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Healthy Minds in Practice: Core Values Audio Practice

iStock photo by dragana991

Having a sense of purpose in life has important consequences to our physical health and overall well-being. Research shows that having a sense of purpose is a powerful predictor of longevity. Those with strong sense of purpose tend to live longer and recover from stress more quickly, which can help us better regulate our emotions and give us greater resilience. How do you strengthen your purpose? Try this 5 minute seated practice with Daniela Labra Cardero designed to help you focus on your core values.

Listen to the Practice:

Daniela Labra Cardero

Guided Practice: A Tour of the Senses

Led by Daniela Labra Cardero

Hey, thanks for joining me in practice today. In this practice, we’ll focus on inner values. By clarifying what we care about, we create inspired motivations for our thoughts and actions. This relates to our sense of potential: our vision for ourselves, for our relationships, for our pursuits and work and for the world. By intentionally bringing these values to mind, we can be clear about what we are doing and why we are doing it. 

Begin by taking a relaxed, upright posture. Feel the dignity of the body and the natural curve of the spine. Settle into a balance of ease and attention. 

Next, we’ll clarify our motivation for doing this practice. You can make up your own. Or you can think, “I am doing this practice so I can transform the way I relate to my own mind, so I can have rich, healthy relationships with others and so I can leave the world a better place than I found it.” 

Then link your motivation with a clear intention, “to do this, I am now going to clarify my deeply held inner values and use them to guide my life.”  

Okay. Let’s start the inquiry now. Ask yourself, “if I could take a snapshot of my very best moments, how would I feel in those moments? What would those moments look like?” Identify a few values that capture this, such as “When I’m at my best, I am confident and I believe in myself” or “I am in touch with my strengths and accepting of my shortcomings.” 

If you had to boil it down and pick one of these values, which is the most inspiring or important to you? Take a moment to reflect on this.

Okay, good job. You’ve just discovered an important personal value. The value you picked is your personal north star. Take this quality and form a simple phrase. For example, you could say, “I am patient with myself and with others” or “I am compassionate and caring.” The point of this is to keep this value at the forefront of your mind.  

To conclude, drop any effort to meditate and simply be. Just rest in open awareness. 

This practice helps us bring awareness to the inner values that influence our motivations. By tapping into these values and bringing them to light, we cultivate an inner confidence and poise. We stay connected to our values and inspirations, thus bringing meaning into our everyday experience. 

Before you return to your daily routine, pause to set a clear intention for the day. Think of a few situations during your day and resolve to continue your practice. Whenever you remember, bring your inner value to mind and repeat your phrase quietly or, if you’re engaged in an intellectually demanding task, keep the value in mind as you proceed with your activity. 


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Awareness. Connection. Insight. Purpose. We consider these to be four ingredients of a healthy mind. You can train yourself to improve these skills, just like you can develop any habit. This audio practice is provided by Healthy Minds Innovations (HMI), an external, affiliated nonprofit dedicated to supporting the mission of the Center for Healthy Minds. Learn more about how HMI is bringing our research to life with new and innovative programs.

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