Our new book, ‘Mindfulness Workbook for Dummies’ is now out. I thought you would appreciate access to the first Chapter of the book, so here it is. Or you can read the first few paragraphs below. Let me know what you think of it!
Chapter 1 – Beginning Your Mindfulness Journey
No matter how or why you decided to look into mindfulness, we believe that you’ve made a smart move. Everyone can benefit from the increased awareness and self-knowledge that practising mindfulness can bring.
So what do we mean by that phrase? Practising mindfulness means paying attention regularly and intentionally to your present-moment experience with mindful attitudes. Four of the most important attitudes of mindfulness are compassion, curiosity, acceptance and open- ness for yourself, other people and the surrounding world. You deepen and develop your mindfulness by practising mindfulness exercises and meditations and by living mindfully on a day-to-day basis.
Scientific studies confirm that practising mindfulness regularly allows you to begin to change the way you experience life. As a result your brain is less stressed, focuses better and reacts automatically less, becomes more resilient to future challenges and regulates your emotions more effectively. Your body also becomes better at fighting disease and your tension eases. Most likely your relationships improve and you’re more engaged at work. You may well experience greater levels of happiness and peace in your life by living with mindfulness.
In this chapter we introduce you to the concept and practice of mindfulness and guide you gently into beginning your mindfulness journey.
In some ways, mindfulness is simple. You pay attention to whatever’s going on right now with the right attitude, whether it’s an internal or external experience. But mindfulness is also much more subtle. The challenge is remembering to be mindful, rather than reacting automatically, and letting go of your self-criticism and doubt as you begin to practise. The triangle in Figure 1-1 summarises the essence of mindfulness as proposed by Dr Shauna Shapiro and colleagues, and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.