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 about in haste. It’s because most of our reactions are on autopilot mode and we rarely pause, reflect before we respond.
Word mindfulness pictures monks in our mind 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 and offers 71 mindfulness habits with tons of research, resources and suggestions to make implementation simple.
About the Book –
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 into 5 parts that include 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 with 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 future worries.
- 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 exercise will change your body, a mindfulness will 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. It Improves physical and mental well-being;
2. Reduces 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 benefit for those who like to dig into details.
Here are a 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 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 as a result.
e) Mindfulness Improves Sleep – Insomnia and sleeps problems are common stress reactions. Mindfulness habits promote calm and reduce rumination that 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, evening. Here are a few that I liked –
1) Wake up early – Though much has been written about this, waking even as early as 10 minutes than usual can give us time to start the day well, plan the day or 10 minutes of morning meditation, or write in the 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 are 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 favourite three often.
1) Practice Mindful Driving –
Most of us spend quite a good time travelling be it by car, or public transport. This usually has a lot of adverse effects 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 practising 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.
- Be grateful for having automobile, as it makes commute more feasible.
2) Focus on Your Work Purpose –
- This one can be effective habit to 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 favourite 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, end result becomes much more adored.
Five ways of slowing down at work and making the best of 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 a book The Art of Saying No)
- Focus on excellence.
- Enjoy the process.
2) Stand, Stretch, and Get Moving –
- 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 favourites.
1) Mindfully End Your Workday –
- As we come to the end of day, exhausted by work we have put in the whole day. we can 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 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 – Hope you like it. Please do subscribe to my YouTube 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.
Please share your thoughts in the comment. I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading.