One of 2018 buzz words must have been mindfulness. I’m sure you have all come across it more than once over recent years and yet it’s still quite a misunderstood by many. While mindfulness seems a very modern phenomena, its roots are as old as the earliest great civilisations of humankind. The foundational idea that by focusing our attention on the present and bringing an attitude of openness and acceptance to whatever is happening, we can reduce our suffering and live fuller and more meaningful lives is nothing new. The big difference is the fact we now have a vast collection of scientific studies to back up this basic concept.
In the past couple of decades, mindfulness-based treatments have been proven to be highly effective in lowering stress and treating anxiety and depression, among a wide range of other conditions. With that in mind, it’s undoubtedly a skill we all want to learn so let’s dispel some common myths that often hold people back from giving the techniques their full attention.
‘Positive Thinking Does The Same Job’
There’s no evidence to suggest that it does. In fact they are very different from one another. Positive thinking is geared towards blocking negative and neutral thoughts & focusing on the positive or happy thoughts. When we practice mindfulness, we are practising being with all mind states – the good, the bad and the neutral.
‘Mindfulness Will Cure My Anxiety’.
Unfortunately as with all life there are no certainties. The most challenging aspects of both mindfulness & meditation practice as a therapy, is that you cannot have any expectations. There’s no finish line and no absolutes to where the practice will lead you. What I can promise you is that if you’re patient and willing to regularly orate then whatever your state of mind, it will improve. You will become more focused, less reactive, calmer and less anxieties but to what level is undeterminable. The more you practice, the greater the benefit.
‘Mindfullness Is A Buddhist Pactice’.
No. Yes some Buddhist practice, as do many religious faiths but the practice itself has no religious connections at all.Both mindfulness and meditation are both found in the Abrahamic faiths, Jains, Hindu’s and in fact most religious theologies. Today the practice is considered more secular and championed by many well known atheist scientists such as Sam Harris.
‘My mind is too busy to meditate’
Yes this is a common belief but it is the nature of the mind to be busy and always looking for new things
When we practice, we are learning to let go of our thoughts and return to the point of focus (such as the breath). Our mind will quickly wander again, and the instruction remains the same: as soon as you realise your mind has gone for a walk, acknowledge this as ‘thinking’ and bring it back to the focus without any judgement or frustration.
‘Living In The Moment Sounds Selfish’
Practicing ‘living in the moment’ doesn’t mean live without consideration to our future consequences of our actions. It simply means paying attention to our experience in the present moment. The past has already happened and can’t be changed. The future will be determined by what we do now. Therefore the present moment is the only moment where there is an opportunity to do something different.
P.S Todays Health Tip- Drink Salty Water
Yes you’re going to be downing salty water. Let’s emphasise that I don’t mean table salt that’s stripped of minerals, bleached and contains sand and glass. Table salt is a Frankenstein’s monster and your body sees it that way, too. Sea Salt are also becoming more and more polluted as the oceans fill up with toxins. “Real Salt”, mined from ancient sea beds is the good stuff & I’ll recommend you get your pink Himalayan salt ready for you January health kick.
When Himalayan salt dissolves in water, it results in a concentrated, electrically charged matrix of appox. 84 trace minerals in the salt (this value has been shown to vary). The ionic salt and trace minerals nourish each cell in your body.
The benefits of Himalayan salt water can include:
- Improves hydration by providing trace minerals.
- Improves mineral status of the body.
- Reduces muscle cramps by improving minerals and hydration (especially good for hot yoga).
- Helps balance blood sugar
- Helps balance blood pressure because it provides unrefined, mineral-rich salt in an ionic solution.
- Improves sleep by supporting blood sugar and hormone balance.
- Acts as a powerful antihistamine
Let’s Make It:
1/2 tea spoon of PHS dissolved in 1 gallon of water (4.5 litres). I make mine in a 2 litre bottle of water so scale the salt down to 1/4 teaspoon. I make 2 bottles, the first with just a salt water mix and the second with fresh lemon or lime.
Method 2: Sole Water
- Fill a glass jar about 1/4 of the way with himalayan salt (or Real Salt or celtic sea salt), either ground or in chunks. Fill the rest of the way with filtered water. Add a plastic lid (not metal!), shake and let sit overnight. You should always have some undissolved salt in the jar, this means the water is fully saturated. Add more salt if needed.
- In the morning, take 1 tsp. of sole, mixed into some room temperature water, upon waking. Never use metal utensils with your sole.
- Keep refilling your jar with salt and water when it runs low. It lasts indefinitely.
In The Bath
There’s no secret here. A salt bath is one of the best ways to reduce muscle soreness, relive pain and help replenish the tissue of the skin. Make sure you have at least 1 salt bath per week. Adding Himalayan salt to a bath creates a rejuvenating, detoxing, and relaxing at-home spa. The salt water carries the electrical charge of the salt, along with the dissolved minerals. A salt bath helps draw out toxins, deep cleanses the skin, and helps cleanse the body energetically