Mind on Mindfulness

Where did I put my keys? Have you seen my wallet?  

Mindfulness is more than meditation. It is a practical skill that will help you focus on those big important tasks that cause you stress and those little daily details that can get lost in the shuffle. 

Mindfulness is the art of being present. 

According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of the mindfulness-based stress reduction programbeing mindful is “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” Through mindfulness, you are able to be aware of where you are and what you are doing and not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us.  All too often we get caught up in the daily stress of life, making you less productive, less successful, and ultimately less happy.   

 

Mindfulness helps to boost creativity, problem-solving, memory, and focus. 

Practicing mindfulness is proven to help boost creativity and problem-solving and improve working memory and focus according to the former US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy.   In fact, the Walt Disney Company, General Mills, and Google are just some of the major corporations that use mindfulness and meditation in the work place to improve the creativity of their team. For example, General Mills has meditation rooms available to staff and noted improved innovation as a result of “sitting in stillness. Google has an outdoor labyrinth for mindful walking meditations and an in-house mindfulness program called “Search inside yourself."  

Other studies have found that mindfulness helps prevent you from being blinded by your past experiences. Researchers found that those who practiced mindfulness were less likely to overlook simple novel solution to a particular situation because they were freed from the repetitive thought patterns from formed experience. Additionally, other researchers found that practicing mindfulness regularly helped students improve their GRE reading comprehension scores and working memory capacity.2  

Mindfulness can help you reduce your daily stress and better manage the stress of important events, like a final or big presentations.  

Being present and mindful enhances your response to stressful events and helps to protect you from similar stresses in the coming days. Practicing mindfulness can help you better handle stress by giving you greater confidence in your ability to manage that stress. If you practice mindfulness regularly, you will find you are able to manage and control your stress-related thoughts when you study for exams or participate in other activities that may cause stress. 

This November, stop and take a break at least once every day to be mindful. 

The Georgia Tech community offers many opportunities for you to practice mindfulness. You can try on of the 50 ways to take a break featured in this image or participate in any of the programs and events happening on campus: