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“I’m still listening,” and other lines that suck

Hello and welcome back! Let me just start by saying thank you all for the wonderful feedback from last week. I really appreciate all of your support.

All right, you’ve said it. I know you have. It’s OK, we’ve all been there. Let me paint you a picture.You’re enjoying that freshly brewed chai with your friend, s/o, whatever…fill in the blank. They’re saying something about their day. Instinctively, your hand slides into your pocket and grabs the device that keeps dinging. You place your thumb onto the home button and open your messages. Quickly, you glance up, smile, and say, “I’m still listening,” as you politely STOP listening.If you haven’t done this, congratulations…you are a better human than I am.

Today, I get to tell you about the biggest way that mindfulness has helped me, and that’s in my relationships. So, this year I made a few goals and one of them was to better my relationships and build new ones. I started off by taking a step back and observing. I began looking for ways in which they could be better. What I found was that when I was with the people I loved, I wasn’t giving them the attention they deserved. I found that I was constantly scrolling through Instagram, or browsing Pinterest, anything but actually paying attention to what the people around me were saying.

Nothing annoys me more than when someone picks up their phone halfway through my story, but…I have been guilty of this on several occasions. Que mindfulness! Once I started being aware that I was, in fact, engaging  my phone and not my company, I realized how rude this actually was. I wasn’t being present, I wasn’t enjoying the moment, and I wasn’t enjoying my company as a person.  I knew that I had to fix this problem in order to better my relationships. I started putting my phone down, or at least turn it on silent when I was with my friends. I’m not perfect. Sometimes I mess up. I find myself staring at my phone, not even knowing how it ended up in my hand. What’s important is that we learn to become aware of when we are guilty of this. When I notice that I’ve given all of my attention to my phone, I turn it on silent and put it out of sight. This is just a simple way to enjoy the relaxing moment you get to share with whomever it is you’re spending time with.

Remember to be mindful this week and show the people you love that you truly do enjoy their company by putting away that pesky device and actually listening to what they have to say. Enjoy your week and don’t forget to live in the moment that is happening NOW.

 

My journey to discovering mindfulness

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Anyone who knows me knows that I pick a few things to obsess over and when I  do, telling everyone I see is a MUST. Lately I’ve become a major proponent for self love and self care. So naturally, I’m here to tell you. OK, 2017 wasn’t the most amazing year for me, but by the end of the year I started learning how to deal with all of the stress and craziness happening around me. One of the ways that I learned (and am still learning) how to cope was mindfulness. I don’t remember the first time I heard about mindfulness. Honestly, it’s become so mainstream that I would be surprised if you haven’t heard of it. Here’s the thing though, unlike those pans that say your eggs won’t stick if you don’t use cooking spray, it ACTUALLY works! I started researching mindfulness  in mid October and by December I was on my way to becoming fully immersed in this beautiful new world I had discovered. Now, I know there is a long Webster definition for mindfulness, but here is my definition instead. Mindfulness is taking time to be aware of the sights, smells, feelings, and basically everything else that is happening around you. It also means being aware of your own feelings and emotions. I started practicing mindfulness in the mornings while I drank my coffee, took a shower, listened to music, etc. I definitely noticed that my days went considerably better. Not to say that nothing went wrong, because things definitely still went wrong; but I was able to handle the situations better and have a more positive outlook on them. Of course, I don’t know everything about mindfulness. There are actually experts who can teach you tons more than I can. My favorite resource is a podcast called The Mindful Kind. If you’re interested in learning even more about mindfulness than I suggest you go give it a listen.

This is just the beginning of an amazing journey and I’m so happy and thankful that each one of you are here! I’m excited to make this year my best yet and to share it with you. My goal is for you to grow with me and let this year be your most wonderful! I’m no expert and I don’t claim to be, so I encourage you to do some research for yourself, but hopefully we can grow together and make the world a more beautiful place one step at a time!

That’s it for today! See you next week. Yes, you…and you too. Until next time don’t forget to live in the moment that is happening NOW.

Mindfulness vs. the Negativity Bias

The other day I was doing some reflecting on the last year. For some reason, I remember it being awful, but when I actually thought about everything that happened I realized it was a pretty AMAZING year. Does that happen to you? Do the minor inconveniences outshine the positive things that happened in your memory? Don’t worry it’s not just you. Blame it on that pesky part of the human makeup…the negativity bias.

So basically, the negativity bias is our brains annoying habit of distinctively remembering the bad things that happen to us more than the positive things…even if the negative experience was much less significant. Negative incidents have a much greater impact on our psychological disposition than their positive counter parts. Think about it. We’ve all been to a restaurant or a store where we were treated rudely. That one incident wasn’t the entire twenty-four hours. Something positive happened that day, but what we most remember is the rude way we were treated.

By using mindfulness, I have been able to combat the negativity bias. I’ve realized that acknowledging my emotions and noting how I’m feeling versus putting those emotions away has made me a generally happier person. I have learned to face the negativity bias in three simple ways. 1. Acknowledge how you feel at the moment. If you’re upset, then you’re upset. There’s nothing wrong with this because it’s a human emotion. 2. Notice what has made you upset  or sad and look for a way to change or avoid this situation. If it’s something you can’t change then there’s one more thing you can do. 3. Look for the positive things in your situation. Even if it seems very hard to find, there is something positive in every situation.

I hope these tips have helped! Don’t be afraid to face the negativity bias. After all you have mindfulness on your side. Thank you all for reading. Don’t forget to live in the moment that is happening NOW!