Practice Gratitude + Mindfulness

Sophia has been reading a great new book, Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson PhD and Richard Mendius MD. And the authors’ assertions that Western Medicine is very young is totally blowing her mind.

In this episode, we look into the ancient wisdom of mindfulness. We discuss how it is possible to recognize our feelings first and respond (not react) to them second. It may have been beneficial tens of thousands of years ago to react quickly. Your fight-or-flight response would have saved your life if you came across a lion. But when we’re late for work and stuck behind a snow plough, it causes us more stress than necessary.

Today, it is best to look within. And while we think it is most popular among Buddhist monks and indigenous elders, mindfulness is not achieved only by those who devote their lives to silence and nature. It doesn’t require advanced abilities. It is achievable by everyone.

We also consider how there are always things we can be grateful for. It can feel impossible to get out of a negative-thinking loop. But if we can remind ourselves to stop, breathe, and think, we can train our brains to look at things differently.

5 Mindfulness Tips

1. Meditate: Sophia uses Apple Fitness+ and Balance for guided meditations. Remember that meditating is not about clearing your mind or levitating. It is about practicing recognizing your feelings first and responding (rather than reacting) to them second.

2. Sit In Silence: Sometimes what you need is just a little bit of quiet time. By yourself. Choose a place outdoors to enjoy the fresh air, and listen to the breeze in the trees. Or shut yourself in a cool, dark room and breathe.

3. Listen to Music: We understand that one of the best ways to improve our outlook is through moments of awe. One great way to experience simple moments of awe is to listen to some moving music. Throw on your headphones and listen to your favourite beats.

4. Go For a Walk: For Nikki, walking is a great way to get outside with her girls and break up the day and wear them out. For Sophia, a walk serves as excellent thinking time. And it’s generally good for your health.

5. Read Reflective Books: We share our favourite novels, self-development books, entertaining podcasts, and one great documentary. Find them in the episode links below.

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Practice Gratitude + Mindfulness