20 Sep 5 ways to clear all that mental clutter
So many things can get in the way of our happiness.
And so many of those things are worries and unhelpful thoughts; a cluttered and distracted mind.
But this great article points us toward more happiness via a clearer and more focused mind. Check it out…
via FastCompany by Stephanie Vozza
That smartphone in your pocket? It’s nearly doubling the amount of time you spend working.
A 2013 survey by the Center for Creative Leadership found that the typical smartphone-carrying professional interacts with work an average of 72 hours a week.
No wonder we’re all so stressed out.
“Year after year, people complain of being more overwhelmed than they were the year before,” says Scott Eblin, author of Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative “It’s an epidemic that needs to be addressed.”
It started during the financial crisis of 2008, says Eblin. “Organizations had to downsize to survive, and the employees who were left had to do more,” he says. The popularity of the smartphone only worsened the issue. “It’s taken away our sense of boundaries, and hyper-connectivity has stolen our attention,” says Eblin
For Eblin, an executive coach and president of the Eblin Group, the impact of stress hit home in 2009 when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As his condition worsened, his wife suggested that he try yoga. The practice not only strengthened his body, but his mind, as well.
“Managing MS is about managing stress,” he says. “Pursuing mindfulness through yoga reduced my stress and literally saved my life.”
The entry point to mindfulness is awareness, but Eblin says the endless amount of distractions in today’s world makes it difficult. “Our constant mental chatter puts us in a constant state of fight or flight,” he says. “This leads to bad decision-making, which impacts our health and wellbeing.”
The opposite of fight or flight is “rest and digest.” “By mindfully using your rest and digest system you can reverse a lot of the damage that you may have done to your brain and body,” says Eblin. He suggests clearing away the mental chatter by introducing one of these five routines that help center your mind:
1. DEEP BREATHING
The first routine is to incorporate deep breathing. Eblin recommends using the STOP acronym to remember the process. Stop what you’re doing. Take a breath. Observe what’s going on around you. Proceed. Once you become more aware, you can act more intentionally, he says.
Deep breathing is a rhythmic repetitive motion, and Eblin says it’s his favorite tool for removing mental chatter because you can do it whenever and wherever you wish. As you breathe, put your hand on your stomach; if your hand is moving in and out you’re doing it right.
“Navy Seals are trained to do four minutes of deep breathing when they are deployed to counter balance the stress of their mission,” he says. “Breathing is like doing reps in the gym for your biceps. The more reps you do, the stronger you are. Paying attention to your breathing increases the attention muscle in brain.”
…keep reading the full & original article HERE