DAY 15: Do What Your Doing

Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behaviors. You are beneath the thinker. You are the stillness beneath the mental noise. You are the love and joy beneath the pain.
— Eckhart Tolle
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Day 15 Self Reflection:

On Day 15 of your workbook complete the exercise about describing objects in room based only on their shapes, colors, and textures. No “it looks like” or other shortcuts.


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Day 15 Micro-Science: Brain Science of Mindfulness

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Humans have a natural instinct to explore their surroundings, but as a species we don’t move around as much as we use to. We stay inside more often, and get into more boring routines than our ancestors were accustomed to. Mindfulness is a way to help bring us back to our roots of exploration, picking our heads up and engaging with the awe inspiring reality that is this earth. Mindfulness is just bringing meditation to your everyday life, making the familiar seem unfamiliar. This tricks the brain into thinking everything is a novel experience and therefore raises your dopamine levels which then raises your levels of subjective well being. When you pay attention to the nuances of the world around you the brain thinks something important is happening and will therefore stop worrying about whats next and focus on whats going on right now. The brain can only do so much at one time so if you intentional give it a job to do, such as admiring the lovely day or accepting the inevitability of a shitty day, then your brain will go off of autopilot and return to your manual control

  • FACT: When your bored or your thoughts wander your serotonin(contentment) levels go down and acetylocholine (muscle activation) levels go up.

  • TAKEAWAY: When your brain doesn’t have a job it makes you feel agitated and ready to move. This if often when people fidget if in a boring meeting.

Day 15 Meditation: Guided Meditation

Listening to the sound of someone reading me a story is probably the thing I miss most about being a little kid. Fully attentive listening is all consuming and lets you escape the torment of your monkey mind. That is why I often do the adult version of “story time” with guided youtube meditations that are always accessible 24/7. These “stories” are so special because they tell the tale of how wonderful the world around you is, instead of telling you whats wrong with the world as the nightly news does. When you make meditation a daily practice your brain is them primed to see the reality of the world as it really is, beautiful.

  • FACT: Researchers have calculated that the chances of you being alive on this earth at 1 in 400,000,000,000,000

  • TAKEAWAY: If your ever wishing you won the lottery than think again because you already have. We’re so lucky to be on this earth considering the size of the universe and what it takes to sustain life on a planet. Yet somehow we always find something to complain about every day.

Day 15 Meditation: Today’s meditation is pretty easy just push the play button on the guided meditation to the right and enjoy.

 
Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience
— Jon Kabat-Zinn

Day 15 Movement Task: Penny Loafer Mindfulness

It's amazing the numerous number of ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life. Whether it's by taking the time to look the grocery cashier in the eyes before swiping your card, taking an intentional breathe before talking, or stopping to admire a nice view. Most mindfulness techniques are just common sense to relax but we just don’t prioritize them. Mindfulness isn’t some voodoo magic it's just taking yourself out of the daydream that is your life and paying attention to what you choose to ignore before. The exercise below is a great way to show you what mindfulness feels like, the key will just be to remember that feeling and catch yourself when your not doing it.

  • FACT: After only 20 hours of mindfulness training, participants showed an average of 40% increase of activity in their lateral prefrontal cortex (positive emotions center).

  • TAKEAWAY: It doesn’t take that much effort to increase your happiness and mindfulness is the quickest, cheapest, and longest lasting way to do it.

Day 15 Movement Task: For today’s task set the timer for three minutes, place a penny on your shoe and walk around trying not to let it fall off. If it falls off just put it back on and pay better attention. Eventually, you will get bored but bring your attention back to the task at hand and your start to see the power of mindfully attending. Do what you doing!


Bonus Material:

#1) Ted Talk: The Power of Mindfulness

Check out this Ted Talk about the power of mindfulness to change how you see the world and then indirectly change how you experience the world.


#2) Greater Good of Berkeley: The Science of Mindfulness

Check out this video by Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of the pioneers to bring mindfulness practices to the West.

#3) The Secret to Happiness

#3) Greater Good in Action: Why to Practice Mindfulness Article

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This short video by a buddhist monk gives some great insight into what it takes to raise your levels of happiness in your everyday life. Definitely worth a few minutes of your time!