Mindfulness = nonjudgmental awareness of the present.
The solution is acceptance—letting the emotion be there. That is, being open to the way things are in each moment without trying to manipulate or change the experience—without judging it, clinging to it, or pushing it away. The present moment can only be as it is. Trying to change it only frustrates and exhausts you. Acceptance relieves you of this needless extra suffering
The problem is we have not just primary emotions but also secondary ones—emotions about other emotions. We get stressed out and then think, “I wish I weren’t so stressed out.” The primary emotion is stress over your workload. The secondary emotion is feeling, “I hate being stressed.”
You do yourself a favor by accepting your feelings, saying instead, “I am standing up in front of everyone to give a talk. Feeling afraid, anxious and vulnerable is normal and natural. It’s OK for me to feel this way, I accept these uncomfortable feelings”
Nor does acceptance mean you have to like what’s happening. “Acceptance of the present moment has nothing to do with resignation,” writes Kabat-Zinn. “Acceptance doesn’t tell you what to do. What happens next, what you choose to do; that has to come out of your understanding of this moment.”
If you feel anxiety, for instance, you can accept the feeling, label it as anxiety—then direct your attention to something else instead. You watch your thoughts, perceptions, and emotions flit through your mind without getting involved. Thoughts are just thoughts. You don’t have to believe them and you don’t have to do what they say.
develop the habit of always noticing new things in whatever situation you’re in
We become mindless, Langer explains, because once we think we know something, we stop paying attention to it. We go about our morning commute in a haze because we’ve trod the same route a hundred times before. But if we see the world with fresh eyes, we realize almost everything is different each time—the pattern of light on the buildings, the faces of the people, even the sensations and feelings we experience along the way. Noticing imbues each moment with a new, fresh quality. Some people have termed this “beginner’s mind.”
Once you recognize that you don’t know the things you’ve always taken for granted, you set out of the house quite differently. It becomes an adventure in noticing—and the more you notice, the more you see.” And the more excitement you feel.
Think of yourself as an eternal witness, and just observe the moment. What do you see, hear, smell? It doesn’t matter how it feels—pleasant or unpleasant, good or bad—you roll with it because it’s what’s present; you’re not judging it. And if you notice your mind wandering, bring yourself back. Just say to yourself, “Now. Now. Now.”
When you become mindful, you realize that you are not your thoughts; you become an observer of your thoughts from moment to moment without judging them. Mindfulness involves being with your thoughts as they are, neither grasping at them nor pushing them away. Instead of letting your life go by without living it, you awaken to experience.
Nothing happens next. It’s not a destination. This is it. You’re already there.
“Whenever you feel anxious about your future or your past, just breathe,”
I am not my thoughts.
“Ordinary thoughts course through our mind like a deafening waterfall ….we need to step out of this current, to pause, and to “rest in stillness—to stop doing and focus on just being.”
1: To improve your performance, stop thinking about it (unselfconsciousness).
2: To avoid worrying about the future, focus on the present (savoring). relish or luxuriate in whatever you’re doing at the present moment—what psychologists call savoring.
5: If something is bothering you, move toward it rather than away from it (acceptance).