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MINDFULNESS

What is Mindfulness?

Are you supposed to clear your mind, or focus on one thing? Here’s the Mindful definition of Mindfulness.

Mindfulness. It’s a pretty straightforward word. It suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through. That might seem trivial, except for the annoying fact that we so often veer from the matter at hand. Our mind takes flight, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future. And that makes us anxious.

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Yet no matter how far we drift away, mindfulness is right there to snap us back to where we are and what we’re doing and feeling. If you want to know what mindfulness is, it’s best to try it for a while. Since it’s hard to nail down in words, you will find slight variations in the meaning in books, websites, audio, and video.

The (All-Purpose) Definition of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Mindfulness is a quality that every human being already possesses, it’s not something you have to conjure up, you just have to learn how to access it.

While mindfulness is innate, it can be cultivated through proven techniques, particularly seated, walking, standing, and moving meditation (it’s also possible lying down but often leads to sleep); short pauses we insert into everyday life; and merging meditation practice with other activities, such as yoga or sports.

When we meditate it doesn’t help to fixate on the benefits, but rather to just do the practice, and yet there are benefits or no one would do it. When we’re mindful, we reduce stress, enhance performance, gain insight and aware ness through observing our own mind, and increase our attention to others’ well-being.

Mindfulness meditation gives us a time in our lives when we can suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness—to ourselves and others.

8 Things to Know About Mindfulness:

  1. Mindfulness is not obscure or exotic. It’s familiar to us because it’s what we already do, how we already are. It takes many shapes and goes by many names.
  2. Mindfulness is not a special added thing we do. We already have the capacity to be present, and it doesn’t require us to change who we are. But we can cultivate these innate qualities with simple practices that are scientifically demonstrated to benefit ourselves, our loved ones, our friends and neighbors, the people we work with, and the institutions and organizations we take part in
  3. You don’t need to change. Solutions that ask us to change who we are or become something we’re not have failed us over and over again. Mindfulness recognizes and cultivates the best of who we are as human beings.
  4. Mindfulness has the potential to become a transformative social phenomenon. Here’s why:
  5. Anyone can do it. Mindfulness practice cultivates universal human qualities and does not require anyone to change their beliefs. Everyone can benefit and it’s easy to learn.
  6. It’s a way of living.  Mindfulness is more than just a practice. It brings awareness and caring into everything we do—and it cuts down needless stress. Even a little makes our lives better.
  7. It’s evidence-based. We don’t have to take mindfulness on faith. Both science and experience demonstrate its positive benefits for our health, happiness, work, and relationships.
  8. It sparks innovation. As we deal with our world’s increasing complexity and uncertainty, mindfulness can lead us to effective, resilient, low-cost responses to seemingly intransigent problems.

Meditation Is Not All in Your Head

When we think about meditating (with a capital M), we can get hung up on thinking about our thoughts: we’re going to do something about what’s happening in our heads. It’s as if these bodies we have are just inconvenient sacks for our brains to lug around.

Having it all remain in your head, though, lacks a feeling of good old gravity.

Meditation begins and ends in the body. It involves taking the time to pay attention to where we are and what’s going on, and that starts with being aware of our body

That approach can make it seem like floating—as though we don’t have to walk. We can just waft.

But meditation begins and ends in the body. It involves taking the time to pay attention to where we are and what’s going on, and that starts with being aware of our body. That very act can be calming, since our body has internal rhythms that help it relax if we give it a chance.

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PODCAST

HOW TO AVOID BURN OUT – Life, Work & YouTube – #STARTCREATINGPODCAST (ep 010)

BURN OUT! As the weather heats up in the UK I want to talk to you about mental overheating rather than physical. Mental health when it comes to life, work and YouTube can be the making or breaking of you. I know from personal experience how hard it can be to balance life, building a business, creating regular content for a YouTube channel and maintaining a healthy mental outlook on life.

A few years ago I found myself under a dark cloud mentally. A combination of failing business, poor health, failed personal relationships and other factors led me to fighting my own mental health battle. I don’t think that we talk about mental health enough these days and that leads to people over working, over thinking and burning out.

When it comes to personal factors I beg you to take time for yourself. Dedicate 5-10 mins a day if you can to just have some head space. What helps recharge you? Is it a walk on a canal? Is it saving the world in some computer game? Reading? Writing? Whatever you feel helps you turn your brain off for just a few minutes a day, then do it.

For YouTube creators I suggest you buy yourself time with bulk recording. I know it might be hard to find the first hour or 2 to do this but it will help you. Instead of panicking that you need to make a video every day or every other day, assess is you are over publishing. Then use that 1-2 hours slot you can beg, steal or borrow on the weekend to record 5-10 videos. These 10 videos you can then drip feed out 2 a week for 5 weeks and then within that 5 weeks bulk record again. What this does is gives you breathing room. No longer are you making a video every day panicking that you don’t have an idea for a video or that you’re running late. You now have 5 weeks to plan video ideas and videos in the bank to publish for week to come.

Most importantly whether its YouTube, life or work…. be kind to yourself. Give yourself time to power down for just a few minutes or go for a walk for some fresh air. Look after your mental health and it will look after you too.

Here are 12 ways to get started with your self-care.

1. Make sleep part of your self-care routine. 

Sleep can have a huge effect on how you feel both emotionally and physically. Not getting enough can even cause major health issues. But stress and other distractions can wreak havoc on our sleep. 

