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 when we react too quickly and regret what we spoke in haste. It’s because most of our reactions are on autopilot mode, and we rarely pause to reflect before we respond.
Word mindfulness pictures monks in our minds, and we discredit ideas, stating it is easy for monks to live in the present moment, as they don’t have mortgages, bills, and other responsibilities.
10 Minutes Mindfulness claims that mindfulness is as much possible for us as it is for monks. It offers 71 mindfulness habits with tons of research, resources, and suggestions to simplify implementation.
About the Book –
As they say, creating habits requires commitment and determination; mindfulness is no 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 has five parts, including 71 morning and night mindfulness habits.
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 with adrenaline and anxiety, your body and mind become addicted to daily life’s drama, negativity, and distractions. 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 future worries.
- I loved the way the authors define 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 exercise will change your body, mindfulness will reshape your mind.
Part II – Benefits of Mindfulness
The ten benefits of mindfulness mentioned in the book broadly cover three areas of life.
1. It Improves physical and mental well-being;
2. Reduces or slows 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 benefit for those who like to dig into details.
Here are a few benefits –
a) Mindfulness Reduces Rumination and Overthinking – It helps us get out of our heads and stop beating ourselves over past mistakes, leading to anxiety and depression.
b) Mindfulness improves Memory, Concentration, and Performance – Mindfulness practices have been shown to improve focus, memory, and reading comprehension and reduce mind-wandering.
c) Mindfulness creates Happier Relationships – As we are calm and able to respond with thoughtfulness, our relationship with self and others improves.
e) Mindfulness Improves Sleep – Insomnia and sleep problems are common stress reactions. Mindfulness habits promote calm and reduce rumination, which helps with sound sleep.
Part III – Morning Mindfulness Habits
The books offer 25 mindfulness habits for the morning alone. Feel free to pick one that suits you, to begin with, and please start small with maybe one or two max to include in your morning, noon, and evening. Here are a few that I liked –
1) Wake up early – Though much has been written about this, waking as early as 10 minutes before usual can give us time to start the day well, plan the day, do 10 minutes of morning meditation, or write in a journal.
I 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 are numerous benefits of drinking water as soon as we wake up.
- It rehydrates the 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 a vital role in weight loss, removing waste and metabolizing fat from the body.
3) Smile in the mirror –
- Smiling in front of a mirror can have a tremendous positive impact on the self. It’s challenging to think sad thoughts while smiling. Smiling can trick your brain into feeling happy, even when you feel low 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 ten excellent mindfulness habits of late morning. Here are my favorite three often.
1) Practice Mindful Driving –
Most of us spend quite a good time traveling by car or public transport. This usually has a lot of adverse effects on physical and mental health. If you know that driving causes anger, stress, and anxiety, you can change your viewpoint of this task by practicing mindfulness.
- Take a few deep breaths before driving, and avoid putting on the radio and the phone on silent.
- Drive within the speed limit.
- Be more observant of your surroundings without judging.
- Be grateful for having an automobile, as it makes commuting more feasible.
2) Focus on Your Work Purpose –
- This one can be an effective habit to develop. Before starting the work, take a moment and think of the purpose of your work. It does include providing for family and paying bills.
- This can make us grateful and 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 the outcome and jump from one activity to another, we lose sight of the process and love of the process; enjoying the process can be a more satisfying time than the outcome.
- Slowing down at work helps us fall in love with the process, and as we start noticing the journey, the result becomes much more adored.
Five ways of slowing down at work and improving the process.
- Give yourself more time for each task.
- Do one thing at a time.
- Learn to say no. (If you struggle saying No, Consider reading the book The Art of Saying No.)
- Focus on excellence.
- Enjoy the process.
2) Stand, Stretch, and Get Moving –
- Many of us spend extended time sitting in cars, in front of computers and TV, which causes health issues like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Spending time in the gym rarely reverses these effects.
- Studies show that your body can benefit from standing up, stretching your muscles, and moving around for a few minutes. Think of standing and trying 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 favorites.
1) Mindfully End Your Workday –
- Exhausted by work, we have put in the whole day as we come to the end of the day. We can mindfully finish our day and take 10 minutes to wind up properly, like what we accomplished today, our plan for tomorrow, and whether we have taken everything.
- This practice frees your mind to transition more quickly 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 accumulate stress, even on 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 a video of a few quotes from the book – I hope you like it. Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel – Myread4change.
10 Minute Mindfulness is full of ideas and inspiration to teach mindfulness daily and reap the benefits of these habits. No matter how busy you are, I am sure you’ll find one or two patterns in each part you can begin to apply.
If you like this book, you will also like The Power of Awareness.
Please share your thoughts in the comments. I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading.