How does a pebble solve a problem?
The importance of putting yourself first (and why you should make it a priority)
There’s a lot of talk these days about living our best lives. We look at constantly improving as we strive to be the best version of ourselves. The problem is we have preconceived notions of what that is and in our attempt to better ourselves, we default to old patterns and conditionings. These patterns have created the foundation in which we’re rooted. So, we tend to live our lives just as we’ve always done. Even with the greatest of intentions.
The beauty of it is, we’re capable of making big transformations. We can weave in significant and impactful changes that can alter and change our outlook. But sometimes that means stepping beyond our current way of life and embracing new habits. To create the life you ultimately want you have to create change every day.
Stress relief - Dr Gini Harrison
So here’s the deal. You’re overwhelmed. Work is demanding your time. At home, you have projects and to-do lists piling up and when you look at your calendar, it’s packed with overdue tasks and upcoming obligations. To make time for everything, you decide you’re going to skip lunch, miss the gym (just this once) and you push all your social obligations to the back burner. When we’re stressed, overwhelmed and consumed in the constant whirlwind of life, self-care is usually the first thing to go. The irony? That only makes things worse.
When spiraling through life, self-care might feel indulgent and unnecessary. We’ve been programmed with outdated constructs, living within the conditions society has deemed important. Most of us have grown up believing the more we sacrifice, the bigger the reward. We’ve taken the “hard work pays off” adage too far. So far in fact, it’s become counter intuitive. When we neglect ourselves our abilities are worn. Skills aren’t as sharp. We lose focus.
What's mindfulness doing to our brains
Keeping your stress in check is important... because stress is one of those things that can creep up on you, and have profoundly negative consequences.
Why is stress so bad? When you experience stress, it activates the regions of the brain that controls your body’s fight or flight response; those primitive, automatic reactions that occur when faced with a life threatening situation. This triggers a host of biochemical reactions in your body, firing off a large amount of neural activity and releasing a cascade of hormones (including adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol). Evolutionary speaking, these reactions are designed to drive you to react to a life threatening stressor. While effective in situations where your survival is on the line, this type of stress
Goodbye Stress. It was fun while it lasted.
There has been debate in recent years over mindfulness and the actual impact it’s making. We’re not talking about being a kinder person or how we look at a tree and really “see” it for the first time. We’re talking about the scientific impact it can have on your brain.
What are we finding? Evidence consistently shows us that practising mindfulness changes the structure and function in parts of the brain associated with emotional control.
Behavioural studies have also been performed on experienced meditators. The results echo similar findings. When a mindfulness practice is in place, it helps with your ability to self-regulate emotion; and improves attention.
Is your Monkey Mind taking over?
Goodbye stress. It was fun while it lasted.
Mindfulness seems to be talked about a lot lately. It’s gone mainstream. Maybe you’ve tried it. Maybe you’ve wanted to. Maybe you think it’s a bunch of malarkey. Whatever your take on mindfulness, there’s emerging evidence proving the impact and health benefits are substantial.
Another thing that’s talked about a lot lately? Stress. Heard of it? It’s everywhere in the form of jobs, children, the news, deadlines, appointments, bosses, traffic, smart phones. We live in a stressful time. There’s simply no denying that.
We all have a sense of how stress shows up in our personal life. Whichever unique
I haven’t got time for that
Your mind is always on. Moment by moment it’s observing your surroundings, analyzing what’s happening and projecting a perpetual running commentary.
You my friend, have a monkey mind. And it can be exhausting.
Being mindful? No thanks.
Do you ever stop and think is this what it’s supposed to be like?
We don’t have to live our lives so overwhelmed and exhausted. Sure we’re going to encounter situations and obstacles that challenge and upset us, but we can approach it from a more calm, centered state. We can approach it from mindfulness. Because when we pause long enough to give our minds a break, shifts happen.
Most people know the importance of mindfulness and how effective it can be, incorporating that into their lives. We can appreciate that benefits most likely range from being a kinder and nicer person, to improving our focus, energy and clarity.
Despite recognising this, most of us still don’t carve out time for mindfulness. Why?