So Mindfulness is good for me… But how can I make it part of my day?
Mindfulness is all the go at the moment! Many of us might even have a mindfulness adult colouring book on the Christmas list. But why should we pay attention to this new ‘hot topic’? What is it – and why is it good for us?
As Dr Travis Bradberry writes, ‘mindfulness meditation is the rare, research-proven technique that boosts your performance by physically altering your brain’. He shared that ‘researchers from the University of British Columbia recently pooled data from more than 20 studies to understand how practicing mindfulness affects the brain.’
What they found out was compelling! The simple act of practicing mindfulness had a significant impact on 8 regions in the brain, with 2 regions of particular importance – one was the area responsible for self control – and another, the area responsible for resilience.
Ok – the science proves it is good for me – so what exactly is mindfulness? And are there easy ways to make it part of my day that don’t just involve meditation?
Check out our info-graphic :
August 2017 update
- Grooming – pay attention to what you are doing when you are showering, putting your makeup on, brushing your hair, shaving etc. Slow down and notice how it feels … the steam, the water temperature etc
- Gardening – tune in to the smells, the feel of the hose, the birds
- Cooking – use senses to enjoy shapes, fragrances and colours
- Cleaning – notice the bubbles from the detergent, the clink of the dishes in the sink
- Pets – take a few moments to notice their fur, their wagging tail!
Do any of those ideas resonate? Pick one that does and make a small amount of time each day to give it a go.
For example, today – each time you walk to a meeting, focus soley on the walking process. Don’t think about your intended key arguments or contributions. Make time for that before you leave. Instead after you leave your desk, take a few minutes to notice each step, observe and feel your feet lift and hit the ground. Notice your arms swing as you walk. Observe your breathing. Observe the people you pass on your way. Then, when you arrive, focus on the task at hand.
As Dr Bradberry writes, ‘Mindfulness is an excellent technique to reduce stress because it allows you to stop feeling out of control, to stop jumping from one thought to the next, and to stop ruminating on negative thoughts. Overall, it’s a great way to make it through your busy day in a calm and productive manner.’
But it can be surprisingly tricky to get the mind to quieten. If you find your mind wandering – notice that, don’t judge and gently pull it back on task. As with any new skill, lots of practice helps to rewire the neural pathways and soon it will become much more natural to you.
Click here to Dr Travis Bradberry blog post which explains a little more about the science and research supporting mindfulness, and some more ideas about how to make mindfulness a part of your day.
We run a program called Enhancing your Resilience. Click here to see the course outline.