Social media and mindfulness - can they get along?
Whether it’s a minor inconvenience like a parking ticket, or a major setback in your finances (like a huge hospital bill or a new car), or in your relationship (finding out Mr. or Ms. Right was just Mr. or Ms. Right Now), one thing is for sure: the way you react to your external circumstances can make or break you as an entrepreneur, business owner, or freelancer. So, I started meditating when I realized that life doesn’t always go the way you want it to. It lead to me realize a few years ago that attitude impacts everything. It directs your mind, your behavior, and most importantly, the energy you put out there in every aspect of your life.
If you want to master one of the most underrated secrets of “how to be successful in life”, take a look at your energy and your attitude. I believe energy is contagious, and I think about what I want people to “catch” from me. This doesn’t mean I am telling you to hide your emotions, or to push down negative feelings. The path to positivity is often dealing with, and moving through, what you are truly feeling - which means accepting all parts of your emotional spectrum. What I’m suggesting is to become aware of how much power you have inside of you that you may not be currently accessing, and take responsibility for the impact your reactionary attitude has on the quality of your life, and on other humans.
This is exactly why I meditate. I sit still every day, before I make plans, before I say yes when I mean no, before I head into a full day of calls with clients and staring at a computer screen. I work in morning meetings after I take time to clear my energy and get myself in check. Meditating made me mindful, and being mindful made me feel kind of like superwoman.
Meditation helped me achieve clarity: on what I wanted, who I wanted it with, and where I wanted to have less hustle (or more). It silenced the white noise between my ears.
Meditation, or mindfulness, has been on the rise these past few years, becoming popular in both personal life and the workplace. Have you heard about JP Morgan and Eileen Fisher hosting meditation conferences (and speeches from famous yogis like Colleen Saidman Yee), or the Hyatt hosting mediation rooms for corporate travelers?
But, what is mindfulness? It is the practice of staying in the moment, focusing on breath (pranayama), and using “mind over matter” and gentle mental nudges to regulate our thoughts. Studies have shown that mindfulness has the ability to literally rewire our brains and our interactions with the world. (Did you guys hear that? It literally changes brains).
Here are a few ways that having strong Meditation Game can help you conquer a negative mindset, and make your spirit contagiously happy.
Improve Your Focus: Odds are you are going to check your email at least once while reading this post. (I know I’ve checked my Instagram(s) while writing this.) Mindfulness helps with attention-spans and therefore helps with our ability to focus. The goal of mindfulness is to stay in the present - and when we do, our minds are less likely to roam. Mindfulness affects the area of the brain known for self-regulation. With more self-regulation, we are able to stay in a task longer and avoid meaningless time-consuming habits, like checking our emails every. Other. Second.
Become a Better Listener: Can you hear me now? Like its capability to increase focus, mindfulness can help us to become better listeners. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, but eventually your own thoughts are louder than his words? We’ve all been culprits. Because mindfulness helps keep us in the moment, we can better pay attention to the flow of information.
Embrace Criticism: We all love criticism, right? Mmmm…Wrong. Accepting negative criticism is a hard thing for most of us to do. This is definitely my Achilles heel. But, mindfulness can help us take criticism and digest it more effectively. Negative feedback can cause a flight or fight reaction that can shut down parts of the brain. But through the practice of mindfulness, we can slow down our brain, keep in the present, and therefore reduce our anxiety right as it is beginning to brew. Mindfulness can help us take in information pause - giving us chance to consider what is being said, and comprehend it with a level head.
Maintain Relationships: Welp, hippocampus means “sea monster” in Greek. But besides it being a mythological creature, the hippocampus is also the part of the brain that helps with self-awareness and compassion. These are both qualities that are fundamental in building and maintaining relationships. Mindfulness increases the function of the hippocampus, therefore allowing us to be more empathetic - and when we are more empathetic, we are more likely to be effective team players.
Do you practice mindfulness? How has it improved your life?