#psychlopedia- mindfulness

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Being mindful can mean so many different things. It can be individual and it can also be universal. Taking a moment to appreciate or live in the moment right now is something really special. It is something that we often skip over with our ever growing schedules and commitments. Being mindful is something that takes practice, and that doesn’t come natural to most of us. 

A key factor of mindfulness is the acceptance of what is right now. Trying to focus on the past or the present can cause difficulties for living an authentic life. Being present can also create a more positive and enlightened environment for yourself and those around you. 

What are some things that you do to keep yourself grounded in mindfulness?

Mindful Living

Having a tough day? Getting you back on track with gratitude.

By | Biltmore, Blog, Coping, Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness, Stress | No Comments

In March we are going to be dedicating the month to self care, mindfulness, and adjusting our sometimes negative thought processes. There are many ways to do this from breathing techniques, writing in a journal, taking a yoga class and much more.

It is easy to become pessimistic in this day in age. Especially when we are all bombarded with negative and tragic news stories, and the stresses of surviving every day life have become so overwhelming. We are a society that tends to rely on external factors for happiness, rather than our own internal factors. We are a society that wants instant relief and satisfaction, and long gone are the days when we would take the time to cultivate happiness.

A lot of times we can let a negative or stressful moment take over our entire day. Things like someone cutting you off in traffic, or the weather shows rain and clouds, or you spilled your coffee on the way to work, happen every day. And they have the potential to draw us into a cycle of negative self talk, negative interactions with others, and an overall morose attitude.

Over at mindful.org they often explore techniques on how to keep control over your positive mood and the day ahead. In their article entitled, A 5-Minute Gratitude Practice: Focus on the Good by Tapping into your Senses, they discuss some ways to do just that. We’ve tried it, and it actually works! Here are some points to focus on during your practice:

1. Use the breath to anchor yourself in the present moment.

2. Next, bring to mind a sight you are grateful for.

3. Now, shift to a scent you appreciate.

4. Moving on, tune into any sounds around you.

5. The world of touch and texture beckons us next.

6. Shift to noticing and appreciating objects around you.

7. As you end this practice, carry this attitude of gratitude with you.

Head on over to the article, and read more about these focus points during the 5-minute gratitude practice!

How To Have Fewer Regrets

By | Biltmore, Blog, Gratitude, Happiness, Health, New Year, Resolution | No Comments

January is often a time of renewed energy, new goals, and resolutions. We make all these promises to ourselves and others when the first day of the new year rolls around. But by the end of January, a lot of us can already feel that disappointment start to creep in. Have you already broken your resolution? Has the excitement of the new year worn off? Whatever the reason(s) are to be feeling less than positive towards the end of January, there are some things you can do to prevent this feeling from happening.

Making decisions in a calm, thought out manner is a great way to avoid regret in the first place. But we are all human, and sometimes the decisions we make don’t turn out the way we wanted. Recognize the decision you made, why you regret it, and then tie as many positives to it as you can.

Ask yourself, what will I do next time? Sometimes just planning for a different outcome can help our regret. If we feel better prepared for similar future decisions, we don’t place so much weight on the decision we made that we regret.

If your regret has to do with a resolution you made for New Years, reach out to a friend or family member to help you stay accountable. If we know we have someone else to rely on, or someone who is also participating in the same goal, we are more likely to succeed.

Trying to set ourselves up for success is a good way to achieve our goals and experience less regret. Whatever goal, resolution, or decision we are making, be realistic and start small. Want to get in better shape and are vowing to work out everyday? Start with 2x a week, and increase from there. Want to have better communication with your partner or loved one? Start with something small to improve communication, like setting aside one hour a week to talk to each other about what’s going in your lives.

When we set ourselves up with high expectations, we often regret or feel disappointment if we don’t meet those expectations. But are those expectations attainable in the first place? Whatever is making you feel regret, try some of these suggestions and set yourself up for better outcomes. Check out this article over at The New York Times by Malia Wollen on How To Have Fewer Regrets.

Stack of colorful books

Book Recommendation: The How of Happiness

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The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky

Sonja Lyubomirsky is a research Psychologist at the University of California, and her book gives us a deeper look into what happiness is, and is not. She gives many detailed tips on how to achieve happiness in your life, and what exactly that means to you. She believes that we can become happier in a number of different ways, but focuses on how we have the power is within our control to change our scope on the happiness spectrum.

Have you read it?

Today I am thankful for

Being Thankful at the Holidays

By | Coping, Family, Gratitude, Holiday, Mindfulness | No Comments

Does your family go around the table at Thanksgiving and have everyone say what they’re thankful for? This seems to be a common tradition at the beginning of the holiday season, but as the season progresses, we see more and more of us lose sight of this gratitude.

The holiday season is bombarding us weeks before it even begins; with commercials, ads, a full calendar, cooking stress and much more. Our society has turned the holidays from a warm and welcoming family gathering, into a greedy, commercialized, stress filled, over expectation suffering holiday. It is no news that holiday stress is becoming an all time high over the last few years. All you have to do is google, ‘Holiday Stress’ and hundreds of links come up about coping with the holiday stress, how to avoid it, or how to skip it all together. Northeastern Psychology Professor David DeSteno says that we can actually alleviate some of the holiday stress by practicing active thankfulness and gratitude. The general idea is the more you can focus on what you are thankful for, the more your emphasis on what is important during the holiday season shifts.  From gifts, schedules, and trying to please everyone, to gratitude for what you already have, the family you can spend time with, and the traditions you participate in.

He says the best way to accomplish this is to add it to your daily routine. If you start your day with a cup of coffee, take a moment at your kitchen table and tell yourself a few things you are thankful for that day. If you read a book before you get into bed a night, tell your partner or write down in a journal some of the small things through out the day that you are grateful for.

David DeSteno goes further to say, by doing this we have better impulse control, we’re easier to talk to, we have more empathy for those around us and actually choose to be active in our short and long term relationships.

This can be a great way to reconnect with yourself around the holidays. We so often put self care last when we’re so busy worrying about pleasing everyone else. There are so many people in the world that have much less than us.  Being grateful for what we do have can help us refocus on what really matters as the New Year starts.