You might think ‘how, am I going to fit meditation into my already hectic schedule and why should I bother?’ Well keep reading…
If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, easily irritated or frustrated, if you at times over or under eat, perhaps drink a little too much, find it hard to focus and don’t sleep so well – then meditation or mind training is the first place to look for solutions.
There are various forms of mediation; the one we are talking about here is Mindfulness. Conclusive world wide research shows mindfulness training in the workplace will deliver the following:
- Improves our ability to focus and concentrate
- Improves efficiency and productivity
- Reduces stress and illness related absenteeism
- Benefits our health and relationships
- Improves our ability to bounce back after disappointments
- Assists hugely to improve our sleeping patterns, and
- Makes us feel better – much better!
With those benefits in mind, it is not surprising that some of the world’s most progressive and prestigious organisations and companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Carlsberg and Harvard University are using Mindfulness training.
So how does Mindfulness work?
It wouldn’t work if your brain didn’t change all the time. The brain changes constantly through what you pay attention to and what you experience. Seventy five percent of what we know about the brain we have learnt in the last three years. One amazing fact that is becoming obvious is; Attention is the scalpel that forms and shapes our brain.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, easily agitated and stressed, you can be quite sure that you are not managing your attention that well. Your ability to manage attention is shown through research to be the one factor above the school you went to, the postcode you grew up in and your parents, to determine whether you have a ‘successful’ life or not. (‘Focus’, by Daniel Goleman)
Mind training is no different to any muscle training, it is just that you are training a muscle you can’t see, but you can notice the changes fairly quickly. All mindfulness training starts with attention training.
Being able to focus, have clarity and mental agility are some of the best investments you can make both personally and professionally.
Here are three things to get you started:
- Right now, notice your breath, notice the gentle movement of your body as it is breathing.
- Attend to Five Magic Breaths regularly during your day, the Five Magic breaths starts with closing the eyes and placing one hand on your lower abdomen. Notice the warmth that is generated between the hand and the body. Then follow the movement of the body breathing for five breaths.
- Be mindful of the first mouthful of any meal, look at it, smell it, taste it, chew it.
Article by Charlotte Thaarup-Owen. B. Teach, DipFDR (Vic), DipMeditation, DipEd (London University) MBSR, MBEAT, CBMT.
Charlotte is an internationally experienced clinical mindfulness consultant and transformative educator. Click here for free resources, mind-training audios, training and more retreats!
If you would like to learn more on mind training or mindfulness, take a look at Charlotte’s upcoming Mindful Leadership specialty retreat at Golden Door.
This article was original published by Golden Door