First off, I would like to thank Simone for allowing me the privilege of guest posting on her amazing blog. I am truly grateful.
Now, on to mindfulness.
Mindfulness, the act of becoming hyper-aware of (and at the same time detached from) your thoughts and emotions produces miraculous benefits. It’s perhaps the single biggest game-changing habit you can adopt.
For example, The Tim Ferriss Show is a top-rated podcast dedicated to studying top performers in any and all fields you can think of. Well over eighty percent of these impressive guests have a mindfulness practice of one kind or another. With such a disproportionate amount of the cream of the crop it can’t be a fluke. And it’s not.
So what makes mindfulness so powerful?
Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life
A long line of effective performance coaches have held this mantra in high regard. It’s the basis of Napoleon Hill’s classic, Think and Grow Rich. Why? Because our actions stem from our thoughts. We can improve our actions by improving our thoughts.
But we’re skipping over a vital step. Before we can change our thoughts we must become aware of our thoughts.
Often times, we’re so busy running around that we aren’t even aware of the thousands of thoughts we have every day. The narratives we’re telling ourselves—the self-stories that shape our lives—are on autopilot. This certainly isn’t ideal.
A daily mindfulness practice helps build this powerful awareness. (Awareness and mindfulness are synonyms, after all.) By meditating for only twenty minutes a day you can take control of the thing that influences your life the most—your thoughts.
Twenty minutes for control of your life. Pretty good deal, right?
But wait, there’s more!
Change Your Brain
A recent Harvard study showed that eight weeks of twenty minutes a day of mindfulness changes the physical structure of your brain.
There you have it. Non-disputable evidence that meditation works.
The centers of the participants’ brains affected are associated with emotional control. This coincided with the responses given by participants (they felt better able to hand emotionally-charged situations). All participants had zero prior experience with meditation. So if you have tried mediation before it may take even less than eight weeks to affect this radical change!
Have you ever said something out of anger you immediately regretted? I know I have. Mindfulness makes this less likely to happen in the future.
“Okay. I’m sold. But how do I start a mindfulness practice?”
Suggestion and Challenge
I highly recommend the Calm app. If you’re new to mindfulness, their “7 Days of Calm” is a wonderful onramp. I still use the free components every day for my practice. “What gets measured, gets managed,” and it’s a great tracking tool.
If Calm isn’t for you, I’ve heard high praise for the Headspace app. Maybe try that one out.
I’d like to close by issuing a (friendly!) challenge: Devote twenty minutes a day to meditation for twenty-one consecutive days.
Aren’t these benefits worth a mere twenty minutes?
If you decide to take me up on this, e-mail me and Simone to tell us about your experience. If you already have a mindfulness practice and want to share your story, please feel free to reach out as well.
David M. France is the creator of MufasaFitness.com, a site dedicated to helping people live longer, healthier lives.
This is a guest post by David M. France from MufasaFitness.com – thank you SO much for the insightful read, and we’re so grateful to feature you on our blog! Be sure to check out David’s website for advice & information on nutrition, cooking and exercise – you can also find David on Instagram @davidmufasa.
We’ll also be sharing our thoughts over at David’s blog in the near future! 🙂
See you soon!