Netflix and Noting
Netflix recently released the timely Headspace Guide to Meditation where former buddhist monk and current Headspace co-founder, Andy Puddicombe, discusses mindfulness. I was drawn to the title of the program, but found it especially unique that each episode ends with a mindfulness exercise.
Episode 4 "How to Deal with Stress" is a great one to check out: in it, Puddicombe references research finding that brief mindfulness meditation training helps to alleviate stress and "fosters greater active coping". Mindfulness exercises can not only increase our ability to tolerate stress but can also provide a new perspective on stressful situations.
Puddicombe explains how one can do this using a technique called noting. Instead of trying to focus on getting rid of stressful thoughts, one can simply acknowledge them before returning to the mindfulness exercise. Rather than trying to create calm by stamping out thoughts or feelings deemed to be negative or intrusive, this simple strategy helps us to acknowledge them before returning to the object of focus.