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10 Mindfulness Tips for Every Day

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Being fully aware of your experiences and noticing what is happening in the moment is one of the keys to health and wellness. Often, we go through daily life on autopilot, not fully aware of the present. We can dwell on the past, plan the future, and get hijacked away from paying attention to what is happening right now. Here are 10 ways you can interrupt your day with moments of mindfulness instead of moments of distraction.

10 Mindfulness Tips for Every Day

Three simple ways to bring your attention back to the breath

Breathe when you’re still in bed: Bring awareness to your breath and body when you wake up in the morning, take a few conscious breaths, and practice half-smiling before getting out of bed. 
Take 10 mindful breaths a few times a day: Bring awareness to your breathing at various times of the day. Choose to take a few conscious breaths, following the breath in and out. Count 10 full breaths and then start again.
Use the natural rhythms of the day as triggers to practice. Return your attention to the present moment: when the phone rings, pass through doorways, stop at red lights, when a sound comes into your awareness. Use these moments to breathe, experience your bodily sensations, and feel your feet on the ground. 

Incorporate Mindfulness in Your Work Day

Bring awareness to your communication patterns: talking, listening, and periods of silence; notice your states of mind during these activities. Especially, notice the silence and the sounds in between the silence. 
While sitting at your desk, computer, etc., pay attention to your bodily sensations and consciously attempt to relax and rid yourself of excess tension. Remember to be present to whatever you are working on and focus your attention on your breath. 
At lunch, change your environment. If you take your lunch, or work at home, go to another room. Try eating at different times and being aware of the sensations of hunger or satiation. 
Close your door (if you have one) and take some time to relax consciously. Close your eyes and breathe, counting your breaths and letting go of the day behind you and ahead. 
At the end of the workday, try retracing the day’s activities. Acknowledge and congratulate yourself for what you’ve accomplished, and then make a list for tomorrow. You’ve done enough for today!

Unwind in the Evening

When you get home, create an unwinding routine. Change out of your work clothes, and say hello to each of your family members, the people you live with, your pets, plants, even your couch. Take a moment to look and take five to 10 minutes to be quiet and still. Wash your hands as if you are starting a new phase of your life. If you live alone, feel what it is like to enter the quietness of your environment.
Before falling asleep at night, bring awareness to your breathing and your body sensations for at least five full breaths, all the way in and out. These deep breaths will activate the parasympathetic nervous system and help you to rest.

Adapted from The Mindfulness Experience: 8 Strategies to Live Life Now by Keith W. Fiveson. Copyright © 2021 by Keith Fiveson. Published by Work Mindfulness Institute. Reprinted with permission.

Original author: Keith Fiveson
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Trends in Mindfulness Research Over the Past 55 Years

The origin of mindfulness as a contemplative practice stretches back centuries, but it’s only in the last five decades that research from around the world has sought to explore the effects of mindfulness on health and well-being. In a recent publication from the journal Mindfulness, authors Anuradha Baminiwatta and Indrajith Solangaarachchi used innovative computer technology to trace the roots of mindfulness literature and explore how it has grown over time.

“Bibliometrics is where you use various statistical and computational methods to understand the structure and trends in…the body of literature,” says Anuradha. Unlike systematic reviews, in which researchers would read each included study and synthesize the findings, bibliometrics maps the broader structure and scope of research and can identify themes and connections between studies. 

For example, the Java application CiteSpace was used to develop colorful visuals that resemble spider webs, which show collaborative research networks between countries or clusters of keywords that relate to mindfulness. The major research areas (such as “mindfulness-based therapeutic intervention” or “commitment therapy”) are mapped as luminescent bursts of color over a black background. The maps act like a visual guide for researchers interested in tracing the burgeoning field of mindfulness interventions and the evolution of the practice.

Mindfulness Research Over 55 Years 

Mindfulness literature has grown rapidly, from a single article cited in 1966 to a whopping 2,808 in 2020. Over the 55-year period analyzed by the authors, a total of 16,581 journal articles were published in Web of Science, a database of peer-reviewed, scholarly journals. Illustrated by a graph, the number of publications is small and steady for the first 40 years, and then shows exponential growth after 2006.

