Updated: Jul 26, 2021
Find yourself living in a fast-paced, performance-focused world, it is hard not to get pulled in this new normal. Like the undertow… before you know it you are already in it. So, how do you hit the pause button before you are under water finding it difficult to breathe? Research affirms that taking mindful moments to unplug may be just the lifebuoy you need. “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,” says Jon Kabat-Zinn, considered one of the leading experts in mindfulness research and training.
I love analogies, so consider…
Much like an airplane, do you find yourself taking off in the morning and jetting from place to place, not taking time to refuel, and perhaps flying on auto pilot circling the runway over and over again stuck in ruminating thought or habitual patterns of behavior? Practicing mindfulness invites you to land the plane, not just coming in for a landing but really grounding. Giving yourself permission to be present, not thinking about your next trip, turning your engine off and being still in the moment is where grounding begins. Allowing yourself time to connect by taking an inward journey to feel your breath, thoughts and sensations. Learning to take inventory of how you are feeling physically, energetically, and emotionally on the inside without judgement is at the center of mindfulness.
Research keeps affirming that the benefits of mindfulness are abundant… see below. Consider how your life could be impacted by the below benefits.
Decreased stress and psychological distress in adults and employees
Enhanced mental health and functioning
Increased emotion regulation and self-control
Decreased anxiety, depression, worry, and rumination
Reduced incidence of problem drinking and symptoms associated with problem drinking
Enhanced academic achievement in students, due to improved ability to focus and improved attention
Improved social and relational skills
Reduction in aggression and problem behaviors in children
Reduced symptoms of burnout in employees
A decrease in turnover and higher employee retention
Enhanced job performance and satisfaction
Increased ability to cope with stress and change
Enhanced resilience in adults and children
Practicing mindfulness is free and simple. Just pause, close your eyes, take a few intentional deep breaths and allow yourself to be fully present in the moment without judgement. Pay special attention to what you notice and what you are experiencing. Giving yourself the gift of mindful moments throughout the day may be just what the doctor ordered.
Read this article if you want to learn more about mindfulness.
Two good books: 10% Happier by Dan Harris and The Here and Now Habit by Huge G. Byrne, PhD. Two good apps: Insight Timer and 10% Happier.
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