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7 steps to a longer life

Discussion in 'Mind, Body & Spirit' started by mikemeditate, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. mikemeditate

    mikemeditate Guest

    Hi everyone I've read this great article and I would like to share this to you:


    If you could double the number of hours that you were truly alive each
    day, then, in effect, you would be doubling your life expectancy. It would be like living to 130. Now imagine tripling or quadrupling the time you are truly alive. People spend hundreds of thousands of dollars — literally — on expensive drugs and unproven vitamin cocktails to gain an extra few years of life; others are funding research in universities to try to extend the human life span. But you can achieve the same effect by learning to live mindfully — waking up to your life.

    Although the full program lasts eight weeks, here are seven steps that will help get you started:

    1. Go for a walk. Walking is one of the finest exercises and a brilliant stress reliever and mood booster. A good walk can put the world in perspective and soothe your frayed nerves. If you really want to feel alive, go for a walk in the wind or rain!

    2. Take time to breathe. Whenever you feel tired, angry, stressed, anxious or unhappy, take a three-minute breathing space. It acts as a bridge between the longer formal meditations in our book and the demands of daily life. See it as a breath of fresh air. You can download the short meditation from franticworld.com.

    3. Change chairs. Stress tends to drive us in ever-decreasing circles. It's easy to end up like a hamster trapped in its wheel, forever running but never getting anywhere. You can step outside such stressful cycles by consciously breaking some of your most ingrained habits. So why not see if you can notice which chairs you normally sit on at home, in a café or bar, or at work (during meetings, for example). Make a deliberate choice to try another chair, or to alter the position of the chair you use. You'll be surprised by how different the world looks and feels.

    4. Appreciate the here and now. Happiness is looking at the same things
    with different eyes. Life only happens here, at this very moment. Tomorrow and yesterday are no more than thoughts. So make the best of it.Which activities, things or people in your life make you feel good? Can you give additional appreciative attention and time to these activities?

    Consciously write them down and gently resolve to pay them more attention. Can you pause for a moment when pleasant moments occur? Help yourself pause by noticing:

    * What body sensations you feel at these moments?
    * What thoughts are around?
    * What feelings are here?

    5. Set up a mindfulness bell. Pick a few ordinary activities from your daily life that you can turn into "mindfulness bells," that is, reminders to stop and pay attention to things in great detail. Consider turning these moments in your day into bells:

    * • When preparing food. Any food preparation is a great opportunity

    for mindfulness — vision, hearing, taste, smell, touch. Focus on the feel of the knife as it slices through the different textures of different vegetables, or the smell released as each vegetable is chopped.
    * When crossing the street. Become a model citizen and use the pedestrian signals as an opportunity to stand quietly and focus on your breath, rather than an opportunity to try to beat the lights.

    * When listening. Notice when you are not listening, when you start to think of something else, such as what you are going to say in response. Come back to actually listening.


    6. Do the Sounds and Thoughts Meditation. Sounds are as compelling as thoughts and just as immaterial and open to interpretation. For this reason, the Sounds and Thoughts Meditation is my personal favorite; it elegantly reveals how the mind conjures up thoughts that can so easily lead us astray. Once you realize this — deep in your heart — then a great many of your stresses and troubles will simply evaporate before your eyes. You can download the meditation from franticworld.com.

    7. Visit the movies. Ask a friend or family member to go with you to the movies, but this time, with a difference. Go at a set time (say, 7 p.m.) and choose whatever film takes your fancy only once you get there. Often, what makes us happiest in life is the unexpected, the chance encounter or the unpredicted event. Movies are great for all these.

    Most of us only go to see a film when there's something specific we want to watch. If you turn up at a set time and then choose what to see, you may discover that the experience will be totally different. You might end up watching (and loving) a film you'd never normally have considered. This act alone opens your eyes and enhances awareness and choice.
     

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