• Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • How To Make Mindful Choices [Video]

By Fred Kofman
Philosopher and Vice President at Linkedin

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” ~James Baraz

When you’re stressed, you can’t think straight. 

This is not just a manner of speaking, but a scientific truth. When you’re flooded with stress hormones your  survival instinct takes over and implements the automatic routines developed through years of training–and generations of evolution. These are your conditioned choices driven by your “stress response.”

To be able to make free choices you need a “relaxation response.” You need a way to grow out of the old ways that keep you stuck. The process is illustrated beautifully in Portia Nelson’s poem, “Autobiography in five chapters”

Chapter I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit… but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

 Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

 

Before you walk around it, you need to see the hole; and to see the hole you need to open your eyes and clear your mind.

The good news is that you can do this. The bad news is that you can’t do this by sheer will-power.

Developing a relaxation response is akin to developing muscles, as I wrote in my previous post. You need to go to the gym of the mind and practice.

In the following video, I explain the process:

 

“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.” ~Sylvia Boorstein

 

Find more exercises related to mindfulness at work here

330 Mindfulness Worksheets

Download Simple Steps Anyone Can Follow

50% Off

  • Instantly download all of our best worksheets, categorized by 8 topics
  • Writable pdf's for you to print or share
  • Includes writable fields to write your reflections, answers and journal entries
  • Organized by meditation, health, relationships, career, self-discovery, purpose and more. Complete Index included
  • Evidence-based 
200 MEDITATION SCRIPTS

Guiding Meditations Just Got 200x Easier

50% Off

  • Instantly download our best guided meditation scripts, categorized by topic
  • Easy-to-follow pdf's for you to print or share
  • Step-by-step instructions for guiding a wide variety of mindfulness meditations
  • Deepen your own meditation while helping others
  • Evidence-based for increasing calm, care, confidence, connection, self-compassion, embodied presence and resilience

Teach mindfulness.
Make a difference.

Become a certified mindfulness meditation teacher and make a meaningful difference in people's lives.


You may also like

How to Really Listen in A Difficult Conversation
Two-Minute Meditation
The Secret of Life
One Thing You Should Always Remember
Strengths Exploration
Why It Is So Hard to Live In The Present
Stay Calm During a Fight
Emotions
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Try Our Free 100-Day Mindfulness Challenge

Free Mindfulness Exercises Delivered Each Day

Receive daily mindfulness meditations, worksheets and infographics to help you start each day mindful.

>