How much do I want to read more? 7/10
Interesting work on beliefs. The goal is to get free of the "bad" ones, and to keep those aligned with our core values.
The book is distilled with many small exercices (vizualisation, meditations, breathing…) that are quite doable.
It's a bit more demanding than a normal book, but the results might be also be higher.
It really looks like a solid coaching.
exercises and resources on our website www.mindfitness.training
- you will be more calm, confident and happy
- You will be achieving many more because you will have stopped getting in your own way.
- Your time won’t be eaten up by negative thoughts and worries
- You will be more understanding of those around you and more appreciative of the things you have in your life
- you will have changed
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Think of it as a personal trainer for your mind, with exercises to declutter and refocus your brain.
Very often, our first impulsive response to an event is not the one that will bring us the most benefit. But you will find that, as your new way of thinking becomes habit, this will change.
HOW SHOULD I WORK THROUGH THIS PROGRAMME?
You will, through the book, learn to be your own coach, even, to some extent, your own therapist.
By the time you have finished the book you will be hardly aware of the techniques. They will underpin a new daily routine, a new way of seeing yourself and the world.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
This book is rooted in the science-based side of mindfulness, although we have the utmost respect for the spiritual arm.
A simple definition is that mindfulness brings our attention to the present moment in order to experience life more clearly and more fully.
- reduction in stress
- increased level of emotional control
- profound sense of wellbeing
- increase in positivity and motivation
Tomorrow try looking out, all day, for the colour blue.
Not only will you see more blue than you dreamed existed, but the colour itself will get more and more blue through the day.
The programme has helped people with exam nerves, stage fright and presentation phobias as well as dealing with any number of other issues concerned with anxiety.
mindfulness-based exercises centre around the practice of being in the moment. Much mindfulness work centres around the breath. The senses are also excellent. Always remember that our senses work only in the present. If you ever need to ground yourself just for a moment, simply concentrating on any one of the senses, something you can see or hear, the sensation of something you are touching or holding, or on the breath, almost always will do the trick.
EXERCISE 1: CIRCLES OF ATTENTION
Take a minute to just be aware of the parts of your body.
Take two breaths, slightly deeper than you would normally take.
Now close your eyes and listen as carefully as you can to any sounds that you can hear coming from inside your body.
Every 30 seconds or so you are going to move your attention to the next circle. The sequence goes:
- Listening to sounds from inside your body
- Listening to sounds from inside the room
- Listening to sounds from outside the room
- Listening to sounds from inside the room
- Listening to sounds from inside your body
The whole exercise should take between three and five minutes.
- Your time will not be eaten up by negative thoughts [positive thinking - awareness - mind - cautious - self-awareness - thoughts]
- Mindfulness teaches us to be reflective rather than reflexive. [senses - present moment - breathe - inner]
- Mindfulness brings your attention to the present in order to experience life more clearly and more fully [acute - more energy - high density]
- Our amygdala instigates our fight or flight response which stops any information getting to our higher thinking brain. [stress - paralysed - public speaking - blush - ashamed - others look]
- Thanks to neuroscience, we know now that our beliefs, habits and attitudes can be changed right up to the end of our lives. [possibility - mindset - change - second chance - evolution - learning]
Chapter 1 - Focus on what you want
How to make what’s important to you move to the centre of your life and how to use it to boost your resilience
The things that we believe in are vitally important to our sense of self and our understanding of who we are. All too many of us, however, go about our daily lives virtually ignoring the beliefs that shape and define us.
if you are trying to pursue goals that are at odds with these beliefs, they are likely to have become invisible obstacles tugging you back when you are trying so hard to move forwards.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY RESILIENCE?
EXERCISE 1.1: RESILIENCE AWARD
take a piece of paper, and close your eyes.
decide who you would nominate for a Resilience Award.
It can be a famous person, someone known for their courage or endurance, but also it can be your friend or your mum.
have two minutes to think about what it is about them, or the actions they have taken, that gives them extreme resilience, as you have defined it in your mind.
Often people choose individuals who have gone through extreme adversity and come through it with increased strength.
- Bouncing back
WHAT DOES A RESILIENT RESPONSE TO A SITUATION LOOK LIKE?
EXERCISE 1.2: RESPOND WITH RESILIENCE
Write out three simple situations from your work or home life that would require resilience.
Then give a non-resilient and a resilient response to each of the situations.
Your boss was supposed to give a talk this afternoon but she has gone home ill and, on her way out, told you that you would have to cover.
There is no way I can do it! I don’t know enough! I will make a fool of myself!
Well it could be a great opportunity if I do it well. I know most of it and I have a couple of hours to prepare.
POWERS OUR RESILIENCE?
The way we respond to an event or situation depends on our beliefs and attitudes and the meaning that we attach to them.
This is why a group of people will respond to the same event in any number of different ways.
If we start to get rid of our fundamentals beliefs, who would we be? Surely our identity would start to peel like an onion?
It will not! It will grow exponentially – because the beliefs you will have at the end of the process will be real. They will suit you now – suit you and your purpose, suit your goals, and then you will be free to go on to really achieve.
WHAT IS A BELIEF?
Ex: politics, religion, race, gender, sexuality, life choices, human rights or the law.
Or: specific belief relating to people, situations.
EXERCISE 1.3: IMAGE BREATHING
think of a beautiful beach on a sunny day. You are standing in the sea looking in towards the land. On each breath in, imagine the water gathering and, on each breath out, imagine that your breath is pushing the wave up onto the beach.
ake four breaths. Keep focussed on the image of the beach. Really use your imagination – think of the details of what it is that you are seeing.
EXERCISE 1.4: LONG-HELD BELIEFS
Take a moment to jot down a few of the most important and long-held beliefs you hold. Then, next to the belief, write down when you started believing it and when was the last time, if ever, that you revisited the belief.
EXERCISE 1.5: IDENTIFYING A KEY BELIEF
With your eyes still closed, identify a belief that you hold, something that you hold dear or something that, thinking about it now, you realise has shaped and defined you and your life in some way. Write it down.
That is your first step in a very exciting and liberating journey. As you dig down, you will find that at the centre of resilience is the important trio of belief, attitude and meaning.
For a few days, try to:
- be aware of the beliefs that you hold
- be aware of the attitudes you have to the important things
- be awaew of the things that give your life meaning.
As with mindfulness, it’s really about noticing, learning to spot and identify your beliefs.
RECOGNISING A BELIEF
think, for a moment, about anyone on TV or in public life who drives you mad:
- Thought – I think x is an idiot (feel free to substitute stronger language!).
- Emotion – x makes me feel angry every time I see them.
- Behaviour – I turn off the television every time x comes on.
If you can marry your deepest beliefs, your meaning, your values, with your goals, then your objectives become so much easier to achieve.
EXERCISE 1.6: MEANING
Tick beliefs that make you happy,
Cross beliefs that don't.
Put another tick to those closely tied to what gives meaning to your life.
Finally, make a statement about that meaning. (making a difference, protecting my family…)
EXERCISE 1.7: CHAPTER RECAP
- Bring to mind the faces of three resilient people
- Locate a situation in which you demonstrated resilience
- Three key factors in determining resilience are belief, meaning and …
- Remind yourself of how you felt after the Image Breathing exercise
- Give an example of a broad belief you have now or have had in the past
- Give an example of a specific belief you have now or have had in the past
- Why do you think you are likely to have more resilience if you are in touch with what gives your life meaning?
- Think about a belief that you hold that has brought you great joy
Gradually, you will learn to side-step when you are in danger of getting in your own way, until finally you will see the world through the eyes of the best possible you.