Just a decade ago, one could barely scrounge up a paper on mindfulness. Recently, mindfulness has become something of a buzzword. At any given moment, you can get bite-sized tips about meditation at your desk, how to incorporate mindfulness into your work life, how to eat mindfully, how to incorporate mindfulness into your sex life…
Thankfully, some sources are working to get us those quick mindfulness tips while giving us some background about the research and practice. Like Visions, a journal investigating wellness and mental health. In its latest volume, the journal published a list of mindfulness tips, including a definition of mindfulness and a summary of its origins.
The summary briefly documents the research, beginning with Jon Kabat-Zinn‘s early mindfulness research and the formation of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to the beginnings of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Additionally, there is mention of the patient or practitioner perspective, such as what it feels like to sit with one’s thoughts and whether mindfulness is worthwhile.
While the journal covers the history and context of mindfulness, it also boils mindfulness into some brief, pointed tips. Here are a few:
- Take a couple of minutes to notice your breathing. Sense the flow of the breath, the rise and fall of your belly.
- Notice what you are doing as you are doing it and tune into your senses. When you are eating, notice the colour, texture and taste of the food.
- Don’t feel that you need to fill up all your time with doing. Take some time to simply be. When your mind wanders to thinking, gently bring it back to your breath.
- Recognize that thoughts are simply thoughts; you don’t need to believe them or react to them.
- Notice where you tend to zone out (e.g., driving, emailing or texting, web surfing, feeding the dog, doing dishes, brushing teeth, etc.). Practise bringing more awareness to that activity.
To read the full list, click here.