“Mindfulness: a state in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them.”
This week, we’re going to discuss how mindfulness is a key part of practical self-defense. What’s the best way to think and act day in and day out as a smart practitioner? We don’t want to walk around in a state of stressed out hyper vigilance. However, we also don’t want to be in a state of blissful ignorance.
Being practical in our defense mindset requires two fundamental thought processes. It means being smart and staying aware of our surroundings. And it means being confident and committed in our reactions to any potential or actual threats.
Mindful awareness makes recognizing and avoiding danger easier
Let’s talk about being smart and aware for a moment. “Situational awareness” is a handy term that refers to how aware we are of potential threats, routes of escape, and possible advantages in any situation. Being in a state of mindful awareness makes recognizing and avoiding danger easier. As you practice this state, you may also find that your day-to-day choices become more thoughtful, mature, and inclined away from risk and conflict.
This helpful state of mind can be learned and practiced
The most common approach is through meditation. There are many types of meditation available to us now. In past decades, meditation was often associated with Eastern religious traditions, but it has now become much more accessible and less dogmatic to Americans. With advancements in brain imaging and neuroscience, we have a great deal of evidence that shows meditation can not only change your attitudes, but physically improve the structure of your brain. There are numerous books, websites and downloadable apps to help you learn meditation.
Mindful awareness frees our mental energy for what’s important
In a stressful or volatile situation, being in a state of mindful awareness frees our mental energy for avoidance, escape, or if needed, a strong and unequivocal defense. Continued practice and commitment to thinking critically and cautiously about the environments that we, our friends, and loved ones move through shouldn’t be confined to nighttime outings or trips to the bank. They’re central to using Krav Maga in our training and everyday lives. Stay mindful, vigilant, and walk in peace!
Look at other people and ask yourself if you are really seeing them or just your thoughts about them.
Jon Kabat-ZinnFounder of the Stress Reduction Clinic
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