Teach Yourself a Super Power!
Would you like to learn a Super Power?
Do you have 15 minutes a day?
Practicing Mindfulness is a Super Power that anyone can teach themself to use with just fifteen minutes a day.
- If fifteen minutes is a challenge in the beginning, start with five minutes and work up to fifteen. Go longer than 15 minutes if you want to!
Here is a great way to start practicing mindfulness that anyone can try, anywhere, at anytime; except maybe if you are driving, because you will need to close your eyes.
Step 1: Set a timer for the desired length of time; five to fifteen minutes is what I recommend to start. Go longer or shorter if you like.
Step 2: Sit up with a straight, flat back, posture and hold yourself in that position. Do this in a chair, or on the ground. Sit in any position that is comfortable; where you can try to hold a flat back posture comfortably.
Step 3: Close you eyes.
Step 4: Take natural breaths.
Step 5: Focus your mind on your breathing and clear your mind of other thoughts.
Step 6: If the mind wanders, focus back in on breathing. Repeat until the timer dings!
If this is difficult to do at first, that is OK. Like all things that are difficult, the rewards are worth the struggle. Teaching yourself how to do this is the key to learning this SUPER POWER! Struggling through it will make your super power stronger. Just practice focusing your thoughts on nothing but breathing and whenever the thoughts drift, BE MINDFUL and bring the thoughts back to breathing.
To summarize how to practice mindfulness – Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
You can do this for a minute, 30 seconds, or any other amount of time too. This video from AnimateEducate how to practice this stuff too. Please check out this and other videos from them on their youtube channel!
So How is this a Super Power?
How is this a Super Power? – All you are doing is breathing and thinking about your breathing!
To understand why I am calling the practice of mindfullness a super power I want to explain some of the benefits I have found from researching the topic.
First, a definition of Mindfulness:
That is being aware of things around you, but not attaching an emotional reaction or response to those things. Mindfulness is like taking in information and controling how you let it affect your state. Processing information on an emotionally intelligent level vs. on an emotional reaction level.
I often call this thinking outside of the lizard brain.
The same APA article, by the written by two PhDs – people way smarter than this guy! – lists several Empirically Supported benefits:
1. Reduced Rumination – Rumination is basically obsessing over something that stresses you out.
2. Stress Reduction
3. Boosts Working Memory
4. Improves Focus
5. Reduces Emotional Reactiveness
6. More Cognative Flexibility
7. More Satisfying relationships
**Several other benefits get honorable mention: Self-insight, morality, intuition & fear modulation, prefrontal lobe functions are improved, reduces effect of past psycological distress.
There is tons of research on this topic so please, I urge you to do some of your own. Here is one more link to get you started – 23 Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness for the Mind and Body, but please, keep digging for your own info and learn these truths for youself!
This TEDx talk from AnneMarie Rossi dives deep into this topic too. Worth a watch!
TEDx Talk From AnneMarie Rossi
In writing and researching this article, I have learned that mindfulness is (1) easy to start practicing, (2) a simple concept that anyone can learn, and (3) has amazing benefits.
One of the best things that mindfulness has helped me do is with squashing and killing my ANTs. ANTs are Automatic Negative Thoughts. These kind of thoughts are the mind’s default! We can overcome them by practicing mindfulness.
There you have it folks. Mindfulness is a super power because it gives people the ability to change their state, to control their reaction to stress and the environment, and it allows us to create different mind-sets. Thank you SO MUCH for reading! Be happy, healthy, and MINDFUL my friends. Remember you can be hero of your own story!