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Being Mindful

A lot of people have this idea that meditation means sitting down and doing nothing, but that could not be further from the truth.

Mindfulness is an active form of brain training.

In fact,  mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present moment that increases the power of awareness. This state is described as observing one’s thoughts and feelings, in an objective manner, without judging them as good or bad. Mindfulness, therefore, can be a tool to stop self-criticism, while identifying and managing difficult emotions.

To live mindfully is to live in the present moment, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future.

In order to be mindful one has to take into account two key components: awareness and acceptance.

Cultivating the habit to be mindful is a discipline that helps one to become more focused and efficient at work, as well as to be able to cope with difficult feelings such as anger, sadness and fear. Furthermore, the practice of this powerful discipline has the power to deepen your connection with your love ones, feel more rested, and curb unhealthy habits. Countless clinical studies show  that being mindful provides relief from anxiety, depression, and other stress related disorders.

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little”. – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Even though mindfulness may sound exotic, implementing the simple following 5 steps, anyone can learn how to cultivate it starting today :

MINDFULNESS PRACTICE – step by step

1) PAY ATTENTION TO THE BREATH AT THE ABDOMEN
2) ACTIVILY AIM YOUR ATTENTION TOWARD THE MOVEMENT OF THE BREATH, LABELING “RAISING” AND “FALLING”
3) RECOGNIZE YOUR MIND BEING GRABBED BY THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, SENSATIONS, IMAGES, MEMORIES, PLANNING, ACHES, PAINS, CRAVIGNS, FEARS
4) LABEL THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, IMAGES THAT COME UP IN THE MIND
5) RE-DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE NEXT BREATH

Just paying attention to what is going on in our minds and in our bodies provides almost immediate improvement in how we’re feeling, WE ALWAYS HAVE THIS AVAILABLE TO US, THAT’S A KEY TAKE AWAY…
…Because it is the simplest thing that we can do, and we can almost immediately start to feel better… the more you do this, the easier it becomes, and the better you feel.

This is something that you can do, for just a few minutes, in the middle of the day.
Before a meeting, or before you talk to a client, just sit down, and take care of your own mind first , because you’ll be able to serve better. And you’ll be able to serve better for two reasons: FIRST, your own personal business, the issues you’re facing will be minimized, and SECOND, you’ll be in a position to listen, understand, and respond more skillfully.

It’s only logical, that if we are sitting here feeling upset, if we’re overwhelmed with strong personal feelings and emotions, that, in itself, grabs our attention. At that moment it is really hard to be present, to focus and to be fully attentive… mindfully available for another human being.

But if we can moderate ourselves, so that, at least, our emotions are down at non-distractive level, then we can connect mentally and emotionally, be present for another person, or be able to focus on the task at hand, in a way we couldn’t otherwise.

Therefore, this fosters our ability to connect with others, and we know, that one of the biggest drivers of moving forward both, in our personal lives, as well as in the business world, is our ability to connect with people and for them to trust in us.

So, this boils down to the notion that our ability to be successful in our personal lives as well as in our careers, is based upon our ability to take care of ourselves, reset our minds, and moderate our emotions.

This is valuable time that you must invest on yourself because it is directly beneficial for the work that you do, and the roles that you play in corners of your personal life.

Start practicing today, for only 5 minutes,  at any time of the day, – gradually you can increment the time you spend on mindfulness meditation. Please, remember to let me know how this works for you.

I wish you a life full of awareness, serenity, and clarity.

Much Love,

Veronica

Change Our Habits ~ Change Our Lives

By Veronica Vidal

James Clear, author of “Atomic Habits”, a New York Times bestselling book, says:

“Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits.

  1. How in shape or out of shape you are? …A result of your habits.
  2. How happy or unhappy you are? …A result of your habits.
  3. How successful or unsuccessful you are? …A result of your habits.
  4. What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about, and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray.”

The question is, what if you want to improve? What if you want to form new habits? How would you go about it?”

Every habit is based on a simple loop: cueresponsereward.

The cue is the craving, the urge that triggers your brain to initiate a behavior. Based on the cue (craving or urge), your brain shifts, into autopilot and initiates and creates the routine (habit). The routine is the habit, that has been created by repetition, to get to a reward.

1) Determine the CUE: It is a bit of information that predicts a reward. Your mind is continuously analyzing your internal and external environment for hints of where rewards are located. Because the cue is the first indication that we’re close to a reward, it naturally leads to a craving. To determine the cue just observe yourself anytime you feel an urge or a craving that leads to a habit.

2) Determine the RESPONSE: The response is about obtaining the reward, which can take the form of a thought or an action. The response delivers the reward. When we respond repeatedly to the same cue, in the same way, we develop the actual habit.

3) Determine the REWARD: The first purpose of rewards is to satisfy your craving. Yes, rewards provide benefits on their own. Rewards teach us which actions are worth remembering in the future. Your brain is a reward detector. Feelings of pleasure and disappointment are part of the feedback mechanism that helps your brain distinguish useful actions from useless ones. Rewards close the feedback loop and complete the habit cycle. At least for a moment, rewards deliver contentment and relief from craving. Rewards are the end goal of every habit. The reward isn’t always so easy to determine. Maybe the reward you get from your habit is a feeling of control.

TAKE ACTION BY TRYING THIS:

Please think which self-limiting/harmful/self-defeating habits you want to eradicate from your life, AND which new ones you would like to implement.

According to Charles Duhigg, the author of the bestselling book “The Power of Habit“, studies show that the easiest way to implement a new habit is to write a plan.

The format to build a new habit is simply writing the following statement for each different habit:

When (cue), I will (respond, because it provides me with (reward)

Do that enough times, and eventually, your new good habit will be automatic.

FURTHER, according to James Clear, in order to create a new habit you must:

3 LAWS TO MAKE A NEW HABIT:

  1. NEW CUE: Make it obvious and attractive
  2. NEW RESPONSE: Make it easy
  3. NEW REWARD: Make it satisfying

3 LAWS TO BRAKE A BAD HABIT:

  1. OLD CUE: Make it invisible or unattractive
  2. OLD RESPONSE: Make it difficult
  3. OLD REWARD: Make it unsatisfying

The key to creating good habits and breaking bad ones is to understand these fundamental laws and how to alter them to your specifications. Every goal is doomed to fail if it goes against the grain of human nature.

Which habits you are going to change?

Once you conquer one new good habit, move on to another one!
Continue to stay safe, strong, and serene as we transition to our new normal.
Your loving support, referrals, and loyalty fill me with immense gratitude.

With Infinite Love

Vero Vidal