4 Ways to Improve Your Mindfulness

Having come back from a working holiday recently and in a period of limbo as I seek a job, I would like to share 4 new views that struck a chord with me over the past week. You can either absorb it or forget it 🙂

It is easy to forget how distracted we are as humans today, unable to be present in conversations or mindful of our behaviours. We have urges to check our phone every few minutes and can struggle to to be still.

Much like walking past a charity person pretending we did not see them up ahead, we plead ignorance to the sovereignty we allow our digital devices to have over us.

Last New Years Eve while I was away on a working holiday, my phone died randomly and I thought what the heck, lets live without a phone for a while. That while lasted 4 months and in that time I noticed a dramatic change in my mental clarity and emotions. No longer was I able to get my dopamine hits from a mobile device, I had to explore new avenues such as outdoor activities, reading, practising hobbies or catching up with friends. Meeting friends was tricky at first as I had to be somewhere at a specific time and if they didn’t show within a time frame I would make a decision to leave and carry on with my life. Being able to set stronger parameters made life so much easier as it became a yes or no rather than an option of A,B,C,D,E…. Energy wasted on a device was put to good use managing my state of mind or applying it to my projects.

This is an extreme measure for a working city dweller but balance is the key. Knowing how to find that can be tricky so I suggest doing tests like deleting an app for a week or increasing activities you enjoy to see what effect this has on your life. We don’t know how we are doing till we get uncomfortable or change the situation.

7 billion stories and counting, many of these shared via books, blogs and social media. We encounter so many stories of success as they are inciteful and elicit the opportunity to absorb life hacks. Why is it then that we struggle to achieve our dreams when so many preach wise words to help us?

The truth is that we choose to blind ourselves from these stories. We label the heroes as having inhumane traits so that we can feel better about our position. Instead we should be starting to question ourselves and asking the right questions so we get answers to move forward in our dreams.

I stumbled upon a term called digital dementia when listening to a Jim Kwik video. It is a term coined by neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer that describes the overuse of digital technology resulting in the breakdown of cognitive abilities.

I know my memory is pretty poor and by outsourcing my memory capabilities to apps like Maps, Notes, Contacts or telling friends to Google it instead of trying to teach them, I am treating my brain like a couch potato. I am removing its vital need for exercise. I look forward to seeing what improvements I can gain from minimising app use and maximising memory recall.

Really like this quote by philosopher Alfred Korzybski when he said “the map is not the territory”. Any theory we create sets boundaries against a dynamic, complex and ever expanding world. There is no correct vision only a snapshot view from the perspective of the viewer at that time.

So put on a scientific mindframe and challenge what is known.

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