Mindfulness and happiness are two key concepts for living well and living fulfilled.
Happiness is so important and is something we all deserve, and yet, it’s often elusive and hard to define.
Reflecting upon these two subjects and observing their effects and nature, can provide us with many beneficial insights.
We can then take these insights and integrate them into our own lives and circumstances.
Looking at mindfulness
Multitasking is standard fair in the contemporary world.
Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, in the vast majority of situations it’s bad for productivity.
It limits our ability to focus deeply on tasks and activities, leading us to habitually jump from task to task and thought to thought.
Sadly, it also wreaks havoc with our quality of life and our brain structures. (Much more on this topic later.)
Given the prevalence of multitasking in our lives, and short of addressing it at its root, there are some exercises which can help us regain some of our focus, at least for the short term.
So, if you’re a multitasker, like so many others, give this breathing practice a try .
Getting your smoking habit to go up in smoke
Trying to quit smoking, or at the very least cut back on it?
First, good for you. You’re intention is worth giving yourself credit for; you’re taking action towards improvement, and that is always admirable.
Secondly, make sure you practice meditation.
Just through the simple act of cultivating greater mindfulness, at some point you’re likely to discover you’re smoking less than before.
This intriguing study found that smokers consumed significantly less cigarettes after practicing meditation… without even realizing it.
Give it a read, start meditating, and know you can do it.
Mindfulness and pain relief
In the post, Being mindful in times of pain, I relayed my encounters with pain and mindfulness during my appendectomy adventures.
This article takes a more scientific look at what I mentioned about using mindfulness to deal with pain, and that doing so increases our ability to deal with it and actually reduces its effects on us.
Cancer-level medical benefits from mindfulness
In addition to helping with pain, mindfulness, particularly when coupled with group support, helps breast cancer survivors, even on the cellular level.
The study cited in this post indicates activities, including yoga, mindful meditation, and other activities involving group support protected the telomeres of breast cancer survivors.
These findings, the team says, indicate that "it is possible to influence telomere length in cancer survivors through the use of psychosocial interventions involving group support, emotional expression, stress reduction, and mindfulness meditation."
Additionally, as mentioned in this article on The Guardian breast cancer survivors who practice mindfulness can find increased calm and wellbeing, better sleep and less physical pain.
Anxiety, overwhelm, and 30 seconds to relief
Anxiety and overwhelm are among the many difficult challenges a lot of us face in life.
From minor annoyances, to sources of insomnia, to disabling episodes which stop us from functioning, anxiety and overwhelm can be tough to deal with.
While consistent practice provides the greatest long term benefits, it’s possible to get some relief in just 30 seconds.
Mindfulness, a healing force
Beyond all these helpful benefits, it’s also good to know that mindfulness can actually heal the body, and help with broader inflammation.
A peak into happiness
What is happiness? That might depend on where you are…
Have you ever run across an article reporting that such-and-such country is the happiest in the world based on a recent study?
Then, a week or so later, you come across another article on the exact same topic, however, the top countries they list are all different than the first article you saw.
Along with being a bit humorous, these discrepancies provide some insight into the often unconsidered difficulty of defining exactly what happiness is.
This quick look at cultural differences in happiness’ definition is a pretty intriguing view of the subject.
What makes a good life?
Through a combination of factors, including luck and perseverance, there is actually a study on adult development and happiness that has been going on for 75 years, and is looking in part to answer that question.
This short, insightful video shares a few key take-aways worth considering.
Mindfulness and happiness are two important elements in having a fulfilling life. Spending time to look at each of these subjects can provide numerous insights which can be adapted into our lives.
Here are some mindfulness and happiness topics for your consideration:
- A breathing practice to help multitaskers focus
- Stop smoking without even realizing it
- Some scientific insight around mindfulness and pain relief
- Mindfulness provides physical benefits and many other benefits for cancer survivors
- Mindfulness and meditation help us deal with anxiety and overwhelm even in just 30 seconds
- Mindfulness can actually heal the body, and help with broader inflammation
- There are fascinating cultural differences in happiness’ definition
- There’s a long study looking at what makes a happy life
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