No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, if you’re like most people, you’re probably feeling angered or even outraged by the outcome of the latest election. Either you’re upset about who has been chosen to run your country, or all the people that are upset are angering you. Either way, no one is very happy. Not even Donald Trump has been able to “enjoy” his presidency win with so much negativity going around. So how can we find a little bit of calm and rationalization at a time when tension and emotions are so high? My answer: meditation.
Continue reading Meditate to Calm your Political Anger and Learn to Accept Trump
Mindfulness is something which the medical world has yet to fully accept as a means for treating patients. Although mindful meditation has a variety of benefits, and has been around for thousands of years, it’s a relatively new concept to many doctors. One of the many things that meditation has been shown to aid in the treatment of is anxiety disorder, a condition that affects nearly 7 million Americans.
Continue reading Study: Should Mindfulness Meditation be Prescribed for Anxiety?
Technology is such an integral part of our lives, and as technology evolves and becomes more useful, it also becomes more manipulative and addictive. And the things is, the creators of these technologies know that—they design their websites or apps to work in this way. Sometimes they do it unknowingly, but more often than not it’s something that’s purposely built into the design.
If we’re not mindful about how we’re using many of the technologies that are so prevalent in our lives, then it can be easy to let it control us.
Continue reading Technology is Taking Over Minds Whether We Notice or Not
It seems as though each generation is becoming more and more consumed with technology as it becomes a larger part of our daily lives.
Items like our smartphones, which just 20 years ago were non-existent, now seem to be necessities in our lives. Children no longer see these items as a tool, but as a toy and it’s changing them–it’s changing all of us.
Continue reading Mindfulness Tool Your Kids Will Actually Love
Stop what you’re doing stand up for a moment and just breathe… now pay attention to that breath. Follow it as it goes and your chest expands with each deep breath, feel the air flowing outward. Okay. Now how do you feel? If you’re like most people, you’re probably feeling more relaxed, more present, and more aware.
That was easy, right? But, as Dr. Danny Penman, author of The Art of Breathing, says… “The hardest bit is remembering [to breathe].” Once you remember to breathe (and actually bring awareness to your breath) when you needed it the most you’ll have the ability to calm yourself and think more clearly—the ability to live more mindfully.
Continue reading Mindful Breathing is an Art, One That Anyone Can Learn
The consensus is in, and meditation and tech experts across the board say that in 2017 is going to be the year that mindfulness and meditation take a huge leap into mainstream health.
People today know they need to watch their health, their eating healthier and working out, but what about mental health? While mindfulness and meditation have become more popular over the past few years (in large-part thanks to technology), it’s not yet widely practiced. Some companies, like Humana, are trying to help change that.
Continue reading What’s 2017 Looking Like for Mindfulness and Meditation?
Virtual reality… another device to help us mindlessly waste time, play more games and watching more videos, right? While there are some experimental educational uses for VR such as virtual tours and potential medical uses, for the most part the general public (or the small portion of them that actually own a VR device) is using virtual reality for gaming and time-wasting activities.
Continue reading Virtual Reality Meditation: A New Way to Relax
Today children are exposed to screens of all sorts from an early age: TV screens, phone screens, tablet screens, etc. A huge change from the times when the most screen-time children got was watching Saturday morning cartoons. Today we have 24/7 cartoon channels, games on phones, tablets, computers, and even devices made specifically for children. As much as we’d love for our children to get outside and play as often as we did, or sit down with a pile of building blocks and create their own entertainment for hours-on-end, that just isn’t the reality of today any longer. So what does this shift to more screen time mean for young developing minds?
Continue reading Screen Time is Changing Young Brains, but Could it be Good?
We all have had those times when we’re feeling a little crunched for time, we have so much to do, but so little time… but what if someone told you that you could get more done in less time? That would be impossible right? Not according to Cal Newport’s idea of “deep work.”
Continue reading Increase Your Productivity Every Day with Deep Work
The holidays can be some of the happiest times of the year for many people, but they can also be stressful and exhausting! Preparing the holiday dinner, prepping the house for guests, buying holiday gifts for the family and friends—sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. But what if we could eliminate some of that stress by making our Thanksgiving gatherings and the holiday season a little more mindful?
Continue reading Make Your Thanksgiving Gathering Mindful
In our fast-paced world, there’s one thing that’s starting to slow down: television. Have you ever dreamed of taking a long journey by train, but just couldn’t afford to take the time off of work for such an adventure? Or maybe you’d love to see the world by boat, but get a terrible sea sickness? Now, you can experience these things without leaving the comfort of your living room couch thanks to Slow TV.
Slow TV is newly popularized genre of television that’s gained popularity in Norway and has been brought to the United States with a little help from Netflix. Slow TV gets its name from the pace of the programming as well as the length; the longest broadcast on record is 136 hours (over 5.5 days), but most can last between 3-12 hours.
Continue reading Take a Break and Find Mindfulness with Slow TV
Distraction isn’t something new, throughout history humans have always been faced with distraction, but today it seems as though distraction has become a bigger issue. But why is that? A large part of it is due to technology, something that’s supposed to make our lives easier—and often times succeeds—also has the ability to make life harder by being such a huge distractor in our everyday lives.
