Stressed? Distracted? Overwhelmed? Exhausted? Try Mindfulness "Unplugged!" by 30Seconds Health
Laurie J. Cameron is a veteran corporate leadership and organizational development consultant who spent 25 years consulting with hard-driving professionals at Fortune 500. In her upcoming book, "The Mindful Day: Practical Ways to Find Focus, Calm and Joy From Morning to Evening," she discusses how the “fight or flight” reflex we feel in response to stressful situations is compounded by our constant digital connection.
“Take these characteristics of our evolutionary biology – we have minds that are wandering, scanning and getting distracted – and then equip us with smartphones, laptops and the Internet. The effects are magnified,” she writes. “And to complicate our tech-saturated scene, we are connected more than ever in a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (referred to as VUCA), and it is easy to understand the forces that came together to create what Time magazine christened 'The Mindful Revolution.'"
The National Day of Unplugging encourages everyone to stop and unplug to take stock of themselves, their lives and their surroundings. Here are three simple ways to do this that people can practice every day:
- Tune Into Your Surroundings: Mindfulness begins with awareness. Cameron recommends focusing on three domains: sensing, being and doing. Pause for a moment to take notice of what you see around you, then gradually narrow your focus to details, colors and textures. Notice what you see, hear, smell, taste and feel.
- Turn Your Attention Inward: Are you calm? Nervous? Content? Sad? Grateful? Energized? Consider how your emotions might be coloring your thoughts and behaviors. Just by acknowledging your emotions, you’re already empowering yourself to act with greater wisdom and care – or, even better, to start shifting your attitude if that’s what’s needed.
- Focus on What You’re Doing: Are you cognizant of your actions and behaviors, or are you on autopilot: moving trancelike through the train station, waiting mindlessly in line at the bus stop, or sitting numbly in traffic? Try narrating each step: I am walking by the shops now. I am sitting on the train. I am looking at the colors of the leaves through the window.
“As you build your awareness, strengthening your ‘observer,’ you’ll start to see everyday scenes more vividly, to detect subtle differences in how you feel, and to be more conscious of how you conduct yourself,” Cameron says. This is the gateway to living with more calm, connection and joy.
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