With over 2 billion (!) results coming up on a quick google search, it’s safe to say that mindfulness has officially entered public consciousness. It seems it’s not just a hippie-weed-consuming-kind of thing anymore (was it ever, though?) but a lot of people still seem to believe that its effects and benefits are only for the mind, not the body.
The workplaces can be extremely competitive and stress-provoking environments. Long working hours, strict deadlines, difficult conversations with bosses and managers can be hard sometimes. Also, the amount of information you are bombarded with can increase your anxiety levels and can make you feel overwhelmed and disconnected from the present time. The tricky part of this bad habit is that it can easily turn into a vicious cycle. The moment you start feeling anxious, you disconnect from the present time and start focusing on future tasks or past mistakes at the workplace. In the end, it causes more anxiety, provokes stress and might cause burnout. In the long run, it can affect both your mental and physiological health. So, it is important to deal with your stress level adaptively and decrease anxiety. What can you do about this?
This is where mindfulness comes in.
Imagine your best friend going through a tough period in their life: they just got fired from their dream job, and they believe they are completely incapable of anything. “I am so useless and stupid! I cannot do anything right!”, they tell you. And now think: how would you react? You likely see yourself rushing to your friend’s side: you comfort them, support them. You tell them that many people feel this way after losing their job. You try to reassure them and tell them that they are being too harsh on themselves. But now imagine that this “best friend” is you. Would you do the same to yourself?
We would probably all like to imagine doing the same for ourselves, but the reality is usually a little bit different than that. Many of us find it easier to be there for others than to be there for ourselves when times are tough: it feels easier and more acceptable for us to be compassionate to others than to show that compassion for ourselves. But what is self-compassion anyways?
We all think negatively. We all have moments where the world is not fair and everything is against us. However, when we allow ourselves to do it too often, things can go downhill.
Negative thinking patterns are commonly described by unrealistic assumptions, self-criticisms and denial of the truth. Such a thinking pattern changes the way we view the world. It changes our attitude towards past, present and future events. A negative thinking pattern can impact more than just ourselves; our health, ambitions, family, etc. The effects of such thinking can have large effects for anyone, especially when it continues into a chronic, negative, spiralling thinking pattern.
5 Powerful Benefits of Walking Mindfully in Nature + Tips
Yesterday I had an epiphany. After a long day of work, I went walking in nature. I spent a few hours enjoying the view and listening to the chirping birds. As I was amid these natural wonders, I began thinking about the incredible health benefits and therapeutic power of having a short walk in nature. During my journey, I took photos of the sea, admired the tall trees, and noticed the subtle changes in the water. I felt relaxed and in awe, and as I came back, I realized I have to share this experience with you and share with the world the fantastic benefits a short walk in nature can bring to our mental health.
Mental wellbeing and inner balance are not a luxury. They are a necessity. In a world of constant worrying, being busy, commuting, changing and adjusting, we need some stability, and that’s something that needs to come from within.
So, we continued our research on applications that you can install on your mobile phone and can help you find more inner peace and become more mindful within your environment.
In our previous article, we shared 6 apps that boost mental health, and here we continue with another 6 (there are a lot, indeed, so we had to choose wisely).
Technology has often been blamed as the villain of the contemporary world, bringing more trouble and threats than help and comfort to our once-peaceful-and-simple life.
For example, smartphones. We spend so much time in front of our screens, looking forward to getting a “like” or a reaction from our followers, to see how our friends are spending their time and how much fun they are having, as well as comparing our body, our friends, our holidays and our happiness with theirs.
The result? We feel like we will never be as good as them, have as much fun as them, be as loved as them, and so on. Yes, it is true that smartphones have been blamed for giving us a lot of trouble since they were invented, from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) to panic attacks or even to making us feel depressed. Are smartphones just bad news? Are they nothing more than a way to feel miserable about ourselves? One could say it all depends on the way you look at it…
What is Self-Compassion?
"Be kind to yourself."
We can hear this quite a lot, but what does it actually mean? Being kind to ourselves relates to the act of self-compassion. Before we think about self-compassion, let’s focus our attention to compassion. Compassion is the process of being aware of suffering in others and the drive to do something about that in order to sooth or prevent it. The word compassion may hold different connotations for us.
Defeating anxiety, stress, negative thoughts, procrastination and fears has never been easy. And it never will be. Not because there is something wrong with us, or because we are doing it the wrong way, but because it is something that indeed requires from us conscious effort, time, practice and a lot of mental energy.
We are actually rewiring our brain: changing the neuron paths existing since childhood which take us a certain way, into a different path, where things happen in a different way and are linked to different thoughts.
Three weeks on holidays. After an exhausting year of work, work, work. Three books chosen. (Or, let to be chosen.)
1. One from the classics: The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway. (Actually that was a re-read. I first read it during my school years. Different eras, different perspectives, totally different insights.)
2. One from my favorites authors: What I talk when I talk about running, Haruki Murakami. (Or, how a writer can blow your mind, even if he's talking about his running marathons)
3. One from a random pick (someone's suggestions, somewhere in the web): A tale for the time being, Ruth Ozeki. (It turned out to be my first book written by a Zen Buddhist priest which didn't seem at all to be written by a Zen Buddhist priest.)
How Do You Know If You Made The Right Choice?
We don’t know and we can never be sure of if we made a right decision. But letting go of the perfectionist inside us and accepting these facts can bring us solace.
This is a story, a pattern which comes up very frequently when discussing with people: we all want to know whether we made the right decision or not. Or we are struggling hard in order to be 100% sure that we will make the right decision in a given upcoming conflicting situation.
One of the most thrilling moments of my career was when I was working with a child with autism. Actually, not much of a child, Carl(*) was 21 years old. His mental age however was closer to that of a 4-5 year old.
His mother told me that from now on he would be my teacher and would teach me how to behave towards him. The short life we would share inside his room for a few hours a week would be the mirror of the bigger life that I have "out there." Interesting concept I thought, and at least a rather challenging assignment. To start with, one of my goals was to make eye contact with him. Taken for granted? No. Easy? Not at all.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.