The practice of mindfulness (increased present awareness) has impacted our understanding of the field of behavioral economics. New research demonstrates that, by paying attention to one’s environment instead of simply reacting to it, we can reduce stress, enhance creativity, increase motivation and improve performance.
Rather than following old rules and routines, present awareness gives you an innovative and fresh perspective on any situation. This is why industry leaders (Ray Dalio, Oprah Winfrey, Larry Brilliant and Rupert Murdock to name a few) practice present awareness, and why it has now become part of Harvard Business School’s curriculum.
It’s a Practice, Not a Perfect
Mindfulness practice allows you to overcome your negative emotional hardwiring and is the first step toward creating a better relationship with your 65,000 daily thoughts and is different from meditation. Present awareness practice can be woven effectively into your workday routine, enabling you to let go of the past frustrations and reduce future fears, while enhancing job satisfaction and productivity.
Some techniques are:
1. Increase present awareness: Simply bring yourself back to this moment by using your five senses to help anchor you back into this moment.
2. Pay attention to whatever is in front of you: You can practice mindfulness anywhere – at a desk, in front of computer, or while interacting with colleagues or clients.
3. Check in with yourself a few times a day: Present awareness is a form of mental exercise, and, like any exercise, it is better to start in small increments. Make mindfulness a part of your routine, like showering or brushing your teeth.
4. Keep at it: Early practice can seem awkward, and over time you will become comfortable and begin to see and feel the benefits. Like with any exercise, we have a tendency to quit, so be patient and let go of unrealistic expectations that can be distracting.
5. Keep an open heart and mind: Try to not judge yourself, as there is no right or wrong.
6. Come back: When you notice distracting thoughts, simply bring your attention to back to being here and now. This will get easier and better with time, and you will begin to notice better control over your thoughts and mind.
7. Enjoy it: Over time, you will learn to reap the benefits of present awareness and reduce stress and find more joy in everything that you do. ?
Linda Janasz is a journalist, coach, researcher, Emmy award-winning producer, and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) and holds a PhD. She has created and teaches a program called Mindfulness, Meditation and Movement (MMM) Training that has helped hundreds of people find balance and success in an unbalanced world. Visit: www.mindmedmove.com