What do you do to make sleep part of a self-care routine? Start by thinking about your nightly routine. Are you eating or drinking immediately before bed? If so, it’s especially important to stay away from caffeine and sugar, which tend to keep you awake. 

Reducing stress is also key. If you have work-related stress, think about the best ways to calm yourself after a hard day or relax more while on the job. You might talk to your employer about lessening your workload or settle a disagreement with a coworker.

Next, make sure your bedroom is the best possible place for you to get good REM sleep. It should be free of distractions (such as a television, laptop, cellphone, etc.). And make sure you have room-darkening curtains to keep the sun from waking you up too early in the mornings.

2. Take care of yourself by taking care of your gut. article continues after advertisement

Your gut health can have a significant impact on your health, well-being, and feelings of vitality. The types of foods you eat crucially impact the bacteria that live in your stomach, resulting in a cascade of either positive or negative outcomes. An unhappy gut can lead to an unhappy person, and vice-versa. 

3. Exercise daily as part of your self-care routine. 

We all know exercise is good for us, but do we really know how good it is? Daily exercise can help you both physically and mentally, boosting your mood and reducing stress and anxiety, not to mention helping you shed extra weight.

Of course, it might be hard to go to the gym every day, so try to incorporate other exercises, such as walking, tennis, or yoga, which may be able to fit into your schedule more easily. The most important thing is to create a routine that works for you.

4. Eat right for self-care. 

The food we eat has the potential to either keep us healthy or contribute to weight gain or diseases such as diabetes, but it can also keep our minds working and alert. Eating the right foods can help prevent short-term memory loss and inflammation, both of which can have long-term effects on the brain and, in turn, the rest of the body. Some of the most amazing self-care foods include fatty fish, blueberries, nuts, green leafy veggies, and brassicas, like broccoli.article continues after advertisement

5. Say no to others, and say yes to your self-care. 

Learning to say no is really hard; many of us feel obligated to say yes when someone asks for our time or energy. However, if you’re already stressed or overworked, saying yes to loved ones or coworkers can lead to burnout, anxiety, and irritability. It may take a little practice, but once you learn how to politely say no, you’ll start to feel more empowered, and you’ll have more time for your self-care. 

6. Take a self-care trip. 

Taking a self-care trip can make a huge difference in your life. Even if you’re not feeling particularly stressed, getting away for a weekend every now and then can help you disconnect, relax, and be rejuvenated. These self-care trips don’t have to be costly; simply drive to the next town over and see the sights, or go camping nearby. The goal is to veer away from your normal schedule and take the time to do something just for yourself.

7. Take a self-care break by getting outside. 

Spending time outside can help you reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, and be more mindful. Studies have even shown that getting outside can help reduce fatigue, making it a great way to overcome symptoms of depression or burnout. Getting outside can also help you sleep better at night, especially if you do some physical activity, like hiking or walking, while you are outside.

8. Let a pet help you with your self-care.  article continues after advertisement

Pets can bring a boost to our lives. From giving unconditional love to providing companionship, pets can be hugely beneficial for our self-care. Dogs especially can help reduce stress and feelings of anxiety and can even lower blood pressure. In fact, many people who suffer from disorders like PTSD have benefited from working daily with animals, which is why service dogs have become so helpful for these individuals.

9. Take care of yourself by getting organized. 

Getting organized is often the first step to becoming a healthier you, because it allows you to figure out exactly what you need to do to take better care of yourself. A small change, like keeping a planner or a calendar on the fridge, can help you write down all your responsibilities and appointments, while at the same time keeping your life a bit more organized. You can also create an area to keep keys, purses, backpacks, briefcases, and coats, and make sure they’re ready to go for the next day.

10. Cook at home to care for yourself.

Many people don’t take the time to make themselves meals, preferring instead to stop for fast food or popping a pre-made meal in the microwave. But these “fast” meals aren’t usually sufficient when it comes to feeding your body the right kinds of calories and nutrients. Even if it’s only once a week, consider making a healthy meal for yourself or your whole family. You could even look into a meal delivery service or meal kit that can help you get started.article continues after advertisement

11. Read a book on self-care for self-care.

In today’s fast-paced world, we tend to turn to our phones for entertainment or comfort, scrolling through news feeds that can contribute to our stress and anxiety rather than helping it. Instead, consider bringing a book with you when you leave the house. Even better, bring books on self-care, so that you can learn more about how to take care of yourself while you are taking care of yourself. You might be amazed at the difference it can make when you slow down instead of always looking at your phone. Not only can it help improve your mood, but it can also help you to stay more present and mindful.

12. Schedule your self-care time, and guard that time with everything you have. 

It can be hard for us all to find extra time. But it’s extremely important to plan regular self-care time. Moments alone can help you to ponder the best ways to move forward in your life and keep you grounded. And moments with friends can help you feel more connected and relaxed.

Whether you decide you want to go for a long walk, take a hot bath, or enjoy a good movie with friends, taking self-care time is imperative. Look for small ways you can incorporate it into everyday life; for example, you might wake up 15 minutes earlier to sit with a cup of tea and practice deep breathing before the chaos of the day begins, or you might take a walk around the block on your lunch break. The more you can work self-care time into your schedule, the better you’ll be able to grow, enjoy your life, and thrive.