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How To Become Mindful
How To Become Mindful

Video: How To Become Mindful

Video: Don’t try to be mindful | Daron Larson | TEDxColumbus 2022, December
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Ivan Maurakh
Ivan Maurakh

Ivan Maurakh, a business coach at Business Relations with 30 years of experience, tells Bazaar.ru what mindfulness is and how to practice it.

Mindfulness is not something separate. Mindfulness can affect many things in life. You can be aware of yourself and your path in life. You can be aware of your conversations with children. You can be aware of relationships with people around. You can be aware of your body or your spiritual world. You can be aware of the smells and tastes of food. That is, awareness is something with which a person can turn to any side of his life and become a master in it.

Our life, everything that happens in it, appears to us through our sensations. Learning to separate feelings from concepts is not easy. Let's say we can get hungry. At the same time, when we say that I am now hungry, we often jump from the side of sensations to the side of conceptual hunger. It’s easy to spot when you’re about to grab a bite at work in the middle of the day and ask a coworker if he’s hungry. Very often a person looks at his watch in order to answer you whether he is hungry or not. And he does not even realize at this moment that the clock cannot know whether he feels hunger or not. It's just that he has a certain concept in his head - the middle of the day, it's time to have a snack.

By its very nature, the process of conceptualization divides us from reality. The concept lives in our head, while the sensation may no longer exist. It can be a memory of yesterday or an expectation of what will happen tomorrow.

Feelings are what happens in one single moment in time - in the present, they are specific and unique. Concepts, however, can be invented a year ago or 2,000 years ago, and continue to exist, they can be abstract, general.

We often say, “My life goes in a circle. Every day I have a groundhog day, the same thing. " So: "the same thing" is not a feeling, it is a concept. At the same time, living every day in such a concept, we evoke the same sensations in ourselves.

One of the tools of mindfulness is the ability to break this vicious circle.

Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

    Understanding the sensations

The main question during the practice of mindfulness is: "What do I feel?" Here you can cite a variety of categories, which can be conditionally divided into the following: physical sensations (what I feel with my body and senses), emotional sensations (feelings - joy, chagrin, delight, sympathy, irritation), mental sensations (thoughts).

What we feel in our physical body is all sorts of shades of pain, pressure, temperature on the skin or inside the body, tactile sensations, sounds, tastes, smells. The practice of awareness begins with a very simple step - to feel your physical body, to feel the sensations that the organs of our body convey to us. Working with the sensation process is an ongoing activity. Very often I come across the fact that people narrow their range of perception. For example, to the question: “How do you feel”, we have two epithets - “normal” and “bad”. Getting started with awareness can involve shifting your attention to physical sensations.

    Separating one from the other

It is important to notice that in life we ​​live in a huge number of completely different associations. We equate a huge number of completely different phenomena, actions of our own and other people. We have all this mixed up in an inseparable mass. One example of confusion, two simple words - "this means." For example? Here is your anniversary, a special date, the man did not give flowers. And a bunch appears in my head - “I didn't give it, it means that …”: he doesn't love me, I mean little to him, he doesn't care about me, he thinks about work again, etc. (choose your version). And every time you notice in your own head that there is "this means …" (and it is always present), learn to ask yourself the question: "Does this really mean", learn to question your own associations.

Returning to physical sensations, I will give an example - the hand is cold. Does this mean that everything is cold to me? Where am I in this picture? When we allow ourselves to consciously separate the categories, that one thing and something else are not necessarily the same, completely unlimited possibilities open up. If we imagine that a person lives in a stable confusion of the concepts “I am my body”, what does this lead to? He goes to the mirror, notices that the body does not become younger, healthier and more attractive over time, and in his head arises: "I am getting old, I am becoming sickly, I am losing attractiveness." And this is followed by disappointment, despair, hopelessness, fear of death. Where does it start? With a simple equal sign between yourself and your body.

Looking ahead, absolutely the same thing happens in the context of an emotional vinaigrette. When a person equates his feelings, between his emotions. It is quite difficult to work with this, because it is painfully familiar. If I feel angry, then I am angry; if I feel emotional pain, then I am in pain. If this or that thought comes to mind, I do not even question them. I think as if I can think of nothing else. Or, on the contrary, I start to drive thoughts out of my head, because they are bad. In both cases, I operate and act in life, based on the sign of equality between myself and my thoughts.

The practice of disassociation allows a person to, to some extent, be an observer of his own physical body, his own emotions, his own thoughts. Disconnect from them and start observing, start reflecting and look at what is happening in life, from the outside, from the outside.

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    We are left alone with ourselves

A practice that I highly recommend using. De-digitalization. Texts, files, pictures - all this from the outside goes to our consciousness. The flow of information that gets into us from different sides leads to chaotic thinking, leads to separate, half-thought-out thoughts, undeveloped concepts. Unrelated ideas, which in my head turn into some kind of endless video clip, where each picture lasts no more than three seconds.

So, we choose the time and turn off all gadgets for 24 hours. You will be surprised, but the impossible is possible. You will notice your habit of reaching for your phone and checking what you normally check - Facebook, Instagram, news feed, or whatever you usually watch. So, this is a somewhat violent appeal of your consciousness to itself. Consciousness pays attention not to external stimuli, but to itself. For this it is not necessary to leave for India, go to the mountains, become a hermit and not utter a word. In your own life, put away gadgets and watch what happens in your mind. Accept all your sensations. Someone says it resembles withdrawal. If emotions come, feel your emotions. Dreary - so dreary. Don't like - analyze what you don't like. And continue to live without gadgets, explore yourself.

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