We all know that life is precious and unpredictable, yet most of us spend a lot of time stressed out, anxious and worrying about the things we can’t control. Research estimates that 93% of the things that we worry about never happens and the rest often works out better than expected.
Unfortunately, we end up saying we should and could do more to be happier and healthier… and end up SHOULDING all over ourselves !!!
It’s not surprising, as few individuals know how to cultivate calm; learning to surf one’s 65,000 daily spinning thoughts is not an easy task.
Greek philosopher Epictetus said, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” I have spent years researching how to do just that. What I’ve found is that by practicing gratitude and mindfulness, we learn how to pay attention to the present moment, rather than worrying about the past or future. By observing our thoughts, feelings and events with a patient curiosity we create some distance between our response; rather than “feeling” self-doubt and criticism which can immobilize us.
As a practitioner and researcher, we have produced brain scans that prove that mindfulness and meditation can change the size of key regions of our brains, improving memory and motivation, making us more compassionate and resilient under stress.
As we develop our own personal practices, we slowly begin to notice that we don’t get so caught up in the chaos inside our heads and in the world. We start to see that thoughts and feelings are not facts, and that we can relate differently to our minds; observing our negative thinking patterns with kindness and patience.
In fact, these are effective therapies for depression, addiction and social anxiety; studies also show increased creativity and decreased burnout in the workplace. I’ve had the privilege of developing mindfulness programs for numerous companies and have worked with thousands of individuals as a means of enhancing wellbeing, productivity and motivation.
There are many misconceptions about meditation and mindfulness, but, if you can breathe, you can meditate; it may seem simple, but it is not easy. What training allows students to do is to learn the power of non-verbal spaces through awareness. And, if you already have a practice, there are always new techniques that can enhance and strengthen what you already are doing. A daily practice helps many live healthier, more joyful and productive lives.
Life is a journey, so mindfully embracing and managing the time that we are given is how to best reach our goals and embrace our precious and unpredictable time.
MindMedMove Productivity Practice: A new and improved model for increasing wellbeing
1. Set a long-term goal.
It could be health, personal, professional or spiritual. Understand why this is important to you.
2. Practice your behavior and start small.
Research demonstrates that we become good at whatever we practice, so practice behaviors that bring you closer to achieving what is most important for you. Realize that you will stray from your goals, so approach your goals with patience and self-compassion.
3. Should Happens Practice.
Don’t beat yourself up. We all tend to think in a “dualistic” manner; something is either good or bad. Rather than judging yourself, simply notice your behaviors and bring yourself back to the present moment. Each time you come back is an opportunity to begin again. By noticing our behaviors, we have a better chance of changing them.
4. Practice enables progress… not perfection.
Approach yourself with less judgement and self-criticism. Cultivate patience.