Mindful Habits

Let’s face it: almost everything we do in life is tied to a habit. Life is simply too complex to think everything through. Could you imagine having to lay out explicit instructions on how to drive a car? Or cook a meal? Or walk? Or even breath? Thankfully, our brains automate these sequences, by creating habits, which free up mindspace for more interesting concerns like how to deal with a sticky problem at work or make our own lives happier or more meaningful.

Psychological Flexibility

I was first introduced to formal meditation practice in a Zen dojo in 1994. At the time, my life was chaotic and it would remain so for another 10 years. On several occasions over these ten years, I tried to build a regular meditation practice. Although I never managed more than meditating intermittently, I have no doubt that what little practice I did manage helped me. It helped me by giving me a direct experience of distancing from my thoughts. I had previously experienced what I thought as being a part of my essence, as what was defining me, and thus of the utmost importance.

Mindful Tips for Parents

As parents we are all running the same race: Get ready for work, drop the kids off at school, work hard all day in order to get back early for hockey or piano practice, make dinner, make sure the homework gets done and then crash on the couch once the kids are in bed. It can be challenging to remain mindful and in the present moment when our daily routine can set us into a chaotic autopilot. In this post, MindSpace’s corporate mindfulness program director, and mom of three, Jill Graham proposes 11 tips that you might find helpful in reducing stress and being a more mindful parent.

Looking out

Recent insights from neuroscience have confirmed the theory of neuroplasticity, the notion that the brain is not fixed, but an organ of experience. The structure and function of neural networks are constantly adapting to meet the demands of our day-to-day lives. One of the exciting implications of neuroplasticity is that it can be self-directed, meaning we can deliberately cultivate some brain states over others. In short, we can train our brains for happiness, resilience, and compassion.

on generosity

If you ever look into the literature on happiness and well-being you can’t escape the evidence that comes up over and over again that the quickest way to feel well, to feel good, to feel happy is to invest in relationships; to be generous with others. So given the fact that we tend to be healthier and happier when we’re generous, the question is why are we not more generous more of the time?

cultivating patience

Mindfulness practice is more than just a technique for bringing a wandering or inattentive mind back to the present. Practicing mindfulness is an art; it involves cultivating certain ways of being, or attitudes, that offer different ways of returning to the present moment. One of these attitudes is patience.