Mindfulness practices are underpinnned by a profound insight that can helps us to become more aware of how we often create our own suffering, unknowingly. With the right effort we can wake up to what we're doing. We can develop wiser, more compassionate choices, that not only help reduce automatic behaviours already in existance, but can prevent them from repeating in the future.
These practical skills help set up more positive, warm and expansive states of mind, providing a sense of being in control of our lives and relationships with others. Our personal happiness and how we relate to our world can soon look very different.
Cultivating kindly or positive emotion - towards ourselves and others (even our enemies) can help reduce our habitual patterns of clinging to destructive, negative emotions like anger, hatred or fear.
Focusing in on our breath- is grounding/calming for the mind. We make better decisions when we are calmer. We feel more in control. Turning towards our feelings - patterns of low moods and anxiety are often learned behaviours from our past conditioning and are not always a true reflection of our present moment situation. The practise of simply noticing/becoming aware of them creates a 'gap' an opportunity to shift from the automatic/past to the hear and now/present.
Paying attention to bodily sensations/tensions- our bodies reflect our states of mind. By practicing body awareness we are more likely to notice unhelpful mental states early on. We therefore create an opportunity to act before they escalate.
Practicing acceptance- that which we resist usually persists. This practice is more like allowing our unpleasant experiences to just be as they are, without trying to push them away (avoiding them) or clinging to them (Fixing them). This brings freedom from the suffering associated from our resistence. Acceptance does not mean becoming a door mat or accepting abuse. Your
values, dignity and integrity are maintained.
Developing gratitude - what we thing we become. When we are thinking that our lives are lacking in some way or that we dont have enough this is often not true. We live in a culture of excess. The practice of focusing our mind on what we do have thats nourishing and fulfilling in our lives reduces
our craving or feeling unsatisfied and encourages the arising of positive states of mind.