Some mindful tips during anxious times

Admittedly, during the last week or so with the increase of hate crimes around our country and even in our local neighborhoods, I’ve had a hard time being mindful and have been very worried about the future of our country and my children.  However, I’ve realized that this anxiety is not productive.  And in fact, it’s extremely critical to stay present and positive during this time.  This is a work in progress, but I wanted to share some mindful tips that I’ve started applying during these anxious times:

Modulate Fear through Meditation: One of the primary ways to regulate emotions and fear is through mindful meditation.  As Dan Siegel points out in his book, The Mindful Brain, “fear may be learned limbically, but its ‘unlearning’ may be carried out via growth of prefrontal fibers.”  This growth can be enhanced through mindfulness practices and we can unlearn fears through formal or informal meditation. I found that after just a few months of a daily meditation practice, feelings of fear were profoundly reduced.  If it’s hard for you to start a formal meditation practice, here’s a post I wrote with some tips.  And if formal meditation is never going to be your thing, then you can find informal practices that can have the same effects by tuning the mind into the present-moment.  Here’s some activities you can do with your children at home.   Read more

Learning to meditate by not trying as hard

I’ve finally been able to establish a daily meditation practice, sitting 20 minutes a day, and find myself even craving the practice and wanting to sit longer.  But this was not always the case.  I definitely struggled to develop a consistent meditation practice for some time.   I knew that the benefits of consistently meditating would be immense, but often I found the practice to be another chore on my already long list of to-dos.  And somehow this chore always fell to the bottom of the list.  Even if I was able to maintain a meditation practice for a few weeks, it would end after just that, and then not resurface for several months.  I went through several unsuccessful strategies and attempts trying to meditate before figuring out what it was that worked for me.

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