We’ve gone head-first into the digital age and whilst that can come with many exciting possibilities and open doors, it can also mean it’s easy to get destracted and postpone finding that oasis of calm within ourselves. That time-out during the day when you can really connect with yourself again and find a zen place; a space between what the world expects of you and what you expect from yourself.
When these two aspects become out of synch, so do our goals. And if we’re not not in line with our goals, is what we achieve really meaningful to us? How do we measure our success if we’re out of touch with what we feel is important?
The act of ‘mindfulness’ pulls into focus these deeply personal questions, helping us to put substance into our external actions by examining and reaffirming our internal wants and values. When put into that context, it makes a whole lotta sense to find that down-time and make sure we’re not running on auto pilot with little awareness of what we’re doing or what we’re doing it for!
So why not take not take a sneaky 5 minutes now to check-in with how you’re doing on the mindfulness front and why it’s important to make sure you find ways to factor it in to your busy schedule.
- Health. Tired of feeling run-down? Tired of being the first to go down with the office bug? Tired of feeling tired? Guess what, mindfulness has a cure for that! Opting to spend some time using mindful meditation techniques has been shown to boost the body’s immune response, and has also shown to combat the effects stress can have on the immune system.
- Positive Change. Have a bad habit? An eight week mindfulness based meditation programme showed promise as a new tool to aid in quitting smoking, with more than half the participants still smoke free six weeks after completing the programme. Just incorporating ways to relax goes along way towards fighting those cravings you’ve been trying hard to beat!
- Self Image. So, you’ve made some progress at the gym! You were feeling great, but now you can’t quite shake that critical eye when you look in the mirror. You need a more cognetive uplift! Studies on mindfulness meditation have found improved body image perception in those who participated in an 8 week programme, along with greater self-esteem. With our obessesion for perfection and celeb culture, mindfulness can really help you to appreciate the skin you’re in again!
- Memory. Feeling forgetful? When those ‘senior moments’ seem to be adding up, it may be time to switch back into mindful mode. Research has found that working memory gets a big boost from mindful meditiation. A study by Jha et al. tested the memory of two military groups, finding that the group who had participated in the mindfulness training techniques during highly stressful drills before deploy, had a far better working memory compared to the group that didn’t. We all know that stress has a way of overloading the mind, so make sure you find time to declutter and enjoy better recall and performance!
- Relationships. Is your SO in the dog house again? It might be time to reflect on their good points. Studies find that a person’s ability to be mindful can help predict their overall relationship satisfaction. Mindful individuals increased thier ability to respond well to the stresses a relationship can bring, and proved more skilled in communicating their emotions to a partner. Relationship conflict? Not today! You’ve got your A-Game on thanks to mindfulness.
So, set all your devices to ‘silent’ and make sure to mentally log off at least once a day! Making room for a more mindful routine can set you up for success and can offer you a mental umbrella, and when life’s storms do come rumbling through, you’ll feel more prepared to keep putting your best foot forward.