Ever noticed how your mind has a tendency to just randomly wander from thought to thought, distraction to distraction. Think about it – it’s happening right now!
Our natural state, is a wandering mind, especially when we are not focused on and consciously paying attention on anything in particular. It’s called the ‘resting’ state but for the mind, it’s far from resting!
This essential function in our brain was a vital part of our evolution – scanning distractions in our environment for clues of threat or danger, important to our very survival.
Today these distractions present in the form of media, advertising, ‘stinkin thinkin’, our phones, the internet and social media to name just a few. All these things constantly demanding our mindless attention and reducing our capacity for the very powerful state of mindfulness – from paying attention to the task at hand.
Although these distractions may not pose an immediate threat to our lives, they do reduce our effectiveness across most areas of our life including our relationships, our productivity, our happiness and reduces our overall health.
Exercising your ‘pay attention’ muscle a few times a day strengthens your capacity for mindfulness and enhances your energy, improves your relationships and may even help you get that pay increase!
Try these exercises:
- Breathe in for the count of two – pause – and breathe out for the count of four.
Do this breathing pattern for four or five breaths whenever you think of it.
- Pause and notice the sounds and smells around you for one minute.
- Relax your tongue and activate your ‘rest, digest and love’ system (parasympathetic) by pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth and then releasing it to sit gently behind your teeth.
All of these exercises will strengthen and condition your mind to pay attention (mindfulness) — do it for a week — you may just be surprised the amazingness you begin to notice about yourself and others.
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From the desk of…
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Vikki will be in Australia running two seminars in Melbourne in September.
Tue 10th Sept 7pm – 9pm – Quest Richmond
Thursday 12th Sept 7pm-9pm Quest on the Bay – Frankston