When a notification pops up on your phone (a feature that’s supposed to be helpful) while you’re in the middle of an important task, or even in the middle of a family dinner, do you check it? If you’re like most people, then the answer is probably yes, even if for just a moment.
Continue reading Digital Distraction is Changing Our Ever-Evolving Minds
We all want to eat healthier, right? But sometimes it can be hard; cravings happen, we over eat—we aren’t always aware of what we’re putting in our bodies. How many times have you been craving sweets and mindlessly threw a candy bar in your cart while grocery shopping, or grabbed a handful of chips simply because you were bored and snacking gave you something to do?
Continue reading An Easy Way to Lose Weight? Eating Mindfully with Eat Right Now
The term “mindfulness” is often used hand in hand, or even synonymously, with “meditating,” and for good reason–mindfulness meditation is one of the most longstanding and widely-used techniques for practicing mindfulness. It isn’t, however, the only way. In Buddhist teaching it is said that there are 84,000 doors to enlightenment. Here I’ll mention just five:
Continue reading Five Ways to Practice Mindfulness Without Meditating
Receiving a reminder of an upcoming meeting or task from our smartphones can be a great way to remember to be somewhere to get something done on time. All too often, however, our smartphones beep, flash, and vibrate at us every few minutes to provide us with information we don’t really need. And we know that regaining our attention after such a distraction can take ten minutes or more, particularly if we were engaged in deep thought when interrupted.
Continue reading Taking Control of Notifications to Take Back Your Attention
When I first began to use email in earnest, while a student at MIT in the early 1990s, writing and reading emails had much the same feeling as writing and reading handwritten letters. By far the easiest way to write an email was to go to one of a small number of computer clusters on campus and log in to a computer terminal. The people I sent email messages to were few and far between, and they also had relatively infrequent access to an email-enabled computer. So if you sent an email to someone, you expected that they might not read it and respond for at least a few days, if not much longer. All of this encouraged the writing of messages that were relatively long and that provided information that could be quite out of date, much like a handwritten letter.
Continue reading Making Email Slow Again
Setting a clear intention is one of the most important parts of mindfulness practice. At the beginning of the day you might set an intention to act respectfully towards everyone you interact with, to be grateful for what you have, or to exhibit generosity.
Continue reading Set Your Intention, See Your Intention
A good meeting can energize people, refocus a team, and strengthen interpersonal connections. A bad meeting can suck the energy out of a room and leave everyone feeling frustrated and exhausted. No wonder that corporate meetings are the bane of office workers and are an endless source of humor for comedians and sitcom writers.
Continue reading A Technological Trick for Avoiding Mindless Meetings
The workaholics among us (I can count myself in that group too much of the time) often feel that taking a break is a sign of weakness, or at least will reduce our productivity. In reality, and perhaps counter intuitively, taking breaks can help you to rejuvenate and regain your focus, and thereby increase your overall effectiveness and productivity, whether the work you are doing is physical, mental, or a combination of both.
Continue reading Take a Break to Stay Focused
Have you ever been at work feeling tired and unfocused, like you’re not accomplishing anything? Most of us feel like this at some point throughout the workweek. One survey has shown that 31% of people waste at least 30 minutes each workday and another 31% waste an entire hour feeling unproductive. One way to combat wasted time is by practicing mindfulness at work.
Continue reading Humana and eMindful – More Than Just Health Insurance
Whether it’s because of genetics, experiences, or simply poor coping skills, most of us have a hard time controlling our negative thoughts—we’re more focused on the negatives in our lives than the positives. We previously discussed mindfully rewiring your brain to love yourself, but with a little more awareness we can also stop our thoughts from taking us down the path of self-doubt at all.
Continue reading 5 Steps to Shut Down your Negative Thinking for Good
I can’t count how many times I have heard the following responses to a complaint about how technology can distract us:
- “You can’t turn back the clock.”
- “If you find it distracting, just turn it off.”
- “It’s the price we pay for the benefits of technology.”
Continue reading Technological Distractions are a Bug, Not a Feature
Are you the type of person that’s constantly doing more than one thing? Do you regularly eat while you’re working? Do you check your emails, social media notifications, and look at news in the morning while you’re getting ready for the day? You’re not alone, most of us multitask, and many of us think we’re pretty good at it, but most of us have no idea what multitasking is doing to us.
Continue reading Stop Multitasking, It’s Wearing You Down!
The term “augmented reality” refers to technologies — like Pokemon Go — that superimpose characters and other objects on images of the real world.
But does “augmented reality” necessarily augment reality? The term “augment” connotes an improvement, not just an addition. Just consider that in the last few weeks Pokemon Go has been reported to:
Continue reading Pokemon Go: Does “Augmented Reality” Augment Reality?
When something bad happens to you it can be easy to ask “Why me?”, these type of thoughts can consume us, but they don’t have to. A bit of good can always come out of bad situations, especially if we’re mindful about how we treat our experiences. So what can we do when we find ourselves in this type of situation? We navigate through them and keep looking to the future.
