Mindfulness is a word that’s thrown around a lot, and it’s the subject of countless recent books. It sounds lovely, being in the present moment, but what’s the point of it?
Well it’s possible that it can help clear your brain of that pesky ‘mind fog’ that stops you concentrating and gets in the way of your creativity. So, put down your phone, turn off your social media notifications and get mindful.
We all know how it feels when our heads are so full of things to so and worry about that we are just too overwhelmed to get anything done. It’s quite frankly exhausting, and drains our spirit as well as our energy.
It has the same effect as keeping too many files on a laptop; after a while everything freezes, slows down or just shuts off. We’re told we should multi-task but that just makes everything ten times worse. Now we’re having to do ten things at once as well as think about ten things at once. It’s clearly not the way forward in the long term.
Research carried out on office staff back in 2005 showed that multitasking can have unwanted effects of the brain. Researchers monitored brain activity using an MRI scan and found that after multitasking people dropped ten IQ points on average, which is more than if they’d been smoking weed!
So, what can you do?
Stop trying to do everything at once. Try to concentrate on doing one thing at a time, no matter where you are or how busy you are. Only start something else when you’ve finished what you’re doing, or got to a point where you can’t do any more. Try this consciously for a week and see if you notice any changes in your energy, focus or creativity. See if it puts you in a nicer mood, too.
Look back over the week and be honest – how much have you achieved? Would you have managed to get through more or less if you’d stressed yourself out multitasking?
Clear thinking gives you better choices on how to respond, act or react, feel and achieve what you want. You CAN let go of your mind baggage and clear your thoughts, and like most things, mindfulness gets easier the more you do it.
Here’s a simple routine to quieten the noise of a busy mind.
• Sit or stand quietly for a few minutes and notice your breathing.
• Once you’ve got used to the rhythm, start to breathe a little more deeply, into your lower abdomen. Breathe out through your mouth and in through your nose.
• Notice your breath and concentrate on it as you inhale and exhale. As soon as a thought appears in your mind, acknowledge it, accept it and let it pass.
Say to yourself out loud – or in your head…
I Let Go
See how you get on with those exercises – keep practicing for the best results.