YES–you can be the eye of the hurricane! With chaos swarming you from all sides of life it seems impossible to reclaim your calm from any place (or at any time in the near future). You can do it (even science says so!).
Most of us believe we are in control of our emotions — right? Yet, upon deeper observation, we also know that is not true. I mean, come on…. if it were, which of us would not instruct our feelings to always be happy and relaxed all the time. The reality is, we are stressed by daily responsibilities that leave us plunging into negative moods we are helpless over which makes thinking about how to reclaim your calm from any place distant reality so far, far away, it is more a fairy tale than a reality.
Why is this? Well, a lot of reasons are related to The Age of Big Data we live in. We are beholden to a fast-paced-know-it-all-life and the countless distractions and demand and constant attention that come with it. If you are like me, you look forward to holidays so that your mind can take a break from this barrage of distractions. I began wondering, why I believe there is no alternative. It turns out, I was not the only one thinking about this. Science is, too.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a science-based study. Its finding is garnering popularity. This is not surprising. Stress-inducing factors are faced by most of us in our increasingly fast-moving world. Mindfulness-based stress reduction involves meditation, body awareness and yoga practice. Harvard Medical School research shows mindfulness helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression. This is great! But what exactly is mindfulness and how does it help one find inner calm?
Mindfulness in the Present
The practice of mindful living is based on keeping one’s attention in the present moment. Our minds are often buffeted by waves of past or future thoughts, giving rise to a variety of feelings. Thus, our feelings and attention are often grabbed by thoughts that have nothing to do with the present moment. So, how can we keep ourselves aware of the present moment?
Our body is a great resource for keeping our attention to the present moment. Many forms of yoga have evolved from hatha yoga. Yoga as an ancient practice is focused on the training of the mind, by being aware of one’s body. The ability to maintain one’s attention in the present while holding a yoga pose brings calm to both the mind and body – this is the reason why yoga produces healthful benefits: a calm mind produces a healthy body.