Packed full of practical exercises that can be done in minutes, this is mindfulness that can be done anywhere, anytime without the need for formal meditation practice.
We all know how good mindfulness practice is for us, but how do you implement it in your life if you're so busy that you simply don't have time for anything else?
Working from a state of stress is a battle, you might get things done but it is exhausting and damages your health and happiness. Stress makes you work hard, mindfulness makes you work smart.
This is precisely where Mindfulness on the Run can help. As a busy psychologist, wife and mother, Dr Chantal Hofstee has developed a quick, effective program that enables you to slot mindfulness into your life without the need for formal meditation practice.
'Most books on Mindfulness are written by male professors in their 50's who have great insights but don't really know how hectic life is for the average woman," says Chantal.
'I know from firsthand experience how hectic and stressful life can be for them, so I have developed material that can fit in with a busy lifestyle.
'The result will be less stress, a calmer and clearer mind, enhanced productivity and health and most importantly a happier, more enjoyable life."
Mindfulness On The Run can be done anywhere, anytime " even when you don't have time!
Dr Chantal Hofstee is a clinical psychologist, who works in both the private and corporate sectors. She uses the techniques of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and mindfulness to provide her clients with easy-to-use skills that can be quickly and effectively implemented to change their lives.
Mindfulness On The Run
Author: Dr Chantal Hofstee
Question: What inspired you to write Mindfulness On The Run?
Dr Chantal Hofstee: Mindfulness on the run contains the material I work with in my Mindfulness workshops and individual therapy sessions. This material and the techniques have changed my life and the lives of many of the people I have worked with. My goal is to share these techniques with as many people as possible so everyone can benefit from these easy to use, stress reducing techniques and live happier lives.
Question: What is mindfulness?
Dr Chantal Hofstee: Mindfulness is often associated with meditation practice but it is more than that. It's a way of thinking that can be practiced at any time. Mindfulness is paying attention with kindness.
Most people suffer from what is called monkey mind. The monkey mind often thinks about the past. Pondering what happened or what you think should have gone differently. Or it thinks about the future. Worrying about what might happen or thinking about what you have to get done. Mindfulness is paying attention to what is happening in the present moment.
Also being kind and non judgemental is at the core of Mindfulness practice. This means that you accept what is and don't argue with the reality. This sounds simple but when you start to practice Mindfulness you will realise that you judge things and yourself all the time:
We can't be late
You are wearing the wrong shoes
The house is such a mess
What a grumpy waiter
I just don't like him
Why can't I just focus?
Mindfulness is about taming the inner critique, about erasing the should's and the shouldn'ts from your thinking and becoming more accepting of how things are in that moment. This does not mean that you won't make any changes and you will just let everything be as it is. After a kind and non judgmental thought you can still decide to do something about a situation. The difference is that you will be making changes from the ideal brain state for change and not from a state of stress. Mindfulness teaches us to be more compassionate with ourselves, more caring and more accepting of our experience. It also teaches us to be patient and non judgmental when we make mistakes. As we learn to practice this, we become kinder and more compassionate with ourselves and with others.
Question: When should we be practicing the concept of mindfulness?
Dr Chantal Hofstee: Mindfulness can be practiced anytime, anywhere whatever works for you as long as you practice because that is the only thing that will get you the results. Even 3 minutes per day will make a difference!
Question: Why was it important for you to make mindfulness a quick and easy practice?
Dr Chantal Hofstee: Mindfulness will only effectively rewire your brain if you do the practice regularly. In my experience people are most likely to do the practice if it is quick and easy.
Question: How has mindfulness changed your life?
Dr Chantal Hofstee: I use to -live' in the red brain. I have always been a high achiever, a straight A student, graduating with honors. Yet I wasn't happy, I had no peace of mind and no matter what I achieved, to me it was never good enough. In my twenties I burned out.
When I discovered mindfulness I first felt resistant to it, thinking it was a fluffy, non scientific mumbo jumbo. When it became part of my post master education I learned the science behind Mindfulness. I learned mindfulness isn't Buddhism but brain training and that mindfulness makes perfect sense when you know how the brain works, that it makes you more effective, goal orientated and successful without the stress, anxiety and pressure of not feeling good enough. As I began to practice mindfulness, just short moments of it throughout the day, I found moments of peace and clarity. But most transformational of all was that the more I practiced mindfulness the softer my harsh and critical self talk became. That little voice that always reminded me that no matter what I did it wasn't good enough. I discovered how I can be kind and forgiving towards myself. How I can back myself up instead of beat myself up.
Now I spend most of my time in the green brain, with occasional moments of stress. When I find myself stressing out, I recognize it and use mindfulness to put myself back on track. And what I once feared, that I without stress I would become unmotivated and unsuccessful hasn't happened, in fact the opposite has happened. I am more dedicated and successful then I have ever been but this time around I am enjoying the process.
Question: Can you share with us one of the practical exercises, featured in Mindfulness On The Run?
Dr Chantal Hofstee: It might be nice for your readers to add this link: http://renewyourmind.co.nz/mindfulness-course-exercises/
It links to a track of me guiding listeners through a mindfulness exercise.
Interview by Brooke Hunter