A serviceable definition of mindfulness: The ability to know what is happening in our head right now without being carried away by it . The ability to see our thoughts , urges, impulse cascading through our mind without blindly and automatically reacting to them. This over time gives us a superpower an emotional pause button so we can offer up a considered response to any ‘life situation ‘rather than a knee jerk reaction.
The science is compelling
There is no way a skeptical and fidgety x-sales director (me) would have started mindfulness meditation if it weren’t for the science. The science on mindfulness meditation is really compelling.
From Harvard and Yale
The neuroscience is where it really gets intriguing. A study from Harvard showed that daily doses of mindfulness meditation can literally grow the grey matter in key areas of your brain to do with self awareness, emotional regulation and compassion and shrink the grey matter in the areas associated with stress.
There is also a study out of Yale concerned with the default mode network of the brain (a series of connected areas of the brain active during most of waking hours) doing that thing that human beings do most of the time; obsessing about ourselves thinking about the past, thinking about the future doing anything but be focused on what is happening right now.
In the Zone
Mindfulness mediation not only helps turn off the default mode network of the brain setting a new default mode focusing on what is happening right now; in sports this is called being in the zone. Nothing mystical, nothing magical, your not floating off in cosmic ooze you are just being where you are . A cliché in self helps circles is being in ‘the now’ the term is accurate if slightly annoying! It is about being focused on what you are doing and the benefits of that are enormous.
This is why we are seeing unlikely meditators such as US Marines, corporate executives, top athletes, surgeons, lawyers and schoolteachers. An elite sub culture of high achievers has developed adopting mindfulness mediation because they know it can help be more focused on what you are doing when you are doing it and stop us being yanked around by the voice in our head.
The next health revolution
My contention is that mindfulness meditation will become the next big public health revolution. 30 years ago if you said you told people you were going for a run they would probably ask you why , who is cashing you! Mindfulness practice will over the coming years become as normal as going to gym, brushing our teeth and taking our meds. Mindfulness meditation is a skill that from whatever your start point can be developed.
What’s its place in the sales-mind programme
Why is it a recurring theme in the sales mind programme.? We teach the basic principles of mindfulness because it impacts on all the modules in the programme It positively impacts our ability to be more focused, resilient, motivated, confident and show the right level of empathy with our customers and colleagues.
Navigating with ease
It doesn’t mean we are not going to be subject to the vagaries of an impermanent and entropic universe! It just means we are able to navigate it all with a lot more ease.
Try it for yourself
Try this test for one month>
Set the alarm 15 mins early in the morning
Follow this mindfulness exercise for 10mins
Repeat for 30 days
Observe how you feel different
Dan Harris 10% Happier (2014) Yellow Kite
Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(4), 822-848.