Welcome to Week Two of Reset Button's Online Mindfulness Course.
Week Two: Getting out of your mind and into your body
Have you ever found yourself reacting to a situation in a way you wished you didn't?
Perhaps you reach straight for the biscuit tin, or always turn to a glass or wine to make yourself feel better.
Have you found yourself repeating the same unhelpful habits over and over again?
We, as humans, have a tendency to hold onto past emotions and feelings. Through a combination of habit and learned behaviour we have the capability of making ourselves feel pain or stressed in a time when really there is nothing wrong with us.
Being aware of this means we can then begin to learn how to deal with the emotion before we get too caught up in it. This gives us the choice to act in a more healthy way.
The body is a finely tuned receiver. It can pick up on a passing thought or emotion before we have become consciously aware of it. A tight shoulder or chest can seem like it comes out of nowhere, but actually is as a result of a passing thought about a stressful event that is coming up. Or a heaviness in the body could be the result of becoming lost in a painful memory. The body cannot distinguish between a real event that is happening in the present and one that is happening in our minds. To make things worse, this reaction in our bodies can then be fed back to our minds, giving us the message that perhaps there is indeed something wrong. This feedback loop can be extremely powerful and can turn a passing thought into something much more difficult and uncomfortable.
The good news is that that once we become more aware of this process and learn to listen to the messages that our body provides, then we can break this feedback loop and watch as things unfold moment by moment without getting too caught up in them. We can learn to ask, "what is this?", when we notice a tense shoulder for example, and then realise that we have just spent the last ten minutes lost in planning a confrontational conversation or planning our day in detail. And even if we can't work out exactly why that shoulder is tense, we can just learn to let it go without having to resolve it or worry about it.
So much of the time, it appears that we are "human doings" rather than human beings, so caught up in our minds and our thoughts, planning, analysing, remembering, resolving problems; that we spend little time paying attention to our bodies. By doing this we are missing out on vital information that can help us to dissolve unhelpful habits that bit by bit add up to leave us feeling stressed out and flat.
By turning towards the body and listening to it in a non-judgemental way, we learn not to react, decreasing the likelihood that these physical sensations will trigger larger emotional reactions.
Week Two Audio Session (9 minutes)
Mindfulness Course - Week Two
Please find a nice quiet place where you can listen to this uninterrupted. Relax and enjoy it, don't forget that this is something you are doing for yourself.
Practices for Week Two
Body Scan Meditation (17 minutes)
Meditation - Week Two
This is your meditation practice for week two.
Remember that the most important part of this course is your daily practice. So make sure that you have your space and time marked out and a kind and gentle attitude towards yourself.
When doing this meditation, remember that you are not trying to find anything specific in your bodies, so just notice what you do find, what your experience is. Even if this is nothing, it is okay for this is your experience in this moment.
You may be used to finding pain or discomfort in certain parts of your body. Try to let go of expectation and see what the qualities of that pain or discomfort really are each time you do this meditation, trying not to judge them.
You may be surprised at what you find.
Practice this meditation twice a day for minimum six out of the next seven days.
Please feedback to us any comments or questions on the Week Two forum. CLICK HERE TO GO TO FORUM
This week's habit reset is all about changing the order of something that you do.
Think about a routine that you have in your day-to-day life. For example, the order in which you get ready in the morning or how you start your day at work. Perhaps you always make a cup of tea and then turn on your computer? Walk a certain way to the train station via the newsagent to pick up a paper?
Try changing this routine this week. Do something different to how you usually do it. Such as taking a alternative route to work and noticing what you see. Or changing the order of your breakfast and your shower or maybe just eating breakfast in a different place.
Want to share your experience? Use #habitreset on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and share your pictures or feelings.
Each week we will be providing some additional materials from mindfulness experts that we respect and find inspirational. These are not essential but we strongly recommend that you take a look when you can.
Ruby Wax on Mindfulness
Ruby Wax explains that by better understanding better how our brains work, we can learn to rewire our thinking and find calm in a frenetic world.
Befriending The Body
Jon Kabat-Zinn explains how profoundly healing and transformative it can be when we pay non-judgmental attention to our bodies.
In Your Journal
Write down five things that you have noticed this week.
Write down a moment where you noticed an unhelpful habit.
Write down a time you managed to act and not react.
Name one thing this week that you felt good about.
What do you feel most grateful for this week?
REMEMBER: Q&A FORUM FOR WEEK 2 - WE WILL CHECK IN AT TIMES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK AND REPLY TO YOUR QUESTIONS. CLICK HERE TO GO TO FORUM