DOWNLOAD THE 30 CHALLENGES POSTER
Download the 30 mindfulness challenges of recovery poster here and pin it up in your work-space. Email us for part two of the 30 days of mindfulness poster, giving you another poster with another 30 challenges on it. 60 challenges and away you go, setting out on a transformation journey.
TIPS AND HINTS
Finding the time for formal mindfulness practice like 30 mindfulness challenges of recovery can be a beeeaach!
One of the most difficult things about mindfulness practice is finding the time to get into the habit of doing it. Like all daily habits, such as brushing your teeth, you will have had to learn how to get into it. Plan a time when you can reasonably fit it in to your daily schedule. Find whatever works for you. Try building it into your routine slowly and if you miss a couple of days, don’t berate yourself either. The habit will come.
Finding the time for informal mindfulness practise
You can bring informal mindfulness to the daily activities you were already doing. For example, you could try doing things with the opposite hand like brushing your teeth, showering, cooking and even cleaning. Make sure you give your full attention to the task at hand and remember that mindfulness is not about multitasking. Just let your mindful awareness be in the present moment.
Staying awake during meditation
Staying awake can also be quite a challenge when practising mindfulness meditation. Everyone falls asleep sometimes, even Buddhist monks! Try experimenting with different times of day to practice or even try lying on the floor instead of your bed as long as you are comfortable. Avoid meditating last thing before bed as you will be more likely to fall asleep. You can also try changing your posture, for example, try the body scan meditation sitting on a chair rather than lying on a bed. Make sure you always get enough sleep and have a good sleep routine, otherwise you will always fall asleep in meditation if you are over tired.
If you have got into a mindfulness routine and are comfortable in it, that is great! However, if the mindfulness you are doing always feels the same and continues to make you sleepy, it might be time to mix it up a bit. Try practicing with a friend, a local group, at a different time of day and try mixing up the meditation exercises you are doing.
Distractions can be annoying, especially for a beginner. Try and find a quiet place to meditate if you can for at least ten minutes. If you can’t avoid the distraction, try opening up your attention toward it for a little while. Notice the volume, pitch and quality of the sounds you can hear. By opening up your attention you are no longer fighting the distraction and getting annoyed, you are allowing and accepting it, which is the essence of mindfulness.
WHY MINDFULNESS FOR ANGER?
USE MINDFULNESS TO COPE WHEN THE FIRE RISES UP
You arrive home and your partner hasn’t cooked any food. You were working late and you begin to feel anger rising up in you. What do you do? You know that logically you’re far better off talking calmly about the issue and resolving the conflict. Here’s how:
- Become aware of the physical sensation of anger in your body.
Notice the sensations in your stomach, chest and face. Become aware of your rapid heart and breathing rate. Observe if your fists or jaw are clenched.
Breathe into the physical sensations of your body. Close your eyes if you want to. You may find counting out ten breaths helpful. Imagine the breath entering your nose into your belly, and as you breathe out, imagine the breath going out of your fingers and toes, if you find this useful.
- Continue to stay with the sensations as best you can.
Bring a sense of kindness and gentleness to your feelings of anger. Try to see the anger as an opportunity to understand about the feeling, how the burning rises up in your being, and how the breath may or may not have a cooling effect on the flame within you.
- Notice your thoughts.
Thoughts like ‘it’s not fair’ or ‘I’m not having this’ feed anger. Notice what effect you have by letting go of these thoughts. If you can’t let go of the thoughts, which is common, continue to watch the way thoughts and feelings feed each other.
- Step back.
Take a step back from your internal experiences. Notice that you’re the observer of your thoughts and emotions and not the thoughts and emotions themselves.
As soon as the main force of your anger has dissipated, with something like mindfulness challenges, you may need to communicate your feelings with the other person. Begin with ‘I’ statements instead of ‘you’ accusations. As you continue to communicate, stay aware and awake to your own feelings, and let go of any aggression if you can – less aggression and more honesty are more likely to lead to a harmonious and productive conversation and result.
Coping with anger is a challenging task. The idea is to keep these steps in mind, and follow them with small levels of frustration rather than outright anger. When you do, you become more adept at cooling the flames of anger.
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