How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times, With Jaya Jaya Myra

You’re probably wondering, how on earth is it possible for anyone to be mindful, if the mind is doing what it’s supposed to by experiences to emotions. Good question! It starts by being aware that we all have biases and doing your best in each and every moment to understand where your feelings are coming […]

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You’re probably wondering, how on earth is it possible for anyone to be mindful, if the mind is doing what it’s supposed to by experiences to emotions. Good question! It starts by being aware that we all have biases and doing your best in each and every moment to understand where your feelings are coming from. You’ll learn to tease apart the past experience from the present moment and respond to each situation how you choose to, not how you’ve become primed to.

As a part of my series about “How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jaya Jaya Myra

Jaya Jaya Myra, a research scientist turned natural health advocate, is known as the “Wellness Lifestyle Expert” and is the go-to media expert on mind-body wellness, stress management, mindfulness, food for mood and natural, healthy living. She’s a best-selling author, TEDx and motivational speaker, and Creator of The WELL Method. After healing herself naturally from debilitating fibromyalgia, Myra developed The WELL Method to teach others the 4 cornerstones of a healthy, purpose-driven life. Her approach to mind-body wellness, spirituality and purpose show why one-size-fits-all solutions don’t work for everyone, and how to find what will work for you.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I’ve been interested in mind-body wellness, ever since I was a child, and have felt a strong connection to writing since I was in middle school. My career started off as a research scientist, but God found a way to bring me back to my original passions of health and holistic wellbeing as a writer and best-selling author. Granted, getting sick and having my life turned upside down because it was not the way I expected things to happen, but it did show me the path back to my authentic self.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I’ve had some amazing experiences! Being able to be featured regularly on mainstream broadcast TV sharing a message od holistic health and wellbeing is at the top of my list of interesting things. It’s something I never expected early on, and something I’m very grateful for. I view TV and media in general as a powerful platform for promoting good in the world, and we need many more good things for people to focus on, instead of the bad ones.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

I have three tips that will fundamentally change the culture of any workplace: hire for character, not skill, lead from motivation and inspiration, not fear, and actively promote mindfulness and stress reduction in your workplace. Too many places are governed by fear and stressed is hyped as productive, instead of what it really is, destructive. If you cultivate a space where your employees feel heard, safe, relaxed and empowered to be their authentic selves, I can’t even begin to tell you how much will change. Turnover decreases, people work harder, and they’re working for the right reasons.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The Bhagavad Gita made a profound impact on how I view the world and the importance of purpose in life. Not from any religion or spiritual group, but the philosophy of the text itself. It taught me how to change my life and align with my purpose in a time when I needed it most. It also taught me that spiritual growth is synonymous with psychological growth and character development. When you’re being your authentic self, you will grow as a person.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. From your experience or research, how would you define and describe the state of being mindful?

Mindfulness is about responding (not reacting) to what is happening right now. That’s harder than people think because of the way the mind works. The mind understands everything we encounter through a lens of perception that’s tied to our emotions. For example, if you were bitten by a small dog as a kid, you likely have a fear or dislike of small dogs now, unless you’ve hard to overcome that and deconditioned your mind from the experience. Even if the cutest, friendliest little dog approached you, you’d be primed to be upset or fearful. That’s what I call reacting, not responding. It won’t feel like you’re reacting, but that lens of perception shaped from past experience is a form of reaction, no response.

This happens with good things too. If you love chocolate cake, you’ve linked it in your mind with a positive experience or emotional state. Those good feelings will carry forward to the next time you see a piece of chocolate cake, immediately priming you to enjoy this experience of it too.

You’re probably wondering, how on earth is it possible for anyone to be mindful, if the mind is doing what it’s supposed to by experiences to emotions. Good question! It starts by being aware that we all have biases and doing your best in each and every moment to understand where your feelings are coming from. You’ll learn to tease apart the past experience from the present moment and respond to each situation how you choose to, not how you’ve become primed to.

This might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to spell this out. Can you share with our readers a few of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of becoming mindful?

Mindfulness and meditation were the foundation of me healing myself naturally from debilitating fibromyalgia when allopathic medicine was totally ineffective. It allows the body to reset itself so that our innate healing mechanisms can kick in. It does this by resetting the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, which can get out of balance from stress and other difficult situations.

Think of mindfulness as your tool to digest the thoughts, emotions, and experiences you have each day. We digest food each day, getting the nutrients out of it, then eliminate the waste products from the body. Mindfulness helps eliminate the waste products from all the stimuli we encounter each day so that we can stay clear, healthy and strong.