The USA had the highest research output overall, representing close to half of all publications. However, the more recent period analyzed (2016-2021) has seen increasing contributions from Asian countries such as China, Iran, and India. “I think that is interesting [and] important because the conceptualization of mindfulness may be different from the Western secular form to the Eastern Buddhist traditions of mindfulness,” says Anuradha.

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In Awe of All Our Relations with Barry Boyce

Stephanie Domet: Hello, and welcome to Real Mindful. This is where we speak mindfully about things that matter.

We’ll meet here twice a month to introduce you to some of the teachers, thinkers, writers, and researchers who are engaged in the mindfulness movement. You’ll hear all kinds of conversations here about the science of mindfulness, the practice of mindfulness, and the heart of it. And if you have been a listener of Point of View with Barry Boyce, you have come to the right place. Barry is our guest today, as a matter of fact.

I’m Stephanie Domet. I’m the managing editor at mindful magazine and mindful.org. And this is Real Mindful.

Barry Boyce is the founding editor of Mindful and mindful.org, and in every issue of the magazine, he writes the back-page column “Point of View.” Barry has a deep mindfulness practice developed over decades, and is the author of The Mindfulness Revolution. 

Barry dropped by my place on a cool fall day recently to tell me about a trip he took, pre-pandemic, to Washington, DC to visit a pair of Smithsonian museums. He wrote about his visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Winter 2020 issue of Mindful. And in the October issue, which is on stands now, Barry wrote about his visit to the National Museum of the American Indian.

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Let Your Practice Guide You Beyond Crisis Mode

The pandemic tested many of us on every level: mental, physical, emotional, and financial. Whether it was the endless hours on Zoom, the extended periods of isolation, not being able to do the things we loved or see the people we cared about, the past year and a half has taken a toll on all of us. As a meditation teacher, I have noticed one kind of challenge in particular: For some people, this was the most time they had actually had to spend with themselves without external distractions. Understandably daunting, for those who have kept busy enough to avoid being alone with themselves for most of their lives. 

Mindfulness, yoga, meditation, and breathwork all became desired tools to get through each day of lockdowns. I continue to be inspired by the shift I have seen in so many of my clients—Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, soul seekers, and conscious leaders—during this period. And my own mindfulness path has taught me that challenges can always be a portal to growth if we can take a moment to pause, reflect, and develop practices to build inner strength and resilience that nothing outside of us can disrupt.  

My mindfulness practice came to me when my life was crumbling and in crisis mode. Like most of society I had learned from an early age to lean on everything outside of myself to define my happiness and success. So, in a period of my life when I was stripped of work, relationships, goals, and personal timelines for accomplishing a number of things, I crumbled. It was one of those moments where there was nowhere to go, but in. This moment was a not so gentle nudge to start exploring what it meant for me personally to “journey inward” and discover tools and practices that could aid me on my journey. 

Making Mindfulness a Way of Life

Since 2007 I have trained physically to climb mountains. For me, not being a naturally skilled athlete, climbing is 20% physical and 80% mental. When I summited peaks like Mt. Everest, it was mindfulness that was the game changer in my training, that got me up the mountain. My daily practice truly developed after my successful summit in 2013. Before that, I was using my mindfulness practice only as a tool to get out of a “hot mess” state or to accomplish major goals—mindfulness needed to become a way of life. Otherwise, I would simply keep arriving at the same place with nowhere to turn, but inward.

When my life is chaotic, mindfulness provides an almost instantaneous relief. For those few seconds or minutes when I practice, I can feel a sense of deep inner peace. In moments of heightened stress, anxiety, depression, sadness, or fear, it’s easy for me to practice regularly. But, when life eases its grip, my practice can fall lower on the priority list. When the urgent need for relief dissipates, I can get lulled into thinking my practice is less important.

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