Feeling a little frantic lately? Needing a little peace in your day? Well, I have just the thing for you. There is a new book out called Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World.
It is written by Mark Williams, who is a wonderful mindfulness teacher and researcher that I met at a mindfulness conference a number of years ago, and Danny Penman, a writer for UK’s Daily Mail. Mark has done a lot of work with mindfulness as it relates to depression and co-authored a couple of books on that topic. These are also worth a look if you have any struggles with depression.
His current book appears to be very close to an outline for the mindfulness-based stress reduction program that was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and that is taught at the University of Missouri (among thousands of other places in the world). So, if you can’t get to a class, you could pick this book up and get a lot of the same exercises. NOTE: taking an in-person class will help you understand the material better and help keep you more accountable. Actually doing the mindfulness practices on a regular basis is the key to finding peace in a frantic world—not just reading about them.
One of the exercises in the book I really like is called a “Habit Releaser.” Give it a try. All you have to do is make a deliberate choice to break out of one (or more) of your usual routines. For instance, notice which chair you normally sit in at home, at a meeting, in a coffee shop, or at work and then sit somewhere different and new. Or perhaps you could drive a different route to work or to the grocery store. Walk a different route than you normally do.
There is nothing wrong with having habits but they tend to put us to sleep and on automatic pilot. Changing up the scenery, even by just sitting in a different chair, can show you something new and give you a new perspective on life. Be aware of the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of this new way of doing things. Comment your experience below and tell me what you discovered! There is a whole world out there you miss most of the time.