September 12, 2011: Celebrate The World's First Mindfulness Day
Today, September 12, is the world's first Mindfulness Day. Started by Massachusetts-based Wisdom Publications, Mindfulness Day coincides with the 20th anniversary of the book "Mindfulness In Plain English." The Mindfulness Day website says that "this year, [September 12] will be .. the day of a full moon, which according to the traditional lunar calendar represents a time of increase ... By choosing a day at the beginning of the fall season, we hope to offer people an invitation to shed old habits."
Besides, it also happens to be the day after the 10th anniversary of 9/11; today, more than ever before, we need to work towards a more mindful and peaceful society.
You can participate in the celebrations by joining the Mindfulness Day Facebook page, tweeting about it, creating a mindfulness event in your neighborhood or writing in about the effect of mindfulness in your life.
In addition, here are some easy ways to bring mindfulness into your life:
1. Try using your non-dominant hand: Using your left hand when you're right handed simply makes you pay closer attention to everyday activities and helps you stay in the present.
2. Pause when the phone rings: The next time the phone rings, just take a couple of deep breaths before you answer it. It'll bring you back to the current moment.
3. Appreciate your hands: Several times a day, just look down at your hands and watch them like they belong to a stranger. This will help take you away from the dozens of competing thoughts in your head.
Mindfulness has been shown to have several health benefits. According to the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the practice reduces psychological and physiological symptoms associated with long-term diseases like chronic pain. It also reduces symptoms in people diagnosed with panic and anxiety, results in greater self esteem and can change brain structure in less than eight weeks.