Read in 14 min.
Listen in 17 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Danny Penman , Mark Williams


Break free from anxiety and stress to achieve true happiness

This book offers an eight-week guided program to help you find your inner calm. Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world explains what our emotions are, and what we can avoid doing to stop ourselves from ending up in a spiral of negativity. This book reveals the secrets to awakening the awareness we have of ourselves and of the world, helping us to lead a better life.

Read in 14 min.
Listen in 17 min.

Mindfulness, meditation and awareness, can help us avoid being drawn into a bad mood spiral

By its very nature, our mood is highly volatile. And yet, brief moments of negativity often end up going on for days, because of how we deal with them. In fact, contrary to what we might think, as soon as we feel a bit sad, anxious or irritable, trying to break free from this bad mood or pushing ourselves to find out why it is happening, only makes things worse; it is like being stuck in quicksand: the more you struggle to climb out, the deeper you get pulled in. This happens to us because our minds sift through our memories to find one that reflects our current mood: for example when we are threatened, our brains will remind us of other times we have been in danger, so that we can look for similarities to find a solution. This is a survival mechanism, but sometimes, a little sadness can trigger a cascade of unpleasant memories, negative emotions and harsh judgements they provoke in us. Mindfulness meditation, however, allows you to recognise harmful thoughts as they arise, and to remember that they are not real and that they do not define us. Observing negative thoughts the moment they emerge, letting them sit for a while and simply watching them while they evaporate before our eyes, can bring extraordinary results: the empty space that they leave behind will be filled with happiness and peace. Meditation helps to unlock a different way of relating to the world; it removes the need for language, and therefore for analysis, because it allows the heart, rather than the mind, to get to know – or to become aware of - birdsong, the scent of flowers, and a loved one’s smile.


The key ideas of "Mindfulness"

Mindfulness, meditation and awareness, can help us avoid being drawn into a bad mood spiral
When it comes to emotions, the problem-solving methods that the human mind has developed over centuries of evolution can be very dangerous
Awareness meditation allows us to stop being dependent on external circumstances and to see the world for what it is, without judgement or expectation
Noticing when we are on “autopilot” and switching it off requires a simple gesture: attention inwards
The first step to a better life begins with reconnecting to your body, the “home” of everything you feel
Dealing with a dead-end and silencing the “voice in our head”: we can defeat negativity by listening
Dealing with struggles and negative thoughts tied to dramatic events means putting them in the right perspective to remove any sense of guilt and failure that we might be holding on to
Learning to accept the daily grind is the best way to get rid of the stress it can cause
Maintaining awareness our whole lives is a habit that will help us safeguard our peace of mind
Take-home message
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