Dozens, if not hundreds, if not thousands, of articles about mindfulness are being published every day. Mindfulness and mindful meditation have become a trending topic in the world. You can be mindful about everything. Mindfulness is scientifically proven to sharpen focus, reduce stress, and strengthen a sense of inner peace. Mindful meditation helps with the treatment of mental health disorders, addiction disorders, and even diseases or cancers. There is little that some time spent being mindful cannot help. That is why, for thousands of years, Buddhists have practiced mindfulness.
As we (mindfully) scroll through our social media feeds, we have an opportunity to be mindful about mindfulness. Expanding and growing our practice of mindfulness is easier than other with the plentitude of content we have access to about it. The Atlantic author Julie Beck points out that even reading about mindfulness is a call to practice it. She questions her readers, “did you realize that reading these articles [about mindfulness] is also an opportunity to be mindful?”
It is likely that most do not practice mindfulness when it comes to their web browsing. Combining the mind numbing action of “the scroll” or getting “lost” in the web creates an opportunity for escape more than it does for mindfulness. With increasing research indicating that screen time, technology time, and digital time act in the brain similarly to drugs like cocaine, there may be no better time to mindfully absorb mindful content on the internet. Research has also shown that “digital addiction” is real and has a very real impact on the neural functioning of the brain. Since mindfulness is proven to reset neural pathways, it is the perfect answer.
Beck lists some of these activities for being mindful about being mindful, or reading about mindfulness, that is.
- Notice your screen
- Pay attention to the muscles you use to use the internet
- Become aware of your lack in connecting the act of “clicking” or “pressing” on a link to making an actual choice to consume content
- Notice the way your eyes move from side to side reading an article. Do you notice other motions? Perhaps you have “quirks” or behaviors you aren’t aware of when you read. Do you move your feet? Twirl your hair? Bite your lip? Sink into a certain position?
- When you read something profound pay attention to what comes up for you. Are you judging the thought? Labeling it? Evaluating it? Take a moment to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Allow the information to settle in as it is.
- Afterwards, notice your thoughts about what you’ve read regarding mindfulness. Was it helpful or inspiring? Ask yourself, does it need to be? Use this wisdom in choosing the next piece of content you might want to read.