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Mindfulness and Self


Mind body soul and spirt

Mindfulness and Self

In recent months – I’ve been attempting to incorporate mindfulness into my life. I’ve listened to several podcasts, read books on Buddhism and meditation but recently have been listening to Sam Harris. Sam Harris is neuroscientist who brings a more scientific approach to the art of mindfulness. For me, he brings a certain skepticism and approaches this subject like I’ve learned. To assimilate things since entering the profession of medicine since 2000.

I’ve always been in my mind too much, I tend to overthink everything.  This is quite helpful in medicine and obviously I’ve been influenced by my profession. Unfortunately it has filtered into my personal life which isn’t so helpful at times. Sometimes it is – No doubt when I want to buy a new speaker for my house or paint color for kitchen – I’ll research hours and hours into which is best and most cost effective. When dealing with everyday issues – kids, family, life-work balance  -it is not best to be in your head.

In mindfulness – everyone is suffering self-doubt and the internal mind is always commenting on self.

Recently, after my daughter had a ‘bad soccer game’ – she was filled with self doubt. (I’m not good enough, I can’t score anymore, I can’t pass well, I suck). When I explained this to her – I likened her self doubt to an internal bully. Would you allow someone else to talk to you in that tone, put yourself down? And her answer was ‘ NO’.

Meditation can allow you to take a step back and in turn – enjoy life more.

Particularly when dealing with others- being mindful likely will change your interactions with others. The whole point is to focus on the now and the present and pay more attention to the other person (and not being so ‘in the mind’).  We are always dealing internally with self-doubt/self-concern and those emotions will be present, but with mindfulness you don’t have to focus on them. They occur but then you can let those thoughts pass.  As Sam Harris has said “We’re all on the Titanic but counter to this is life is brief and short, unique and beautiful and might as well flourish while you are alive.

Sam Harris may not be the perfect fit for you–but I’d challenge yourself to engage and incorporate some level of mindfulness to your daily ritual of life. What I’ve learned is that being mindful allows you to not be so hard on yourself, improves happiness in your life as you’re more ready to accept things as they are vs. what you think they SHOULD be and that life is a miracle and every day is just so short. 

Written by: Dr. William Strohman

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