Challenge Day #3
Did you get a chance to watch the interview with Kelly McGonical yesterday? It’s packed with really fascinating teaching that you don’t want to miss!
Today, there is a new guided practice. Try out my 10 minute mindfulness of breath which supports you into greater relaxation and ease in the body and mind. Remind yourself that if you stick with this regularly, you’ll be re-wiring your brain for the better.
If you’re enjoying this 5 days to mindfulness FREE program so far…don’t miss out on the one month Mindful in May online program. You’ll get one month of daily guided meditations AND more than 16+ video interviews from other world experts, just as brilliant as Kelly!
Remember that practising meditation is not about getting “better” at meditating, it’s about developing greater self awareness so we can get better at navigating life!
In her book The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky, one of the world’s leading researchers in positive psychology, reveals that although up to fifty per cent of our potential happiness is determined by our genetic makeup and ten per cent by life circumstances that are out of our control, forty per cent of our potential happiness is within our control and determined by ‘what we do in our daily lives and how we think’.
Moreover, studies in the field of epigenetics demonstrate that it’s not simply the genes we inherit that determine our destinies. The way in which they are expressed also has a powerful impact on our wellbeing, ranging from our risk of getting cancer to whether we will be overweight or suffer from depression. We now know that our environment and lifestyle choices (including our diet, exercise and stress levels) can have a profound impact on which genes are turned on or off.
Excitingly, research also shows that mindfulness meditation can positively impact on the way certain genes are expressed. In one of the most groundbreaking studies to date, Richard Davidson demonstrated that just one day of mindfulness practice could reduce the expression of specific genes associated with inflammation in the body, a known risk factor for various chronic illnesses. This discovery has spiked the interest of even the most sceptical scientists.
Mindful Daily Tip:
Be mindful while waiting (eg while in a supermarket queue). Next time you’re stuck in a long line at the supermarket use it as an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Tune into the body, sense your feet on the ground, feel the breath and notice it’s quality (is it fast or slow, tight or flowing with ease), tune into the sounds, immerse yourself in your senses as a way to get out of your head. Check in with how you are feeling, notice any irritation or impatience in the body and use the outbreath to actively let it go. Then bring your attention to the person standing in front of you and remind yourself that just like you they have their many hopes, dreams, fears and disappointments. Take a moment to quietly in your own mind, to wish them well, in this way practising the traditional loving-kindness meditation, which will generate good feelings in you and help train your own mind and heart towards greater patience, and compassion.
Share what you noticed about this #mindfulwaiting practice and let us know how you’re going with your daily meditation. Have you managed to meditate each day? Let us know in the Facebook group or on instagram using #hashtag #mindfulinmay #5DM.
Founder of Mindful in May
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Curious about mediation? Join Dr. Elise Bialylew for a guided mindful meditation.