Emotionally, mindfulness gets you off the rollercoaster and helps keep you feeling balanced and centered, even though situations have not changed. It changes you so that you respond differently and feel differently about life. Mentally, mindfulness decreases stress, gives you more clarity and gets rid of the junk keeping you from being positive. It’s much easier to cultivate an empowered frame of mind when you have a mindfulness practice.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. The past 5 years have been filled with upheaval and political uncertainty. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have only heightened a sense of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to develop mindfulness and serenity during such uncertain times? Can you please share a story or example for each.

As much of my work is centered around how to live a healthy holistic life, mindfulness is at the foundation of this. It all starts with the breath. Your speed of breathing is directly connected to how fast your mind is racing and how stressed out you are. By learning to deepen and slow down your breathing rate, your mind will automatically slow down as well. Once you have it slowed down, you can start to train your mind and work with it more effectively. The nest time you find yourself in a very stressful situation or something that makes you afraid or angry, look at what happens to your breath. You likely stop breathing momentarily altogether! You can change how you feel in that moment just by deepening your breath. It’s impossible to remain afraid or angry when you breathe.

I created The WELL Method to help people be mindful and reframe their mindset. WELL is an acronym of 4 cornerstones to a purpose-filled, healthy life. “W” stands for work life harmony. People who don’t create a healthy balance between their job and personal passions get burnt out much more easily and lose focus on life outside of work. It’s important to understand what harmony is to you, as everyone is different. Set 3 key priorities of what work life harmony means for you and stick to them. Maybe it means leaving daily by 5 pm so you can pick up your kids, or being able to take time off to care for a sick relative. We’re all different! The “E” stands for expect excellence. We are all capable of amazing things when you believe in yourself! If you learn to expect excellence in your actions and behavior, you will reach goals more quickly and more often.

The two “L”’s stand to live your purpose, and love, not fear. Purpose shapes all of your innate talents and gifts in life, so when you live your purpose, you are abiding by your authentic self and using the gifts God gave you in life. And love, not fear, is about learning to respond to all situations with an open heart, not from a place of reaction. It’s up to you to choose how you want to interact with the world and coming from a place of love helps all of us. Fear-based mentalities can never have a good outcome but love-based ones act to support the highest potential in each of us. It helps you enable excellence in others while expecting it in yourself.

From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

Create space for their feelings. Don’t try to take away or change someone’s feelings, just be there. That allows the other person to feel heard, without feeling like they need to change. This is harder than it seems because it’s human nature to want to fix things and make them better.

Listen and acknowledge their feelings, without offering a solution. Again, it’s not about fixing, but listening and connecting. Humans are social by nature and just by feeling connected with someone else, this can reduce stress and anxiety.

If you share a living space with someone who is dealing with anxiety, keep your home space clean and organized at all times. Outer clutter affects inner clutter. It’s easier to be mindful and calm when your space is clean and orderly. If you want to learn to be mindful, just start by cleaning your house! Conversely, cultivating a regular mindfulness practice, you’ll feel prompted to clean up your external space as well.

I encourage anyone who feels anxiety or stress to eat a mood-boosting diet. Food has a powerful impact on your mental and emotional state, and you can change how you feel just by changing your diet. Add things like cacao (dark chocolate), bananas, omega 3’s, turmeric, etc. One way that foods boost mood is through neurotransmitter production of hormones like dopamine and serotonin, and another is by reducing inflammation in the body.

Lastly, the gut-brain connection plays a powerful role in mood, so be sure to get adequate pre and probiotics daily. Having a healthy gut microbiome, and proper nutrients for your microbiome (prebiotic foods that contain fiber), can in and of itself elevate mood, or throw it out of balance if your microbiome is not healthy.

What are the best resources you would suggest for someone to learn how to be more mindful and serene in their everyday life?

I recommend reading my book Vibrational Healing: Attain Balance & Wholeness. Understand Your Energetic Type because it teaches people how to be mindful in a way that matches their unique energy and elemental type while providing simple and easy-to-do meditations for beginners. The book I’m working on now, The Soul of Purpose, will look at mindfulness and meditation in much greater depth and is slated for publication in January 2021.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“What you worship, you will become”. Aka, whatever you spend the most time and energy on is what the sum total of your life will amount to.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

It would be The WELL Method Movement, teaching people how to use these 4 cornerstones to cultivate a positive frame of mind. The ripple effect will be felt by people everywhere. You never know how to small things you do impact someone else. The power of The WELL Method is that by expecting excellence in yourself and learning to respond to others from a place of love, you change everything while helping empower others to change their own lives, for the better.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

On my website or on any social media page with the handle @JayaJayaMyra.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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