Mindfulness Articles

Breath Practice Made Simple

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Flickr/Mae ChevretteBreath is your most accessible and portable tool to calm and center yourself. Breath techniques are ancient and are practiced world-wide in different religious and spiritual practices, as part of various healing modalities, and in yoga, martial arts, and other physical activities.

The breath is always with us, but we generally take it for granted.

Reactivity and Its Impact

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Reactivity and Its ImpactI recently presented to a large group of Direct Support Professionals, people who support individuals with behavioral challenges. I have conducted similar workshops for family members of those with serious mental illness.

We talk about stress management, self-protection, and the limits of compassion. We meditate together. But the topic that always garners the most interest is how the supporters’ own reactivity, or fight or flight response, can precipitate negative behaviors in the individuals they support.

3 Big Reasons to Try Mindfulness

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

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“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”

- Thích Nhất Hạnh, Buddhist monk, author and peace activist

What does it feel like when you are talking to someone and they check their text messages? Or you try to tell your husband about something the children did today and he starts opening the mail?

Mindfulness helps us focus our attention on one thing or one person without feeling compelled to follow distractions where our wandering mind wants to take us. That is truly being present.

Suffer from Funphobia? Maybe You Need a Little Luxury Therapy

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

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On the cruise ship, formal afternoon tea finds me gazing back and forth between jewel-pretty pastries and — past massive yachts sporting helicopter pads — ­­­­Monaco, alight with countless actual emeralds and sapphires worn and sold along its terraced streets.

Astounding. But why do I find it so hard to stay present, in the moment, loving this?

Because I’m suffering from luxury anxiety.

I need luxury therapy.

Seriously.

Once an Addict, Always an Addict?

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Once an Addict, Always an Addict? This is a saying I’ve always grappled with. One part of me is against any type of labeling, let alone a heavy label to be carried for the rest of your life. We are all so interchangeably dynamic, that to categorize someone into a box forever doesn’t sit well. 

Another part of me completely agrees with this statement and perceives it to be utterly valid. Instead of denying who you are, true acceptance perhaps is the only way to not only recover, but to continue to maintain your recovery. However much I am against “branding” someone for life, it is human nature to create categorizes in order to piece things together and make sense of circumstances.

6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Fear Starts Peeking Around the Corner

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Why We All Have Fear of Failure

Most of us have a “fight or flight” response to fear. We either get reactive about a perceived potential threat, or we want to retreat as far away from the potential danger as we can. The challenge is that fear is usually over a situation that isn’t actually happening at the time. Consequently, we start fighting, disengage, get anxious or run away over something that we think might happen, but isn’t.

In other words, we either leap headfirst into drama or run the other way over a story we are potentially making up. We end up damaging our relationships by aligning our behavior with our illusions.

Psychology Around the Net: August 30, 2014

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

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Do you care for a person with Alzheimer’s Disease and wonder how you can better help them — and yourself — make it day by day? What about a fear of asking for advice? Ever heard of sleep drunkenness? We have it all and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Risky Situations At Work Lead Women To Feel More Anxiety Than Men, Says Study: A new study recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association found that women are more likely than men to fold under the pressure of risky situations at work and, thus, perform worse than they would during normal situations.

We All Need to Take it Easy Sometimes

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons / Vinoth ChandarThis past few weeks has been pretty chaotic for me.

Money has been an issue, I moved to a new city, my nephew was born, I got a new writing job, I had my 29th birthday, I had to housesit for a while and on top of everything else I’ve been working myself into a tizzy over a potential relationship which may or may not work out.

All said and done, I came to the realization last night that yes, I had done it, I had overwhelmed myself wholly and completely.

8 Building Blocks for Resilience

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

8 Building Blocks for ResilienceResilience is the ability to adapt to stress and change,  to bounce back and rebound from negative experiences and the wear and tear of daily life. Resilience is a skills set that may be learned and practiced and benefits grow and accumulate over time.

These are a few of the myriad ways to build and reinforce resilience:

When Happiness Isn’t a Choice

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

P6160020American poet T. S. Eliot wrote:

I said to my soul, be still and wait without …

Life in Balance?

Monday, August 25th, 2014

 

{Flickr photo by RelaxingMusic}

Is your life in balance? By identifying stressors and associated feelings, evaluating lifestyle habits, engaging in relaxation activities, and monitoring self-care, balance is achievable.

Identify what your stressors are: work, relationships, juggling multiple demands, or a personal belief system. What is it that’s stressing you out? What can you change and what can you improve?

A Zen Approach to Depression

Monday, August 25th, 2014

chinabuddhismencyclopedia.comIn his book, Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart, psychiatrist Mark Epstein, M.D. tells …

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