Resilience 101 - Mindfulness for ResilienceSep 18, 2022
And just like that, we’ve reached our last entry in the Resilience 101 Series, featuring different skills and practices that you can build to increase your resilience. If you missed any of them, make sure you check them out:
- Resilience 101: Journaling as a coping and inspiration tool
- Resilience 101: Meditation as a Resilience Practice
- Resilience 101: Goal Setting and Mindset
- Resilience 101: The Power of Social Connections
- Resilience 101 - Physical health: food, hydration, sleep and movement
Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
Today’s post focuses on Mindfulness, the namesake for Mindfulness Incubator.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
It’s about showing up fully for whatever is going on in our life: good, bad, or neutral. It’s a common reaction to difficult situations to turn to numbing or distraction, but staying present can help us move through difficult feelings more effectively. This blog post focused on Mindfulness as a coping tool when everything sucks remains one of our all time favorites.
What's the difference between Mindfulness and Meditation?
Meditation is the practice of bringing your attention to "no-thing". To release passing thoughts and ideas and return to the space between them. In contrast, Mindfulness is the full awareness of "some-thing". In the practice of mindfulness, you cultivate full awareness of the present moment. This involves releasing distractions, the stories we tell ourselves about what might be happening, ruminating about the past, or anticipating/worrying about the future. It is the practice of bringing yourself back to live what is happening here and now, fully.
How can I practice Mindfulness?
To practice Mindfulness, we focus on fully noticing and experiencing the present moment. For most of us, day to day life is rigged to keep us busy and distracted. We fall into the multi-tasking trap to try to keep up. Our brain deploys cognitive shortcuts to skip ahead on activities we repeat often. We talked about this phenomenon in this blog post about Awareness: “[T]he brain starts working less and less" on something you do frequently, like your drive home, so that ultimately “you have all of this mental activity you can devote to something else” (Charles Duhigg). Seldom are we fully present for the things happening in our lives, big or small. Being present is something we have to do intentionally, rather than something that happens naturally.
It can help to remove things that distract you from being present, for example digital devices, notifications, or background noise. Set the intention to fully participate in the present moment, and resist the urge to be busy or to multitask, focus your energy on what is happening right now.
We can be mindful in anything and everything we do, if we choose to: driving, sweeping the floor, doing dishes, doing laundry, walking outside, even sitting in a meeting. We can bring mindfulness to any experience by practicing the art of fully noticing all the different dimensions of an experience. Whatever we are doing, we can bring our attention to the full experience of it. The sensations, the sounds, the smells.
Whenever we notice ourselves slipping into the future (worrying about what might happen, anticipating something that hasn’t occurred yet), or the past (reliving past events, ruminating over unpleasant experiences), we can consciously bring ourselves back to the present moment. To what is happening right here, right now.
If you’re newer to Mindfulness and are looking for a more guided experience, check out this downloadable Mindful Eating Guide, which lays out a step by step approach to eating Mindfully. We hope you enjoy it!
Want a nudge to be more mindful? Grab the Mindful in 5 Phone Wallpaper!
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