Mindfulness is a relevant discussion. With increasing awareness regarding mental health, being mindful is something people want to know more about. Studies show benefits supporting a wide range of ailments, both physical and mental.
So, how can mindfulness be manifested and what is its relation with environmentalism?
What is Mindfulness and How Can it Help Me?
Headspace defines mindfulness as, ‘the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them’. It can all seem complex at first, but it is a simple practice and the only tool necessary is the mind. In simple terms, mindful activities facilitate being aware of everything around us. Taking the time to move slowly, to concentrate on our breathing and feelings. All practice is progress, and everything can be done at your own pace. According to Headspace, people who incorporate mindfulness into their lives often report heightened levels of happiness, patience, acceptance, and compassion, as well as lower levels of stress, frustration, and sadness’. In addition, a study conducted by Northeastern University, found that 10 days of mindful activity increased positivity and well-being.
Thanking Nature for All Its Benefits
The way nature can enhance mindfulness practices is second to none. So how can this amazing force for all its benefits and gifts be repaid? A good start can be to be more conscious of our surroundings, and the environment. For more information, see everydayimbuffering.co.uk
Improving our Level of Consciousness
How is our lifestyle negatively impacting the Earth we live on? As the dominant species of our planet, it is important to do all we can to look after our environment. This is where sustainability comes in. Human activity has resulted in a sustained negative impact on the environment. Indeed, some scientists have pointed out that we are currently living in the Anthropocene, a “unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth’s history when human activity started to have a significant impact
on the planet’s climate and ecosystems” (National Geographic Society, 2019).
Outcomes from fluctuating climate patterns are uncertain, as ”the scientific community doesn’t agree about the depth of climate change impacts on the planet” (Lemkow, 2020). However, it is our responsibility to be aware of our own actions and their intended consequences.
Where to begin? One of the most powerful tools for collective awareness and empowerment is the Spiral Cycle of Change, developed by Prochaska and Diclemente. A series of steps can be applied to living a more “conscious lifestyle”.
1) Precontemplation: There is no awareness regarding our negative impact on the environment, and thus, minimal desire to change behaviorsContemplation: There is a certain understanding of the problem but potentially no commitment to changing behaviors (the individual might not know where to start)
2) Preparation: The individual is prepared to undertake some modifications in their lifestyle. He/she begins to seek resources on how to pursue a transition toward a more conscious lifestyle. See our guide with tools to facilitate this step!
3) Action: There is an active shift in behavior. The individual feels empowered to pursue both incremental and radical changes.
4) Maintenance: There is a “sustained change”, entailing a constant reviewing of old habits.
5) Relapse: The individual might fall back into some previous habits, but this leads to a new pre-contemplation phase, acquiring new information and learnings.
“The challenge remains in opening up people’s imagination to that possibility that it can be done differently” – Katherine Trebeck
To unlock change, education is the first necessary step. Following this, an educational guide of resources to understand our impact on the environment has been developed. Find the latest tools and resources to be more aware of what a conscious lifestyle is:
● Rachel Carson – Silent Spring
● Henry Thoreau – Walden
● Daniel Kahneman – Thinking, Fast and Slow
● John Mackey and Raj Sisodia – Conscious Capitalism, Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business
● Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler – Abundance, The future is better than you think
● Martin Seligman – Flourish
● Why the Future Economy has to be a Wellbeing Economy … (TED Talk)
● A Healthy Economy should be designated to thrive, not grow (TED Talk)
● Ellen Macarthur Foundation Circular Economy Introductory Series podcast (Apple)
● A Sustainable Mind, podcast by Marjorie Alexander (Apple)
● Sustainability Defined, by Jay Siegel and Scott Breen (Spotify)
● Ellen Macarthur Foundation Learning Hub: https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/explore
● Green Living Show https://www.greenlivingshow.ca/blog/
● United Nations Sustainable Development Goals https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/
● SimplifyingSustainability https://www.simplifyingsustainability.com/\
Writing by Jodie Michelle