Credits: Photgraphy by Amoghavira
Time to think, tailored to each customer:
helps people think outside the box
.... but doesn't come out of one
It's simple, but it's not easy. Being still isn’t something we’re used to. When forced to be still, we often get 'antsy', and need to find something to occupy ourselves. This can become a strong and unproductive habit.
Mindfulness practice addresses the issue of busy activity + digital overload = “continuous partial attention”. The main casualties? Clarity, balance, focus, and the attentive interest needed for good communication.
Definition: "the non-judgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment." (Jon Kabat-Zinn below). In other words, letting go of 'the buzz' – non-stop preoccupation with past and future, with stray trains of thought, with background noises or emotional responses which pull at everyone's attention.
Current: it made big inroads in workplace stress and mental health / pain management via the efforts of Jon Kabat-Zinn (Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School) from 1979 onwards. It has many current large-scale corporate users (incl: Intel, Adobe, Google, Apple).
How-to: it's simple, but it's not easy. Far from being 'strong, willed effort', mindfulness is about letting go of the mental 'buzz' outlined above and working patiently, kindly and directly with your own mechanisms of conscious attention, which are usually extremely scattered.
Benefits: immediate - lessening of mental buzz & chatter, relief from over-thinking; medium-term – better focus, less distractedness, more productivity; longer-term – you stay positive, control unhelpful thoughts and reactions, and accept being present with whatever is happening, no matter what it is.
Provisos: mindfulness is not an instant panacea. Instead, it's a launching pad for a long and constant process. It gives quick and medium-term gains without much support, but to embed benefits into your habits long-term takes work, advice, group support, and renewal. So, expert support is recommended.