- What is the Mindful part of The Mindful Habit System?
- Mindfulness is essentially being in the present moment, on purpose, without judgement.
- Two kinds of mindfulness, in-the-moment and practice.
- A simple exercise of practicing mindfulness can increase your ability to recognize triggers, create space, and improve your chances of success.
Mindfulness Will Set You Free
In your quest to overcome your compulsive sexual behavior, understanding mindfulness is critical. There is no long-term, sustainable success without incorporating mindfulness into your reality.
So, let’s talk about mindfulness.
This is, after all, The Mindful Habit System.
First, I want to tell you how great it is, then I’ll tell you what it is, and then I’ll give you some exercises that you can use to incorporate these mindful principles into your life.
Just How Great Is Mindfulness?
I’m starting here because everyone is looking for the POW.
Everyone’s looking for the magic potion that’s going to wake them up.
Everybody wants the powder that I can sprinkle on their heads and, “Oh, look. I’m all better. Everything is fine.”
That’s not how it works.
If you want to be successful, you must aggressively pursue a great life.
Listen, I get it, life is hard.
Our triggers are biologically hardwired.
Our thoughts are the result of decades of programming.
But, mindfulness can be a powerful counterbalance to that programming. Mindfulness has changed my life, the lives of many of my clients, and I promise it will change yours, too!
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is one of the most effective behavior change modalities on the planet. It originated in Eastern philosophy and made its way into the Western medical landscape in the 1970s when a professor from Boston University named Jon Kabat Zinn recognized the incredible impact mindfulness was having on his life. He noted that when he practiced mindfulness he felt better, his stress reduced, he was less depressed, he was less anxious, he was happier, etc.
He wondered how the practice of mindfulness might be incorporated into medical treatments for conditions such as depression, anxiety, and other medical/psychological conditions. To make a long story short, he created what is today called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, which is used all over the country to help individuals with a wide variety of medical conditions.
Mindfulness is one of the most effective behavior change modalities on the planet. In head-to-head competition:
It has beat medication for severe depression and anxiety.
It reduces compulsive urges.
It has beat narcotics for long-term pain relief.
What the hell is it, already?
It’s just sitting and breathing.
That’s right, sitting and breathing.
And while you are sitting and breathing, you are focusing on your breath to the exclusion of everything else.
That’s because mindfulness is essentially being in the present moment. Being in the present moment on purpose, without judgement.
It is an intentional act and that’s the part that most people forget. How do you be in the moment on purpose, not judging the thoughts that are rattling around inside your head?
Mindfulness counterbalances this chattering mind. This is why mindfulness is a component of my fundamental five, that’s the five things we must do if we want to be successful.
So, there is the practice of mindfulness and there is being mindful. These are two general kinds of mindfulness that I teach in The Mindful Habit System. I gave you the definition of being mindful, being in the present moment on purpose without judgement. This is the in-the-moment mindfulness, which is basically the space that you must create between your thoughts and your actions. This in-the-moment mindfulness recognizes that your triggers are biologically hardwired, your thoughts are the results of decades of programming, and that the only way to counterbalance those natural biological forces that are framing your reality is by creating space between thought and action. I teach you how to do that in other podcasts and in The Mindful Habit program.
Exercises For Mindfulness
The second component part of mindfulness, the broader category that I teach in the program, is the practice of mindfulness. When we talk about practicing mindfulness what do we mean? I mean sitting and breathing and focusing on your breath to the exclusion of all else. When I talk about mindfulness I talk about sitting and breathing and focusing on that to the exclusion of all else. There’s two different kinds of the practice of mindfulness. There’s sitting mindfulness. That’s where you’re sitting down or lying down. There’s walking mindfulness where you’re doing something, doing some activity, but doing it very mindfully.
We call this ‘practice’ of mindfulness because this is our practice for the in-the-moment mindfulness we need throughout our day.
Now, I want to give you today a couple of exercises that are going to help you really elevate your ability to be present.
This first exercise is called the mindful minute.
All you are going to do for a period of 60 seconds is to count your breaths. You’re going to focus on the sensation of your breath as it goes in and out of your body, and count each breath.
Do not underestimate the power of this very simple exercise.
This simple exercise will change your life; it will make you less reactive; it will make you happier.
It is irresponsible for me to say sitting counting your breath for one minute a day is going to change everything, but if it’s a habit that you get into and start doing it regularly, multiple times throughout the course of the day your life will change absolutely.
No question about it.
You will free yourself from the shackles of slavery to your chattering mind.
And that’s the ultimate addiction, guys.
So, give it a try, start counting your breaths.
Breathe in, breathe out, one
Breathe in, breathe out, two
Breathe in, breathe out, three
Focus on the place where the air is entering your nostrils. Feel it go down your throat into your lungs. Feel your lungs expand and feel the release.
There’s a phenomenon here that I want you to experience as you’re counting your breath – expansion and release.
Eventually, you’re going to lose track of where you are.
Don’t get pissed or annoyed.
Just gently bring it back to the breath and start again at one.
See how high you can go before you lose track. Most people, the first time that they’re doing it, can’t get past five.
That’s ok. Just count your breaths. When you lose count gently bring your focus back to the breath and back to counting. That’s the game. Back and forth. Mindful habits. Mindful habits.
This is it. Notice as you continue to focus on your breath the closer you get to your breath the farther you are from your chattering mind. That’s the distinction I want you to take from this exercise.
The closer you get to the breath, the further removed you are from the chattering mind.
But Now What?
Here’s your mission if you’re willing to accept it.
Practice the mindful minute three times a day for the next week.
That means you take 60 seconds out of your day and just pay attention to breathing. You have to breathe anyway. You’re not breathing, you’re dead.
All I’m asking you to do is pay attention to those breaths for a 60-second interval and count those breaths, and you will see your ability to respond to your compulsive cravings and urges will get better.
Your ability to create space between thought and action will get better.
Your wellbeing will increase.
Your depression and anxiety will decrease.
Brothers and sisters, the breath will set you free.
Remember, life is too short to suck.
You’re going to die, so embrace your power of choice.
Embrace the power of mindfulness.
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