Mindfulness is one of the latest buzzwords, but it is an important concept. Andy Puddicombe gave a wonderful TED Talk about mindfulness in 2012. It’s called All it takes is 10 Mindful Minutes. In it, he dispels some common mindfulness myths. For example, mindful meditation is not emptying the mind. Instead, you are looking for balance, relaxed focus.
How can we use mindfulness to listen to what’s happening within our own minds and bodies, so that we can be aware of any problems that are arising? Let me give you an example of the benefit of these 10 minutes.
I have a toothache
I’ve had a toothache for a while now. I have a long history of dental problems rooted in TMJ. I grind my teeth and have cracked all of my molars at some point in time. Eventually, bacteria invade these cracks and the result ultimately requires a root canal or removal of the tooth. Root canals and crowns aren’t covered by insurance, so in the past, I have had several teeth pulled. So for me, the dentist is a traumatic place. It doesn’t matter whether I am in the dental chair or I’m getting the estimated bill. It’s all traumatic. So, I haven’t gone to the dentist in 4 years. And now I have a toothache.
What if, instead I was practicing mindfulness? What if I asked myself each day? How are things going? And in response to this mindful check-up, I could act upon the information I get.
Hmm. That tooth has been bothering me. I haven’t been to the dentist in a long time. I need to make an appointment before it gets worse.
It’s good to be comfortable as you do this. Find a quiet place where you can relax. Be aware of how you are feeling. Do you have tension in your neck? Is that ingrown toenail that you’ve been ignoring causing you pain? Simply feel who you are for 10 minutes. It’s easy to fall asleep as you do this. That’s okay. You might also find lots of things popping into your mind and you must fight the compulsion to jump up and write them down. Remember the TED Talk? You will find the balance.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to look a certain way.
One of my favorite ways to be mindful in the summertime is to sit out on our deck in the morning with a cup of coffee and take in the environment around me. The air smells sweet and the birds are singing beautifully. If I do this in the evening I can hear the voices of the boys playing little league baseball in the park behind our house. All of these sights, sounds, and feelings invigorate me.
Once again I will be doing double duty in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I will be sharing ways to avoid burnout, here at Facing Cancer with Grace. At Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ways of thinking creatively, using Brainsparker’s Kickstart Course of A to Z prompts. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites.
Do you practice mindfulness? How?
What Are Your Thoughts?
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In 2012 doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan, with stage IV lung cancer. Since then, our family has been learning what it means to face cancer. I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace.
My book Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer, is available on Amazon.com
Also, put your memories into words with The Memory Maker’s Journal.
I also blog at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker