You’re shuttling your children to college, hearing the news headlines on the radio and driving along the freeway, coffee cup in one hand. You’re considering work, your children are requesting answers to questions and your cell is ringing. Then at a stoplight you spot a car before you sporting a bumper sticker with the term “Be Present.”
Show Up. More and more, we multi-task and find it difficult to balance school and work, we’re not present. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller stated that decades before we actually had social networking and mobile phones to disturb us. It’s great guidance.
Research indicates that individuals who multitask are less efficient within their work, by having an overall lower efficiency. Multi taskers have now been recognized as making more errors. Research also indicates that experts are studying that mindfulness might have a measured impact on the brain. Experts claim that practicing mindfulness — that’s, focusing, being present and watching the here and now – has it’s advantages.
The founder of MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction), MIT-educated researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn, theorized that mindfulness training could assist individuals to refocus their attention so that, though they may still have persistent pain, they could alter their reaction to the pain and lower their total suffering. Others theorized that even though pain kept, they certainly were in a better position to manage the strain of coping with disease.
Mindfulness training has been proven to:
* Improve health
* Lower blood pressure
* Decrease cortisol levels
* Ease anxiety, stress and depression
* Increase immune response
* Affect the brain, counteracting what happens to our minds because of stress.
* Improve memory and focus
How to proceed:
1. Mindfulness meditation – Set a timer for 20 minutes (you might want to try for 5 minutes and then build up). Sit still, concentrate on breathing, and particularly focus on the sensation of the air moving in an out of your lungs. Is it shallow or deep? Fast or slow?
Though you’re focusing on breathing, recognize any thoughts which come to mind, but try to let them go. If you realize you’re imagining, say to yourself “THINKING” and then go back to the breath. Remember that it’s totally normal to truly have a multitude of thoughts running through your mind at any given time. The secret is, if you pay attention to what the thought is, you’re being aware and that’s the initial step toward mindfulness and recognizing that you’re contemplating. Some experts advise twenty minutes per-day weekly, and building-up to more time as you become more relaxed.
2. Mindful waking – Other exercises in mindfulness include exercises such as walking slowly around a room. Notice how your heel meets the floor, where the rest of your foot steps and how it feels. Or eat food like a raisin, but do this mindfully. Notice the wrinkles, notice its aroma. Before you start to slowly chew, when you set the raisin on your tongue, spot the flavor, feel and consistency.
Whether you’re overcome with your life or simply wish to have a break in the constant distractions of social media and cell phones, mindfulness may be worth a try. The benefits are large and all it takes is a little bit of focus and breath.