Feeling Burnt Out So Soon Into The New Year? If you’re not yet au fait with the concept of Mindfulness, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with it now, because you’ll be hearing a lot about it in 2013; from business leaders, academics, politicians and educationalists.
But don’t, whatever you do, call it a buzzword, for it’s the very opposite. By definition, mindfulness aims to shut out the buzz; it is a brain-training technique based on using your breath to achieve mental clarity.
It has been discussed in the British Parliament as a therapy in relation to both unemployment and depression. But it isn’t about zoning out. If anything, it’s about zooming in; paying attention to the present and de-cluttering the brain to make room for creativity – and in business, that means boosting the bottom line.
To that end, mindfulness training has been embraced by organizations as diverse as Google, Transport for London, Price Waterhouse Coopers and the Home Office, by way of an antidote to the relentless pressure and information overload common in many workplaces.
Uncertainty and instability are the norm in today’s work environment; We are living and working in times of constant change. Change is nothing new. What is new is that the pace of change is accelerating and mindfulness trains us to focus on the moment rather than allowing our attention to be hijacked by thoughts about the past or worries about the future.
Many of us have so much on our minds at any given time that we function quite regularly on autopilot. It’s not uncommon to set off in your car and arrive at your destination only to realize you remember nothing about the journey, or walk into a room to accomplish a task only to forget instantly what it was you wanted to do.
Mindfulness teaches individuals to be present in the moment rather than being distracted about the past or projecting into the future. It doesn’t stop you feeling emotions per se, but it does allow you to deal with them more dispassionately.
The aim of the technique is to become more aware of thoughts and feelings, in a non-judgmental way, so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we can manage them better.
Advances in neuroscience and psychology in relation to depression over the past 15 years have coincided with the current economic situation, which has made the condition more prevalent, and mindfulness is a solution that is emerging at just the right time. Many of us are so prone to overthinking and ruminating that we need to develop a way of stilling our minds.”
The World Health Organization recently stated that by 2030, mental health issues will form the biggest burden on health-care resources including heart conditions and cancer. Mindfulness has been shown to help those suffering from depression to manage their emotions better and dwell less on negative memories and feelings.
In just a few weeks a person can be transformed from an unhappy, withdrawn person who feels overburdened to someone who is receptive and upbeat and can experience pleasure in the moment.”
The benefits of mindfulness have been backed up by neuroscience. When people feel stressed, the part of the brain associated with “fight or flight” — the amygdala — fires up, reducing the brain’s ability to cope.
Modern crises such as a deluge of work-related e-mails or a clash of personalities are complex and require flexibility and emotional intelligence, but in its primitive state of high alert, the brain fixates on the immediate problem rather than thinking strategically.
The practice of mindfulness has been shown to calm the body down, reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and even reduce the size of grey matter in the amygdala. By contrast, the amount of grey matter in those areas of the brain associated with attention, memory and empathy appears to have increased in those who have practised mindfulness exercises.
It’s not just beneficial to adults; when applied in schools, mindfulness increases both children’s self-esteem and performance in class.
Teaching mindfulness to young people gives them crucial tools to deal with the pressures of life. It’s empowering, and once they know how to do it, they can draw on it whenever they need to.
Tonbridge School in Kent and Hampton School in Middlesex were the first British schools to include mindfulness in the curriculum for all 13- and 14-year-olds in 2010. Since then, more schools around the world have become involved. Once educators have seen the tangible effect it has on behaviour and performance, it makes complete sense to incorporate it into school life and beyond.”
So if you would like to enter 2013 with enhanced emotional equilibrium, a greater sense of perspective and a feeling that you can cope with the challenges the year will bring, mindfulness could well be the way forward. You have nothing to lose but your stress.
The technique is deceptively simple, but not easy to do; it takes a lot of concentration to stop thinking and planning and projecting forward to the events of the day and focus on the present.
“Mindfulness is a proven technique that will improve all areas of life by freeing you up to make the most of every moment.”
And the effect?
Afterwards you feel calm and light. Despite maybe having a busy day ahead, you will feel as though in a bubble, and although you may be aware of the various things you I have to do, you will not feel at all anxious.
Sign up today to join either a group session or a private class to learn these techniques so that you can make 2013 the year that you feel in control, calm, creative and enable you to be the best that you can be! Contact Linda direct for more detail.
Until next time……………