Episode 130

Elise Bialylew - Mindfulness as a Tool for Living Your Best Life

Elise Bialylew is the author of "The Happiness Plan" and founder of Mindful in May, a daily, online mindfulness program featuring leading experts, meditation teachers, and neuroscientists. She shares why upgrading our inner technology can help us meet the increasingly complex demands of the time we’re living in. Check out Mindfulinmay.org

In this episode:

“If you tend to be wired in a way where your mind is very active and you’re asking a lot of questions, it has a darker side to it where you think a lot about things and that can take you out of the present moment.”

“Again, it’s not about stopping thinking, but it’s shifting the attention and recognizing where I’m putting my attention and how I’m using my mind.”

“I think for us in the West, it’s really powerful to have the science connected to the practice because we’re all busy and we need the evidence to help us get motivated and stick with these practices.”

“The mindfulness practice helps us to find greater stability, emotional strength, no matter what the weather of our outside world is looking like.”

“We really need to think about how we’re going to upgrade our inner-technology to actually meet the increasingly complex demands of the time that we’re living in.”

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Takeaways:

  • One day of meditation has actually been shown to change the expression of your genes that encode for inflammatory proteins.
  • Just sitting in stillness and meditating, regardless of the school of meditation, is beneficial. All schools tend to lead to the same place regarding the positive benefits of the act.
  • Our minds add a lot of extra suffering onto things. With mindfulness techniques that look to manage the mind, there is a very real reduction of that suffering.
  • Community is key for helping people stay on track in their mindfulness practice.
  • Self-compassion is so key for continual practice in meditation. Falling off track with attention during meditation is nothing to beat yourself up about. Take it easy on yourself.
  • Mindfulness helps you be aware and more able to control your responses to feelings from a moment-to-moment basis. Your thoughts and emotions are not reality.
  • We need to sit with uncomfortable mental states for important decisions and mindfulness can help with this aspect of being alive.
  • A really important technique for dealing with an overwhelming emotion is journaling and working through the R.A.I.N. method: recognizing, accepting or allowing, investigating, and finally non-identify with self-compassion.
  • Commit to 10 minutes a day of meditation!

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