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“Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think” Buddha
Looking back on 2020 one can only think, “Thank God it is over”. We are living in a “new” world where the past life we used to live is something that feels so long ago, and we tend to not think about what the world will look like in the future. From experience, I find future thinking leads me to being more anxious, as I am not in control of it. I’d rather be present with each day and experience the NOW.
Which leads me to Mindfulness. I have personally found that mindfulness has helped me develop in many ways, such as learning to find my calm and appreciating the present moment.
To live mindfully is to “reawaken oneself” to the present, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future. To be mindful is to observe and label thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the body in an objective manner. Mindfulness can therefore be a tool to avoid self-criticism and judgment while identifying and managing difficult emotions.
The benefits of mindfulness include lowering stress levels, reducing harmful ruminating, and protecting against depression and anxiety. Research even suggests that mindfulness can help people better cope with rejection and social isolation.
I learnt that Mindfulness in Western culture can be attributed to Jon Kabat-Zinn. Kabat- Zinn developed a program called, “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction” to treat chronic pain. He discovered that patients would often try to avoid pain, but that avoidance would lead to deeper distress. Practicing mindfulness was a more successful approach. As mindfulness shifted into mainstream science and medicine, it became a pivotal therapeutic technique.
Mindfulness encompasses awareness and acceptance.
– Awareness is the knowledge and ability to
focus attention on one’s inner processes and experiences, such as the experience of the present moment.
– Acceptance is the ability to observe and accept, rather than judge or avoid. This is so important for us as hairdressers to learn, because we deal with so many different personalities on a daily level.
To cultivate awareness, observe your thoughts and emotions and explore why those specific ideas might be surfacing. To cultivate acceptance, avoid judging or pushing away unpleasant thoughts. Emotions are natural and everyone has them – acknowledging them can help you understand yourself better and move forward.
Mindfulness can take place through breathing techniques and/or meditation sessions. For example, you can begin by sitting down and taking deep breaths. Focus on each breath and the sensations of the moment, such as sounds, scents, the temperature, and the feeling of air passing in and out of the body. Or whilst meditating, shift your attention to the thoughts and emotions that you’re experiencing. Allow each thought to exist without judging it or attributing negativity to it. Sit with those thoughts. The experience may evoke a strong emotional reaction. Exploring that response can be an opportunity to address or resolve underlying challenges.
Mindfulness can help bring you into the present moment throughout the day. As you wake up, you can focus on your breathing and the way your body gradually becomes more energised. You can incorporate a brief meditation into your workday, perhaps on your lunch break, and focus and appreciate the experience of eating during meals.
The goal of mindfulness is that you have no goal other than to spend more time in the present moment with acceptance.
I hope this has awakened you to become a little more mindful. When you learn and practise mindfulness brilliant things happen in a calm mind, and a calm mind brings inner strength & self-confidence, which is great for our health. It isn’t difficult, we just have to remember to do it.
As this is my final BLOG for the year, I wish to thank Hair Biz for this opportunity. I have enjoyed sharing a few of my thoughts with you and in turn I hope it has helped you in some way. I am looking forward to 2021, without being too future focused ;-).
Take Care and be Mindful. Dario X
Visit www.dcieducation.com for all your hairdressing education.