Expanding and maintaining your practice
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Watch Craig and Richard provide an overview of how you can expand and maintain your mindfulness practice throughout the course, and long after the course has finished.
We recommend that you keep a record of your personal mindfulness practice.
Why keep a mindfulness practice record?
Keeping a practice record is in itself a mindful activity. The process of writing about your mindfulness experiences is an invaluable way of increasing your awareness of your mindfulness development.
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Monash University online course,
Maintaining a Mindful Life
Keeping a regular practice record will also encourage you to pause and reflect upon the mindful activities you have completed. These might be:
- The formal mindfulness meditation exercises we will introduce you to in this course.
- Moments of informal mindfulness, such as pausing to really taste your meals, noticing birdsong on your way to work or school, or feeling the water on your skin as you take a shower. Simply bringing curiosity to everyday activities and engaging with them fully. You may like to experiment with a few of them, or you may prefer to pick one each day.
- Opportunities for you to be more mindful at work, in your studies or in your social life. Maybe you made a very conscious effort to avoid unhelpful multi-tasking, or not to be drawn into the distractions around you so you could focus on the task of greatest importance to you. Or maybe you simply listened to a friend with undivided attention.
- The effects of being unmindful (on your wellbeing and performance).
The mindfulness practice record template
We’ve created a simple template (available from Downloads) you may like to print and then use to help you document your mindfulness activities through the day. You can then reflect on these activities.
Mindfulness is a very personal experience, and you should also reflect on what strategies and exercises worked for you, and which ones were less successful or require more practice. The aim of this is learning, rather than criticising ourselves for not getting it right.
Mindfulness is about being curious and accepting, rather than judgmental, and your practice record could reflect this approach.
Your practice record is personal
The purpose of the practice record is to encourage you to reflect honestly on your mindfulness experiences. Over the duration of the course, you may well find that your experiences and your feelings change.
Your practice record is a valuable means of looking back over these changes, reflecting on where you have come from and where you want to go to.
What’s the difference between my practice record and the discussions in the course?
Discussions are central to your experience in this course. It is very powerful to feel that you are learning about mindfulness not as an individual, but as part of a group of learners who share a common interest. We want the discussions to be open and engaging, and we will be encouraging you to share your ideas, insights, thoughts and feelings. We will work together to keep the discussions positive, inclusive and supportive.
However, by definition, the discussions in this course are public. This is the key difference between the discussions and your practice record. You should see the discussions as your public voice, but your practice record is your private voice.
Track your progress
Keeping a practice record is optional, and we are not going to set any expectations of how often you write in it, or how much you need to write. However, keeping a practice record is a very powerful learning tool.
The reflections you gather will make you more aware of your progress towards cultivating a more mindful life, and the achievements you should be proud of.
The ADEPT model for behaviour change
In the Downloads section, Craig has included a PDF that provides an overview of how to be ADEPT (Attention, Decision, Effort, Perseverance and Tolerance) at changing a habit. This is a model for behaviour change, and a useful way for thinking about how you can make the changes you want to make in your life.
Five tips for maintaining a mindfulness practice over time
Also consider watching a Mindful Moment from Craig and Richard, where they share five tips for maintaining a mindfulness practise over time. We hope you find it useful!
If you would like more mindfulness content from the team, you may like to subscribe to our Monash Mindfulness YouTube channel so you’re the first to find out when new feedback videos Mindful Moments are uploaded!
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Maintaining a Mindful Life
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