The first one is make art. It can be of anything with anything. Draw, make collages, do simple painting. Anything. Why? As David Hockney says:
“We need art, and I do think it can relieve stress,” he said. “What is stress? It’s worrying about something in the future. Art is now.”
And if you can find the ingredients, try and bake bread. It’s also good for getting you to focus on the now and stop worrying about the future.
Read both pieces I’ve linked to. Then get busy.
For all of you performing (or interested in performing) mindfulness, I recommend you read this: The Honest Guide to Mindfulness : zen habits.
If you have been doing mindfulness for awhile and you are getting frustrated or giving up, then it can help ease your frustration and prevent you from quitting. If you are new to mindfulness and concerned you won’t be able to do it effectively, then it can help give you some perspective.
Mindfulness has been good for me. I am looking forward to reading this from time to time whenever I find it difficult.
If you think all mindfulness is the same, then read this: Different Types Of Meditation Change Different Areas Of The Brain, Study Finds.
a new study from the Max Planck Institute finds that three different types of meditation training are linked to changes in corresponding brain regions. The results, published in Science Advances, have a lot of relevance to schools, businesses and, of course, the general public.
Mindfulness can be helpful for many reasons. But how you pursue it can yield different results. Something to keep in…mind.
There are few who would argue against a good walk. And any old walk will do. But if you want to walk mindfully, then Thich Nhat Hanh has a book that will help you do it. Quartz has a run down on it here: Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh explains how to walk more mindfully.
I think it could be great for people who have a hard time being mindful because they always need to be on the go. And for people who want to have more mindfulness in their life, it is also great. Read the article/book and improve your walks and your mind.
A small, handy guide to dealing with your emotions:
I often struggle with how to get through the long, cold winter. If you do too, or are dealing with other difficulties that can make you sad and miserable, try this exercise that I find helps.
For a period of no more than 10 seconds, do something that makes you happy. It can be looking at something beautiful, enjoying a piece of music or a piece of food, or saying something good to someone you love. Choose the best thing you can think of. In that 10 seconds, don’t think of anything else, just that. Think about it before you do it, think about it while you are doing it, then think about it after you have done it. That’s it. That’s the exercise.
Now, maybe you think 10 seconds is too short and a minute or more is something you can focus on. Great! Do that then. Or you so enjoyed that 10 seconds of admiring the snow, or sipping you tea or juice, that you are going to move on and try the exercise with something else. Also great. Whatever you do, try the exercise and then try to do it repeatedly through the day, week.
Happiness is hard to define, and still harder to quantify. But I think that each of us, in our own way, can build up the part of ourselves capable of being happy and work it and make it stronger. The heart literally gets stronger through exercise. The heart figuratively can stronger through exercise, too. At least I think so. Try this exercise and tell me what you think.