The need for mindfulness in the busy-ness of modern life
On Saturday I was asked to present some information about mindfulness and meditation at Simply Yoga's personal development session. I discussed the way that mindfulness and meditation can help us step back from the onslaught of thoughts, worries and information we need to process each day. To give us down time when we need it, or even just enough time to process information effectively.
In my day job, I teach English to international adult students. It is a constant battle to get them to put their phones away. Even students who are genuinely interested in learning have the occasional battle with themselves to stop looking at their phones. Why is it so hard?
This article in The Guardian covers the topic quite well. How we are overloading our brains with information on a daily basis. How messaging and social media trigger the pleasure centres of our brains leading to addiction. Addition to getting and responding to those messages.
Yes, we become addicted to the pleasure of the new message arriving, responding to it, more likes, any kind of comment on something we've posted or said. This addiction leads to less efficiency in learning as it has been shown that multitasking when learning leads to information being stored in the wrong place.
This means you cannot recall the information when you need it because it is not where it is supposed to be - a bit like when you are rushing and put your keys down but because you're thinking about how little time you have to get to the next thing, the kids or pets are asking for food, you need to put the groceries in the fridge, and when you turn to leave the house again, you can't find or remember where you've left the keys.
Mindfulness and meditation can help detach from these addictive habits and from the overwhelming aspect of the busy-ness that seems to permeate our modern lives. It helps us find space and time for ourselves. To step away from the 'must's, the 'I should's, the 'I really have to's.
Mindfulness allows us the space and time to breathe and focus on just one thing. The breath allowing the nutrients to the brain, the focus on one thing allowing the space to process the thoughts around it. The breath and the space allowing our muscles to relax, the fight-flight response to turn off and the rest and digest response to turn on. Further benefits of meditation are covered in the video in this post.
If you're not sure how to be mindful or you think you cannot meditate, then please come along to a meditation and relaxation session to try it. There are many different techniques and styles of mediation. In each session I cover 4-6 techniques, some of which you can do at home without being guided and may be able to help you be more relaxed and composed in a variety of situations in your daily life.
Meditation classes are at 9am Mondays and Fridays (but not July 10th 2015) and 7pm Wednesdays. Please contact Sam for the address. If you have any questions, please contact us. The room is heated and there are blankets and a bit of tea at the end :)