mindfullness and Dan Siegel

Mindfulness: A Certain State of Mind

How does living our lives by practicing mindfulness in a routine way change or affect our state of mind? In an article on his website, Dr. Dan Siegel explains that we can have a mindful state of mind and a mindful trait of being that affects how we feel. He states that a  state of mind  is in the moment and a mindful  trait is habitual, specifically a repeated way of being over time and over various situations. 


Considering this, how does meditation or practicing gratitude or breathing techniques create mindfulness in our daily lives? By creating calm in the mind, we can assist our brain to focus back on the present instead of focusing on the thoughts running through our mind. These practices are something that  we actively participate in over and over in a routine-like way that can have the power to change our state of mind from stressed to rest. By actively participating in these techniques we routinely teach our body that these habits can have a great and positive impact on how we feel, therefore reinforcing that positive feedback loop. Dr. Dan Siegel goes on to further explain that integration (of these practices and habits) can be seen as the heart of well-being, having a regular (hopefully nearly daily) intentional practice of creating an integrated state of mindful awareness can then become an automatic habitual trait of being mindfully aware and fully present for life. 


But how can we take Dr. Dan Siegel’s research and knowledge and apply it into our lifestyle? Is it possible to have a tangible take-away from this research? We all know that taking the time for ourselves can be difficult to include into our crazy busy schedules. Considering this, investing a couple minutes of time back into ourselves can do wonders for quieting our thoughts running through our minds. The time taken for yourself doesn’t have to be long; it can be as short as one minute or it can be ten minutes (or longer)! Additionally, the time of day that you take this time for yourself can be whenever it works best for you, such as when you first wake up and get out of bed, in the middle of your work day or the last thing you do before you go to sleep. This doesn’t have to just be your practice either! Suggest practicing with your kid(s) or your partner to keep yourself accountable and share the powers of mindfulness. Dare we say that this could be a potential teaching moment for your children? How great would it be to show them how to integrate mindfulness into their daily lives? 


It’s hard to imagine a daily practice (of one minute or ten!)  of mindfulness can have such an impact on your overall well-being and mental health but why not give it a shot? Some food for thought for the next time when you are waiting in line for a coffee or drink, getting groceries in a busy store or walking to an appointment. Try integrating some mindfulness into those minutes and see if there is a benefit. If you are unsure of what mindfulness activities and practices to try or would like to look at new ones, check out one of our previous posts for some inspiration and tips. 

Connect with Safe and Sound Therapeutics for more one on one mindfulness practices and support. 

Leave a Reply