HERE’S HOW MINDFULNESS AND KINDNESS CAN INCREASE HAPPINESS INSIDE US AND AROUND US!
Did you ever wish people would just be nicer, kind and decent to each other and if they would the world and our lives would be a whole lot better? We are writing this to help us all learn how to build that kinder happier world by starting a practice of mindful kindness. Mindfulness is a type of meditation and practice that is helping people from busy moms to major celebrities to Fortune 500 CEOs get some peace in today’s busy chaotic world. And Universities like UCLA have studied the positive health effects of a practice in mindfulness and shared their findings widely for a number of years now. So a quick word or two on what mindfulness and mindful meditation isn’t. It’s not sitting on the floor with your legs crossed chanting ohmn while trying to empty your mind of that annoying internal voice that always chatters at you. In fact it’s the idea and practice of being aware of that inner voice and noticing when its doing its thing so you can put your attention where you want it.
Mindfulness basically describes living life while being aware of the life we live, and not going through the motions on autopilot. An example of autopiolot is when we drive to work the same way every day and one day arriving at work or at home we realize we can’t recall how we got there or what happened along the way. We do it so often that it creates a type of hypnosis and our subconscious mind takes over.
So the idea is to snap out of it! To wake up and smell the roses as the saying goes, we first have to wake up and see that there are roses growing all around us! So we use breathing exercises and meditation to create a habit of being aware of our thoughts, of our feelings and of everything around us so we can live in the moment. When it comes down to it life is in the moment. The past or future are just ideas or memories.
This awareness then gives us a choice about what we want to focus on and do next that we wouldn’t have if we are walking around like zombies scrolling our social media timelines or thinking the same thoughts we thought for the past ten thousand yesterdays! Being aware and conscious as we live our lives will increase our ability to experience more happiness, more meaning and more progress.
If we want to be more mindful and happy then we need to practice it. What we practice and invest our attention on grows. Whatever we give our energy to grows. What we feed grows. What we want to encourage through the articles and courses here at Happiness Success Academy is a healthier and kinder life for each of us so all of our lives work better and better every day. We don’t have to be perfect at living mindfully or being kind to ourselves and others all the time. As Shauna Shapiro in this beautiful video shares, “perfection isn’t possible but transformation is”. We can transform our lives by living it mindfully choosing kindness and happiness as our focus.
Shauna traveled abroad to a Monastery to learn Mindfulness meditation and shares her understanding of the value of learning to be fully present in each moment and let go of shame and judgement. Shame she explains, doesn’t work. When we feel shame the centers of the brain responsible for learning shuts down because hormones like Cortisol flood the brain diverting its resources to the fight or flight survival areas of the brain and away from other areas responsible for cognitive reasoning. Yet many of us spend lost time from our lives in judgement of ourselves beating ourselves up for not living up to and matching our expectations of what we believe we should be. This is very common and much of our self condemning thinking is done mindlessly from our subconscious automatic type of thinking. I myself experience this to this day but I’ve developed ways of addressing it that have really helped me. It’s okay to notice it, acknowledge it and let it go by choosing to place our attention on kindness.
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Reminding us that “what we practice grows stronger”, she continues to explain that it’s not just that we pay attention but how we pay attention. Do we pay attention with love and kindness towards ourselves and others? What type of awareness do we practice and therefore grow in our lives?
Mindfulness has now be studied by scientists around the world revealing a long list of physical, emotional and other benefits. Being mindful of kindness helps us to truly transform our lives in the way that helps build a healthier happier life. Kindness Mindfulness is intentionally paying attention with kindness. Learning to be mindful of where we focus our attention as we have discussed in other lessons, gives us the ability to choose the course of our own life because our life moves in the direction of our focus. Now let’s add building a practice of “Kind Attention”.
One simple exercise Shauna shares is to place one’s hand on one’s heart in the morning and say “good morning” to yourself. Then adding “Good morning, I love you” to yourself. Feel your love for yourself and be kind from the inside out. It will grow! This really resonates as a good practice to me. Add this simple and powerful exercise to your Golden Hour happiness process we share with you in the happiness course. This is really healing and enjoyable and I hope you try it! Happiness is an inside job and so is love. Be present in the moment and really appreciate yourself. You will then be much better prepared to deal with the stressful events of normal life we all face and to share moments of kind attention with others.
In our latest course 50 steps to Happiness we share a new tool to help everyone create a focus on Kind Attention that grows happiness inside us and all around us. We have created a set of Happiness Cards to share with every one of our students with the intention that they in turn share them with people they meet every day as they live their lives. The act of looking for the good in others and in life and being grateful for it has been shown to be a positive contributor to feelings of happiness. Here’s what some of them look like. Imagine getting one of these from someone who appreciates you for some simple thing you did to help them or another person. It would feel good wouldn’t it? Well it really does change people’s lives to show appreciation and kindness. It can and does transform us and our world!
What we should have learned:
- Mindfulness and meditation works to create greater health and happiness.
- What we practice grows so lets practice kindness.
- Focusing on both our attention and intention.
- Being kind and loving to ourselves each morning.