Book – 10 Minutes Mindfulness, 71 Habits for Living in the Present Moment (Review)
Author – S. J. Scott & Barrie Davenport
Genre – Self-help Book
Published in – 2017
We all have moments we reacted too quickly and later on regretted what we spoke in haste. It’s because most of our reaction are on autopilot mode and we rarely pause, reflect before we respond.
Word mindfulness pictures monks in our mind and we discredit idea, stating it is easy for monk to live in present moment, as they don’t have mortgage, bills and other responsibility.
10 Minutes Mindfulness claims that mindfulness is as much possibility for us as it for monks and offers 71 mindfulness habits with tons of research, resources and suggestions to make implementation simple.
About the Authors –
S. J. Scott – is an author, blogger and speaker. He writes about self-help, personal development, habit change and online publishing. He has been guest speaker on 100 of podcast and making living online for last 12 years.
His thoughts on habit change and self-improvement are simple and expressed in the tagline of his web page developgoodhabits.com, “Build a better life. One habit at a time.”
Barrie Davenport – She is a certified life coach, self-improvement course creator, and bestselling author of multiple books on relationship skills, emotional abuse, self-confidence, mindfulness, and more. She is also the founder of the top ranked self-improvement site live bold and bloom.
About 10 Minute Mindfulness –
As they say creating habits requires commitment and determination and mindfulness is not any different. Though starting small like 10 minutes sounds doable and with the help of this book I am sure you will be inspired to give it a shot.
The book is divided in 5 parts that includes 71 mindfulness habits spread from morning until night.
I) Introduction to mindfulness, 2) Benefits of Mindfulness, 3) Morning Mindfulness Habits, 4) Late Morning Mindfulness Habits, 4) Afternoon Mindfulness Habits, 5) Evening Mindfulness Habits.
Part I Introduction to Mindfulness –
When you’re so pumped full of adrenaline and anxiety, your body and mind become addicted to the drama, negativity, and distractions of daily life. This addiction keeps you stuck in a pattern of knee-jerk reactions to thoughts and events.
We are also unconscious of the vast peace and contentment available in the present moment because we are so preoccupied with past regrets and worries about the future.
Loved the way authors defines Mindfulness – Mindfulness is very simple. It means you become intentionally aware of the present moment while paying close attention to your feelings, thoughts, and sensations of the body.
But mindfulness involves one further step—the practice of non-judgment.
Just as an exercise habit will change your body, a mindfulness habit will literally reshape your mind.
Part II Benefits of Mindfulness –
There are 10 benefits of mindfulness mentioned in the book largely covering three areas of life.
1. Improve physical and mental well-being;
2. Reduce or slow down some symptoms of physical illness;
3. Minimize the frequency and intensity of destructive or negative emotions.
What I loved about it most is links to research or experiments are given with each benefits for those who like to dig in to details.
Here are few benefits –
a) Mindfulness reduces rumination and overthinking – It helps us to get out of our head and stop beating ourselves over past mistakes which leads to anxiety and depression.
b) Mindfulness improves memory, concentration, and performance –
Mindfulness practices have been shown to improve focus, memory, and reading comprehension, as well as reducing mind-wandering.
c) Mindfulness helps with emotional reactivity – Mindfulness helps us respond to stressful situations in calmer, healthier ways instead of reacting abruptly, without thinking.
d) Mindfulness creates happier relationships – As we are calm, and able to respond with thoughtfulness our relationship with self and others improves as a result.
e) Mindfulness improves sleep – Insomnia and sleep problems are common stress reactions. Mindfulness habits promote calm and reduce rumination that can disrupt sleep.
The book also contains 9 steps to build mindfulness habits –
Step 1 – decide on the changes you want to make – It is important to begin with habits as there should be enough motivation to inculcate new habits.
Step 2 – Inventory existing habits – make list of habits/routine that are being hindrance to your growth.
Step 3 – limit the number of habits you try to change – To change requires willpower and willpower is like muscles and depletes over a period in a day as we go on making choices. Hence, trying to change too many habits at a time may toss whole change idea out of the window.
Step 4 – commit at least 30 days for new habits – creating these good feelings doesn’t mean the process will be simple or painless. In fact, it’s best to not expect an overnight change.
Step 5 – Anchor your mindfulness habits to an established routine – Attach new habit with some existing routine to remember and apply. Like noting down three things you want to accomplish as soon as you reach office.
Step 6 – Take baby steps with your new habits – it is much better to take baby steps to make it doable in the beginning and last long than starting high and fizzle out in few days.
Step 7 – Make a plan for potential obstacles – The simplest way to manage potential obstacles is create “if-then statements” for what you’ll do when certain challenges arise.
Step 8 – Reward yourself for reaching important milestones – set rewards for every milestone you achieve and make change process fun and encouraging.
Step 9 – Introduce more mindful habits – As they say ‘success follows success’ the better you get at this, more you would like to implement in other areas of life and as it becomes ingrained in one part it automatically start positively affect other areas too.
