeed Monday and Tuesday nights only to succumb to temptation on Wednesday by eating four servings’ worth of the empty calories, your failure outweighs your success. You’ve taken two steps forward and four steps back.

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The Surprising Upside to Negative Thinking

We’re often told to look on the bright side, but for some of us negative thinking can have positive effects.

It’s an age-old question: Do you see the glass as half-full or half-empty? Often, those who call it half-full are said to be optimists, positive people who smile easily and find the good in most situations. Those who view the glass as half-empty are thought of as pessimists, Negative Nellies who wear a frown on their face. But perhaps that frown doesn’t need fixing. Half-fullers aren’t as happy as we believe, plus they might be a little thirsty.For decades, we’ve been told the antidote to cynicism is hopeful thinking. Smiling will make you feel better. Thinking confidently makes good things happen. Positive thinking or doing things to make us feel happier may have started with Victorian philosopher William James’ As If theory, that our actions, rather than our thinking, influence how we feel. One of the core ideas is that forcing a smile increases happiness, or at least makes you feel more positive, whereas most people see this in the reverse; I feel happy, so I’ll smile.Not necessarily.
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10 Top Tips for Establishing a Daily Meditation Practice

It sounds so obvious, I know. In fact, you’d think it would go without saying. But training the mind, meditating, being mindful, or whatever else we choose to call it only works if we actively engage with it. More than that, it only works if we practice it regularly, preferably on a daily basis with a considered, gentle discipline.

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The obvious comparison is training the body, perhaps to get fit or to lose some weight. It’s not enough to have the membership card of the gym in our bag or the shiny new trainers at home, hoping we might get fit by osmosis. We need to actually turn up for the event, to engage in physical exercise on a regular basis to experience the benefits. The same is true of the mind.

Here are my 10 top tips for making sure you develop a consistent practice and stay committed to maintaining a healthy mind:

1) Meditate first thing in the morning if you can. It will ensure it gets done, gets rid of any grogginess from your sleep and is a great way to start the day. It will also mean you are more likely to be mindful throughout the day.

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20 Tiny Moments That Instantly Boost Your Happiness

It’s time to tap into your everyday joy.

Big moments in life — weddings, births, new jobs, graduations — are special, but appreciating the smaller, daily occurrences can really maintain your happiness.

In honor of the International Day of Happiness, we’ve rounded up some tiny, joyful moments that never fail to lift everyone’s mood. There’s glee to be found in even the smallest circumstances:

 

1. When your boss gives you a compliment. Genuine compliments are way more meaningful than superficial praise. If your boss gives you sincere accolades for your work on something, you know they mean it.

2. An upbeat conversation with a stranger. Research shows that social interactions with strangers can boost feelings of happiness.

3. Finding a parking space in a crowded lot. Thank you, driving gods.

4. When the weather is perfect. That skip in your step on a spring day isn’t all in your head. Studies suggest weather has an influence on your mood.
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