understanding what’s happening and why we meditate.
this is an episode taken from our program 29 Days of Mindfulness and we think it’s solid!
here we talk about:
- feeling amazing being our default.
- why we are not happy most of the time.
- our habituation to thinking.
- what we need to do to be happy.
- what we can start doing right now.
notes and resources are listed below.
why aren’t we happy a lot of the time?
1) one reason is because we are habituated to thinking.
from the time we could understand language to any degree, we’ve been strengthening our capacity and tendency to talk to ourselves. over time, this has habituated us to thinking. this habituation to thinking causes all kinds of problems and is at the root of much of our suffering.
- we are thinking all the time. nonstop, from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed.
- we are thinking when we should be focused on something else. we are thinking while we should be working on something else. we are thinking during conversations. we are thinking about anything and everything besides what’s in front of us.
- we are thinking when we could be enjoying something in the present moment.
- this habituation to thinking makes us very uncomfortable in space, with nothing to do. we have a hard time having nothing to do. we feel compelled to fill the space with something. we feel compelled to work on our to-do lists. we have a hard time being around others and NOT talking. space makes us very uncomfortable.
2) another reason is we have expectations.
- this modern world puts expectations on us that we have never had before. we’re expected to have a certain kind of job, career, finances and family.
- we have expectations placed on us from parents, family members, friends, religion, social pressures, fitting in, celebrities, and stars.
- we put expectations on others. when those expectations aren’t met, we see a problem with it.
habituation to thinking + expectations = suffering (relative)
how do we create more happiness?
- make personal health a priority. when you find your health, you find yourself. we see this happen all the time. without doing anything else, when you get the foundations of real food, sleep, and fitness in place, everything about your life gets better.
- it’s helpful to understand what’s happening with our minds. understanding in-and-of-itself is empowering. understanding brings compassion. compassion for yourself and for others.
- cultivate a daily “practice” that includes meditation. meditation is the skill that cultivates the capacity to “see what’s happening.” when we see what’s happening with our minds and our self-talk, the awareness starts to change things. then we can choose to refrain from negative thoughts, focus on empowering thoughts, and reframe situations for learning.
- learn and implement mindfulness tools we can use during the day to work with our triggers and emotions.
- creating more opportunities for “space” so that we can practice being fully engaged with life.
how does what we are doing here help?
- understanding crucial concepts makes it easier to adopt daily practices because we know why we need it and what it’s doing for us.
- having a daily practice can help us prime ourselves for an amazing day and an amazing life.
- daily meditation breaks the habitual thinking, creates space, and reduces suffering.
- mindfulness tools allow us to practice our skills in daily life.
what can we do now?
- understanding is beneficial!
- have compassion for yourself and others!
- look for natural “space” in your day where you can watch your mind. i.e. laying in bed, walks, conversations.
- have a commitment to be interested in this topic.