Excerpt from What’s fresh for 2018 by Kimball

What is mindfulness? Ask a group and you are likely to get a different answer from everyone. At its core the concept is straight forward; we all need to take a moment to slow down and embrace the beauty of focusing inward. As mindfulness instructor Jon Kabat-Zinn put it “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”

If you feel that you need some mental decluttering, you’re not alone. Fortunately, we are finding ourselves in the midst of a very timely mindfulness revolution. In today’s hyper-active world where physical and digital collide, we are tethered to our devices, being inundated with information and constantly connected to work. Whether it’s a news alert
about the latest disaster or a 911 email from a co-worker at 11PM, there is no downtime. As the work-life balance continues to blend, people are continually multi-tasking, and as
psychologist Daniel Goleman says, “the more you do it, the worse you get at it.” Research out of the University of California, Irvine, reveals that not only do people tend to switch activities every three minutes during the workday, but it takes significantly longer to get back on the original task. UC Irvine professor Gloria Mark says this leads to “higher levels of stress, frustration, mental effort, feeling of time pressure and mental workload.” In contrast, Goleman says “a relaxed, alert state is optimum for any performance in any field.”

It is no surprise that mindfulness is growing in mainstream markets such as healthcare and workplace. Hospitals across the country are using meditation and yoga as part of the healthcare offerings to patients undergoing surgery, pain management, cancer treatment and more. Corporations such as American Express and Nike have taken mindfulness training programs to their staff. Google has even started the program “Search Inside
Yourself” to boost productivity and stave off burn-out. Mindfulness is a practice worth considering. There is no wrong way to do it, and no medal for master mediator. Just pay
attention and be mindful as much and as often as possible, and you will reap the benefits.