Part III Morning Mindfulness Habits –
The books offer 25 mindfulness habits alone for morning. Feel free to pick one you find easiest to begin with and please start small with may be one or two max, to include in your morning, noon, evening. Here are few from 25 that I liked –
1) Wake up early – This one is really big, though much has been written about this, waking even as early as 10 minute than usual can give us time to start day well, plan the day or 10 minutes morning meditation, or writing in journal.
Loved the statement of Philip Doddridge – The difference between rising at five and seven o’clock in the morning, for forty years, supposing a man to go to bed at the same hour at night, is nearly equivalent to the addition of ten years to a man’s life.”
2) Drink water –
There numerous benefits of drinking water as soon as we wake up.
- It re hydrates body.
- It also increases mental and physical performance during the day.
- Drinking water on an empty stomach purifies the colon, which makes it easier for your body to absorb nutrients.
- Water plays an important role in weight loss, as it is essential for the removal of waste and metabolized fat from the body.
3) Smile in the mirror –
Smiling in front of mirror can have tremendous positive impact on self. Its difficult to think sad thoughts while smiling. Smiling can trick your brain into feeling happy, even when you feel sad as you’re smiling.
Your brain can’t differentiate between a real or fake smile, as it interprets the arrangement of the facial muscles in the same way.
4) Practice Morning Meditation –This is one of the best practices of mindfulness, as meditation is a form of strength training for your mind. The positive effects of meditation will saturate your entire day. There are many benefits of morning meditation –
- Lowers your blood pressure.
- Boosts your immune function.
- Decreases pain and inflammation.
- Reduces anxiety and depression.
- Improves focus and concentration.
PART IV – Late Morning Mindfulness Habits –
The book offers 10 amazing mindfulness habits of late morning. Here are my favorite three of ten.
1) Practice Mindful Driving –
Most of us spend quite a good time traveling be it in car, or public transport. This usually has lot of adverse effect on physical and mental health. If you know that driving causes you to feel anger, stress, and anxiety, then you can change your viewpoint of this task by practicing mindfulness.
- Take few deep breath before you start driving, avoid putting on radio and put phone on silent.
- Drive within speed limit.
- Be more observant of surrounding without judging.
- Being grateful for having automobile and makes it commute more feasible.
2) Focus on Your Work Purpose –
This can be one really effective habit we can develop. Before starting the work, take a moment and think of the purpose you work. It does include providing for family and paying bills.
This in a way can lead us to being grateful and may help us counter-attack all the negativity we face at work.
PART V – Afternoon Mindfulness Habits –
There are 18 afternoon mindfulness habits in the book. Here are my favorite few –
1) Practice “Slow Work” –
When we are too focused on outcome and jump from one to another activity we lose sight of process and love of process, enjoying process can be, as satisfying some time even more than the outcome.
Slowing down at work helps in falling in love with process, and as we start noticing the process journey and end result becomes much more adored.
5 ways of slowing down at work and make best of process and result.
- Give yourself more time for each task.
- Do one thing at a time.
- Learn to say no.
- Focus on excellence
- Enjoy the process.
Needless to say many of us spend extended time sitting in car, in front of computes, TV and it invites health issues like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Spending time in gym rarely reverse these effects. Studies show that your body can benefit from simply standing up, stretching your muscles, and moving around for a few minutes. Think of standing and stretching as pushing the reset button on your body.
PART VI – Evening Mindfulness Habits –
There are 18 evening mindfulness habits in the book. Here are my two favorite.
1) Mindfully End Your Workday –
As we come to the end of day, exhausted by work we have put in the whole day. Though we mindfully finish our day, take 10 minutes to wind up properly, like what we accomplished today, our plan for tomorrow, whether we have taken everything.
These practice frees your mind to transition more easily to your evening routine, and you set yourself up for a more productive and peaceful start to the next day.
2) Take a Mental Mini-Vacation –
At the end of the workday our body and mind accumulates stress, even in our best days at work, and we often move from one set of responsibilities at work to another at home. Take a small break in-between. You can create a mindful transition from your workday to your home life using a simple visualization practice—a mental vacation.
I have also created video of few quotes from the book – Hope you like it. Please do subscribe to my You Tube channel – Myread4change
10 Minute mindfulness is full of ideas and inspiration to inculcate mindfulness in our daily life and reap the benefits of these habits. No matter how busy you are, I am sure you’ll find one or two habits in each part you can begin to apply.
As, the authors also recommends starting small by building a single routine at a specific time each day that has a maximum of three habits covered in this book.
Hope this review encourage you to pick up the book and become sincere student of these habits.
You may buy this book based on your location from Amazon India or Amazon UAE or listen to Audio book for free with Amazon Audible free trail. #ad
If you like this book, you will also like the short book The Power of Awareness. Check out the summary here.
I would appreciate your feedback/suggestion in comments or do ask any questions you have and I will be glad to respond.
Thank you for reading.