[4 minute read]
Mindfulness has become incredibly popular in western culture, and with good reason. We are fans, and want to encourage this practice as much as we can. But it’s helpful to clarify what mindfulness is and isn’t so our expectations don’t become disappointment. Let’s look deeper.
What Mindfulness Is
Mindfulness is both a philosophy and a practice that aims at growing awareness and acceptance of our own consciousness and identity. Awareness is the ability to tune into our internal worlds to pay attention to the swirling thoughts, feelings, and sensations inside. Acceptance is observing, instead of judging or avoiding, that internal “data.” If the immediate thought that comes to your mind is, “Yuck, why would I want to do that?,” you’re not alone. We all have a lot going on inside, and paying attention to it can be unsettling and, frankly, it can feel counterproductive. But actually, mindfulness can help us neutralize those reactions and be more focused in daily life. Research has shown that by connecting to our inner worlds instead of rushing past them, we gain greater peace, clarity, and vitality. Also, by choosing to stop and listen to our minds and bodies, we are validating our own beings. This is hugely important in a loud, frenzied world where it seems we’re only as valuable as what we are doing. right. now.
What Mindfulness Isn't
Mindfulness isn’t a religion. Though practiced in many different faiths, it’s not inherently an expression of religious beliefs or an act of worship. Mindfulness became popular in the West through the influence of John Kabat-Zinn, a professor and medical doctor who highlighted its potential to help patients deal with chronic pain, anxiety, and stress.In addition, mindfulness isn’t the same thing as meditation. While meditation is a practice that can support mindfulness, there are many other types of meditation with different outcomes. Also, mindfulness can be accomplished outside of meditation through deep breathing, contemplating beauty, etc. At Oats Overnight, we find meditation to be extremely helpful in growing our mindfulness, but we encourage you to experiment with ways to be fully present in each moment (like focusing on delicious Oats Overnight flavors while you’re eating them!). Mindfulness isn’t a cure-all. All kinds of claims are made about it, but it’s not a miracle pill. It shouldn’t replace your doctor’s advice for physical illnesses, nor should it be seen as a way to fix deep psychological wounds and disorders.
Why We Love It
Oats Overnight is a company and a community of people that embrace what’s Real. Many things about life today push us to ignore what’s inside of us–we’re fed so many distractions. At Oats Overnight, we're actively looking for ways to resist those forces and become the best, truest version of ourselves. Practicing mindfulness is a way to do that. And it helps us be more present to each other. We hope you’ll join us on our journey toward greater health, success, and joy.
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