A Zen Philosopher Explains How to Rewire Your Brain to Cope With Negative Feelings

I’m sure you’ve heard of ‘mindfulness’ before. From mental health experts to professional athletes, it’s being touted as the next big revolution in psychology.
The truth is that mindfulness has been around for centuries in the Eastern world, it’s just that the Western world is slow to catch on.
But don’t worry, it’s not very complex. The main crux of it involves focusing your attention on the present moment with a non-judgmental and compassionate attitude.
It can be a remarkable technique to help you cope with difficult situations in life.
To practice mindfulness, here are 7 habits. They may seem difficult at first, but if you keep at it, they’ll benefit you for a lifetime.

1. Practice Gratitude

Being grateful for the blessings we receive can be one of the most important habits you can develop, hands down. It reminds us to enjoy what we have. To practice gratitude, immediately write down 3 things you are grateful for when you wake up.

2. Feel your feet and palms  

This is a technique that will anchor yourself to the present moment. Clench your hands into tight fists and release. Clench. Release. Clench. Release. This allows you to focus on your body, which will put you in the present moment.

3. Notice the environment

With mindfulness, you don’t have to manipulate your feelings and emotions to stay in the present moment; just simply notice what’s around you. Allow your mind to let go and just notice all the wonderful objects, sites, and sounds around you.

4. Breathe Deeply

Most meditation techniques revolve around breathing and for good reason: It’s a great way to relax and center yourself. To begin practising, inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 3 seconds. As you get more practice, you can increase the amount of seconds, which will make you feel even more centered and relaxed.

5. Listen, don’t just hear

Next time you’re in a conversation, try to notice when you judge the person you’re speaking with. Then once you notice, you can attempt to avoid the judgments and focus on the content of what they’re saying. Judgments cause us to be bias and not really listen to what others have to say.

6. Watch what you eat

Literally feel your body and your senses as you eat. Not only will you enjoy your food more, you’ll begin to realize what food your body thrives on, and what food to avoid.

7. The Mindful Shower

The shower is the perfect time to practice mindfulness. Simply watch the beautiful water hit your skin and embrace the wonder and glory of it all!

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