Mind Your Own Busyness
Mind Your Own Busyness
Are you a victim of your success?
Mindfulness is a form of meditation
Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, starts his mornings early and spends a 30-60 minutes session of meditation, focusing on breathing. Jerry Seinfeld credits it as a way to sharpen productivity. Oprah Winfrey sees meditation as a form of spirituality and Arianna Huffington has been meditating since her teen years. Mindfulness through meditation is bringing one’s attention, on purpose, to the present moment. It has been credited to lower stress levels and improve productivity and like yoga, its global popularity has exploded in the last 50 years as a form of self-care and improvement. The aforementioned notable names swear by it. Should you be practising mindfulness too?
Zen Buddhism: The Father of Modern Mindfulness
There’s a well-known Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk by the name of Thich Nhat Hanh (a.k.a Thay) — considered by many as the father of mindfulness in the west— who’s been quoted for saying, “If you’re happy, you cannot be a victim of your happiness. But if you’re successful, you can be a victim of your success.” Thay centers his teaching around conscious breathing, focusing on the present and smiling! In his book, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness (1992) he discusses about how people are very good at preparing to live, but not being very good at living itself. It may sound overly simplified: he’s someone who cherishes the sound of Swiss church bells as a tool to practice mindfulness, but is there proof that mindfulness actually helps us in our daily lives?
Popularity of Mindfulness
Nowadays, mindfulness is commonly associated with meditation as a form of self-care. In 1979, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979, came up with an eight-week pain management course called the Mindful-Based Stress Reduction. It has been scientifically tested to prove that it does indeed change brain function in specific ways to boost immune function. As the popularity of his work gains tractions, so has the research in the subject. Scientific research finding such as that of UCLA School of Medicine’s, testified that, “meditation is brain-protective and associated with a reduced age-related tissue decline.” An article by INSEAD suggests mindfulness meditation as an on-the-spot work intervention as a way to manage employees’ stress levels.
Other benefits of meditation are starting to sound like a cure-all of psychological disorders: from depression, anxiety, addiction, to achieving better emotional control, diminishing lack of focus, and according to American Mindful Research Association, improvement in eye health.
Headspace: Spiritual Meditation On The Move
In 2010, Richard Pierson and Andy Puddicombe co-founded a meditation event business in London which has evolved into Headspace: an interactive meditation wellness app. Its value is estimated to be north of US$250 million, with 1 million+ subscribers and counting. The app is laced with Puddicombe’s soothing voice, pillared with over a decade of hands-on experience as a former Buddhist monk. The interface of the app is a swatch of muted pastel shades that asks you questions about your day and what you would like to achieve from using Headspace. The wellness menu is a library variety of “solutions” through meditations, specifically for a particular given issue of your choice, including a section dedicated for today’s digital-friendly kids. The app is free to download, with different subscription levels. In an article by Forbes, it is noted that it is thanks to the app’s data, the app can become personalized to predict users’ needs. No wonder Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, is a fan.
Will Meditation Help You?
The general consensus is that practicing mindfulness is good for you (and for business). Whether it’s trying out a meditation app for the first time in the new year or regularly dedicating a time meditating, we wish you a wonderful, transformative journey to a thoughtful future.