Mental Health, Motivational

Minding our Minds through Mindfulness

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” -John Milton

Mindfulness

We hear it all the time. Mindfulness. The advice to practise mindfulness as a way to deal with troublesome thoughts.

Why does Mindfulness help?

It’s impossible to stay strong when you’re rehashing something that happened last week or predicting that horrible things are going to happen tomorrow. Mindfulness is about staying present in the moment. And since the only time you can change your behavior is right now, it’s important to be able to focus on the here-and-now.

http://www.psychology.com

Our minds become more resilent to stress and less prone to anxiety, if we maintain focus on the here and now; meaning the present moment. The future and the past are, after all, not our reality, but only mental constructs over which we have no, or little, influence. Trying to live in two dimensions at once creates stress for ourselves.

The present moment is the only real time concept we can fully experience, with our senses.

Confucious understood this saying,

“Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.”

Buddha considered the secret of good health was not to mourn the past, or worry about the future, cautioning against anticipation and encouraging the use of each moment wisely and earnestly.

As if each moment was a priceless gift.

Because each moment is a priceless gift that will never return again.

Staying mindful removes the immediate stress for a mind that might continue to worry or dwell on what has gone before.

The present moment is a concept so very difficult to grab hold on to; for it is transient, dynamic and we might rail against letting it go. Even as we ponder its nature, it has passed us by. Gone.

Some of us keep the past, or future, alive in our minds, through repetitive thoughts. Our minds, in idle moments, stray back to past events, or happier times. If those thoughts are negative, and we think them often enough, we can do ourselves real mental damage or initiate a stress reaction in our body.

Strategies for Mindfulness

  • Stay in the moment
  • Look around you and note your environment
  • Observe
  • Notice where your focus lies and your own body’s natural breath
  • Is your breath short, sharp and shallow, or deep and long? Focusing on the breath is a way to stay mindful
  • Be Mindful and Ground yourself with the following exercise

Questions for the Self

Are you able to be mindful, keeping thoughts aligned with the present moment?

Can you break your day down and stay with those moments?

Besides Grounding, what is it that helps you to do this?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

pier on bridge
Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Criticism and Feeling Positive

 Gode ord skal du hogge i berg, de dårligere i snø.

Carve your good words in stone, the bad in snow.

Old Norwegian Proverb

I do love the way old words of wisdom offer us a way forward when we are stuck in our heads, with thoughts that do us no good at all.

Old proverbs offer us succinct suggestions and have many layers of interpretation, if we are open to listening.

Not only does the Norwegian proverb relate to criticism of others, it might also give us advice on how we view ourselves and how we react to criticism from other people.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Criticism from Others

Is it possible to eliminate criticism?

Du kan unngå kritikk ved ikke å si noe, ikke å gjøre noe
og ikke å være noe.

You can escape criticism by not saying anything,

by not doing anything and becoming nothing.

Danish Proverb

The only way to escape criticism entirely is to follow the Danish proverb’s advice.

Accepting that there will always be people who criticize, regardless of what you do or how well you do it, is something we might have to hear, but not something we have to internalize.

If you say you want to be a dancer, they will discredit your rhythm.  If you say you want to build a new business, they will give you a dozen reasons why it might not work.  They somehow assume you don’t have what it takes, but they are dead wrong.

It’s a lot easier to be negative than positive – a lot easier to be critical than correct.

Spend time with Positive people.

Wise words from Marc and Angel.