Friday Five – 5 Reasons to Try Mindfulness

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps
Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
This week’s theme is “5 Reasons to…”.  Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages.

5 Reasons to Try Mindfulness

What is mindfulness?

One way to think of it is focusing your attention in or on the present moment, just as it is, without judgment. You can pay attention to thoughts, feelings and sensations without allowing them to control you  All mindfulness techniques have some form of meditation – focused attention or acceptance, but there are a number of techniques you can try.

So here are my five reasons:

1) it’s simple – that doesn’t mean it’s easy, but the processes are pretty straightforward

2) you can give it as much or as little time as you have – more time and more frequency is better (regular practice, just like physical exercise, helps you improve faster) but even a minute or two can make a difference

3) portable and private – wherever you are, you can do it, and  though it can be helpful to practice in the same space, in quiet and solitude, you CAN practice anywhere, anytime, without anyone knowing

4) doesn’t require or prohibit a particular belief, religious or otherwise (while some resources below have links to Buddhism, others don’t)

5) benefits – start with more happiness! Proven benefits include relaxation, reduction of stress/anxiety/depression, better sleep, lower blood pressure; anecdotal benefits practitioners mention include more equanimity and patience.

Many people have written about how mindfulness/meditation has helped them – this book is the latest such personal account I’m reading, written by the coanchor of the ABC news show Nightline.

Here are some of my favorite teachers, authors and some resources to get you started. Note most libraries will likely have paper and audio from the authors I mention, so try them our for free! Some of them also make audio files available for free online.

How to Meditate – by Pema Chodron (other books, audio as well)

Real Happiness – by Sharon Salzberg (other books, audio as well)

Happiness is an Inside Job – by Sylvia Boorstein (other books, audio as well)

audio meditations from Tara Brach

books and meditations from Jon Kabat-Zinn

mindful.org (magazine, channel and resources )

mindfulness-based stress reduction 

Of course, there are web sites and apps as well – try

calm.com

buddify

headspace

I hope you give mindfulness a try. Namaste.