Stress Is A Big Problem
Stress can form in layers. Whether it's entrepreneurial or business related, personal, situational, or just transferred from others you spend time around, it seems that we are dealing with more and more daily stressors. It's important that you understand what your stress looks/sounds/feels like, and even more important that you know how to deal with it. Why? Because stress constantly plays interference, easily fogging your mind, clouding your judgement, and preventing creativity.
We may know that stress is just a back of the room troublemaker, but the truth is that stress is hard to ignore. Because once we let the stress in, it's really hard to get it back out. The goal is that, rather than having solutions in place to deal with the stress, you could train your mind to be a less ‘stressy’ place. And even in the short amount of time we spend acknowledging the stress, it is actually wiring your brain to look for more stress and focus on that stress.
Stress Has Always Been A Problem, Mindfulness Has Always Been the Answer
Socrates would spend hours in what he called deep thought. Leonardo da Vinci would light a candle, lay in bed, and watch the reflection of the candle on the ceiling to go into a deep state of mindfulness. Edison would sit in a chair, focus his mind, and hold a rock in his hand that would fall into a metal bucket if he fell asleep. Einstein thought experiments were exercises in deep focusing of the mind.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is choosing to pay attention in a specific way:
- On Purpose: making the decision to focus your awareness on what you want to focus it on, rather than letting the mind wander. Deliberate choice.
- In the Moment: our attention is focused on replaying the past, or projecting into the future which means our attention is typically not in this moment. Research has proven we have 60,000 thoughts a day and 90% are the same thoughts as yesterday. With mindfulness brain training, your thoughts are calmed until you experience the most silent and peaceful state of your own awareness.
- Without Judgment: noticing our thoughts, and letting them arise as they will, allows us to let go of judging the thoughts as good or bad. When you make the choice to take a breath, focus your mind in the moment, and then allow thoughts to arise, you are open to heightened creativity which opens you to new ideas without rejecting them before they can be explored
All of this allows more space between your old repetitive thoughts, which opens the doorway for your genius to come through. You can call this the Genius Gap. The creative innovators throughout the ages knew this secret. This gap is silence between thoughts and is found in the teachings of transcendental meditation. With a daily practice, you will develop deep relief from stress and anxiety, clarity of mind and a healthier heart.
In addition, there have been over 4,600 studies on the efficacy of mindfulness showing us that mindfulness reduces stress, anxiety, overwhelm, depression, blood pressure, and insomnia.
Some Important Statistics:
- Harvard Research Study: We spend 47.3% of our day in a state of mindlessness.
- Harris Interactive Work Stress Survey (2013): 83% of Americans report work is a significant source of stress.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (2014): 50% of employees say stress level is "high" or "overwhelming".
- Forbes reported that 22% of the Fortune 500 companies had Mindfulness Programs in 2016 and that number was expected to double by the end of 2017.
Here's How You Can Be More Mindful
Research has proven that your mind is more open to creativity in the morning. Consider adding a morning practice, to open your mind to creativity. Instead of starting your workday with emails, consider beginning with this mindfulness practice for five minutes. Use the timer on your cell phone.
- Sit up straight in your chair
- Focus on your breath
- When thoughts enter your mind, return to your breath
- If you notice your mind wandering, go back to your breath
My mindfulness practice helps me start my day with a clear head so that i don't carry forward yesterdays problems or anxieties. I am able to begin with a refreshed, clear intention of what I want to create in each new day.
Until next time, Choose to Lead,