Mindfulness. Like money, time, and sushi, it’s something we could all use more of.
We all have that mental instagram model whispering that we need to cultivate wellness today...
...and instead listen to the voice urging us to immediately finish every task, getting more ratchetted up and loosing focus as the day moves along.
This reactionary mindset leads to burnout and a lack in productivity.
A professional athlete doesn’t expect to perform well without taking care of her body. If you earn your living with your brain, you should show it the same care & consideration.
Which is why I've brought you this simple technique from Dr. Mark Robin Waldman to nurture your mind.
Mark Robin Waldman is a Neuroscientist and leading expert on the intersection between brain health & spirituality. He's a widely-respected researcher and has been featured on everything from NPR to Oprah to TEDx.
So what do you do?
Dr. Waldman's technique involves mindful yawning (yes seriously).
Basically, yawning increases blood flow to your brain. A lot of people don’t realize that they actually generate heat while thinking. Yawning activates muscles in your neck to bring fresh blood to cool your head down.
This technique takes five minutes at most which is easier than trying to develop an hour-long meditation practice (*ahem* Eat, Pray, Love).
This is how you do it:
1) Take a moment to relax.
2) If there's a problem tugging at the back of your mind, take a second to focus on it.
3) Slowly yawn, noticing how it feels in your body.
4) Deep breathe for about ten seconds and pay attention to any changes in your physical or mental state. If you focused on a problem before, consider it now.
5) Repeat steps 2-4 at least two more times.
...and that's it!
Seems way too simple to work, right?
When we first heard about this technique, my fiancé (also a freelancer) and I decided to experiment and compare notes.
We agreed to mindfully yawn when we woke up in the morning, at lunch, and before bed.
In a way that was odd to both of us, during the experiment we felt more grounded and productive. The yawning technique calmed our brains, allowing us to focus on client and personal projects as well as giving us a sense of clarity and peace.
Opening ourselves up to slowing down and being mindful made us better workers and ultimately provided our clients with added value.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get yawning!
Want to listen to Dr. Waldman's uber-calming voice describe this technique and talk about more science?
Listen to episode 366 of The Lucas Rockwood Show:
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I'm a full-time video freelancer based in Central Michigan who loves sippin' coffee, doing yoga and watering my plants.
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