Take this quiz to find out how you are doing at paying close attention to your internal and external landscapes.
This mindfulness quiz also helps you assess your ability to ACCEPT and be with your moment-to-moment experiences.
Mindfulness is being talked about in all aspects of mental health and psychology these days. People who are able to commit to a few minutes a day of consciously tuning in to their internal world to observe (without judgment!) their feelings, thoughts and sensations, report increased happiness and well-being. In addition, there is mounting evidence that these moments of mindfulness boost our immune systems, lower our stress levels and help with concentration and cognitive clarity.
Considering the huge benefits, it is amazing how much resistance we often have to just sitting still and being with our bodies and our breath. As the contemporary Buddhist teacher, Sakyong Mipham says, “we all want some other now” and consequently we continually search out entertainment, substances and multiple other distractions to avoid our selves and our direct experience of this moment.
I just spent four days using a combination of mindfulness practices and art therapy exercises to deepen self-awareness and compassion. Over those days I became more and more tuned in to the patterns of leaves, the flavours of my food and the textures of my emotions, thoughts and perceptions. As my mind and body settled, I felt like I was coming home to a deepened sense of belonging in this world:
So – go ahead and take this short QUIZ and discover your mindfulness profile:
If you want to explore doorways into a more mindful existence, here are some of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s hints and this post has tons of resources for deepening your relationship with reality 🙂
How to Cultivate Mindfulness?
Jon Kabat-Zinn emphasizes that although mindfulness can be cultivated through formal meditation, that’s not the only way. “It’s not really about sitting in the full lotus, like pretending you’re a statue in a British museum,” he says in this Greater Good video. “It’s about living your life as if it really mattered, moment by moment by moment by moment.” Here are a few key components of practicing mindfulness that Kabat-Zinn and others identify:
- Pay close attention to your breathing, especially when you’re feeling intense emotions.
- Notice—really notice—what you’re sensing in a given moment, the sights, sounds, and smells that ordinarily slip by without reaching your conscious awareness.
- Recognize that your thoughts and emotions are fleeting and do not define you, an insight that can free you from negative thought patterns.
- Tune into your body’s physical sensations, from the water hitting your skin in the shower to the way your body rests in your office chair.
To develop these skills in everyday life, you can try these exercises used in Kabat-Zinn’s MBSR program and elsewhere:
- The body scan, where you focus your attention along your body, from the toes to the top of your head, trying to be aware and accepting of whatever you sense in these body parts, without controlling or changing those feelings.
Thanks so much Tammy McLean for this great resource!