Continue reading If You Can’t Change it, Learn to Mindfully Accept it
Have you ever heard the saying “confidence comes from within?” When you begin to practice mindfulness, you learn that that phrase is very true! It doesn’t take accomplishments and a vast knowledge of everything in your career for you to feel confident at work—it just takes a little mindfulness.
Continue reading Your Career Anxiety Is All In Your Head
Throughout our lives we’re taught so much at school, from our parents and other family members, through our friends, but one thing that must be self-taught is mindfulness. No one teaches us how to be mindful, although some schools are making an effort to bring mindfulness and yoga to the classroom, it’s really something we must personally dedicate ourselves to in order to really benefit from.
Continue reading The 3 Greatest Lessons Only You Can Teach Yourself
Forget about hip cafés in the office, company cars, and gym memberships, the best company perk might be something a little simpler. As meditation increases in popularity, many employers are taking notice and hopping on board by offering free mindfulness and meditation classes to their employees.
Continue reading Meditation: The Newest Employee Benefit
Is mindfulness, living in the here and now, really everything that people expect? With a little time and practice it can be.
It doesn’t matter what your reason was for getting into mindfulness in the first place, becoming more mindful could change you in ways you’ve never even considered. Many people begin their journey into mindfulness to help reduce stress and anxiety. It starts with short mediation sessions and grows into a way of life.
Continue reading Is Living in the Here-and- Now Everything You Expected?
Opioid addiction and overdose has been a growing epidemic, not only in the US, but around the world. It’s estimated that between 26.4 and 23 million people worldwide have an opioid abuse problem. For the many of these people the problem isn’t that they’re using the drugs to get high—often times they begin using these medications to relieve chronic pain, but as their tolerance grows, they become addicted.
Continue reading Could Mindfulness be the Solution to Opioid Addiction?
Is mindfulness something that comes naturally to you? Do you act and think mindfully without any thought or effort? Or is mindfulness just another task on your to-do list?
Mindfulness is a wonderful practice, with the variety of ways it can change our lives there’s no wonder that it’s gaining so much interest in today’s society. But if you’re trying to become more mindful by forcing yourself to participate in mindful activities, like meditation, then is it really helping? You might not want to hear it, but the honest truth is that if you fake mindfulness, it just doesn’t work.
Continue reading Learn to be Mindful But Don’t Let it Become a To-Do
Yoga in schools is something that has been a controversial topic since it was introduced in public schools years ago. Having roots in Hinduism there has been the question of whether yoga is a religious practice, and thus violating the separation between church and state.
Some argue that the religious association of yoga means it does not belong in schools; others, like amaZEN U, see yoga as a way to teach mindfulness, empathy, improve focus, and take “brain breaks” throughout the school day to improve performance in the class.
Continue reading amaZEN U: An Amazing Way to Bring Yoga to Schools
Meditation is simple technique that anyone can use to help find calm, clarity, and relaxation during stressful times. Practicing meditation has countless benefits—both mental and physical. By practicing meditation just 20 minutes a day (they don’t even have to be 20 consecutive minutes) you’ll start seeing the benefits of this mindful practice. Try starting out with these 3 meditation techniques:
Continue reading 3 Quick & Simple Meditation Techniques to Practice Each Day
Although the presidential election is still months away and the 2 parties have yet to choose their nominee, the election is clearly in full swing, and has been for a while! The busy schedules of the candidates, constant public appearances, and tough questions can be described as one thing: stressful.
So how is it possible to stay calm and grounded when you barely have a minute to yourself? For Hilary Clinton the answer to all that stress is meditation!
Continue reading Dealing with Presidential-Sized Stress
Happiness is something that anyone can create for himself or herself—we can mindfully wire our brains to be happier and love ourselves. If you’ve ever learned about Pavlov’s dogs (which I’m sure we all have), then you understand the power of the brain and what “re-wiring” can do to the mind.
Continue reading Wiring your Brain to Love Yourself
The benefits of mindfulness and meditation have been proven time and time again, especially for it’s ability to help leave stress behind. The benefits of meditation are almost countless, although Live and Air did a pretty great job of listing a good chunk of them—76 benefits of meditation, to be exact!
Continue reading A World of Difference: The Benefits of Meditation
Do you ever feel aimless and unfocused at work? Do you leave the office at the end of the day feeling like you got nothing accomplished? If so, you are not alone. New research shows that people spend almost 47 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing. In other words, many of us operate on autopilot.
Continue reading Learn to Practice Mindfulness at Work
In two of our recent blogs we talked about distraction and the theories behind why we as a society are so distracted—the two oldest theories, and one new theory—but how can we combat distraction?
Continue reading What’s Worthy of Your Time?
Morning rituals are an important part of many people’s daily routines, but have you ever thought about evening rituals? Evening rituals can help to put us in a better, happier place at the end of the day and allow us to have a positive memory of the day.
Continue reading Make Each Evening Worth Remembering
In our previous post Two Theories of Distraction: Is it Becoming a Bigger Issue?, we talked about the two oldest and biggest theories of distraction: spiritual and material distraction. But there’s a new theory of distraction that’s been brought to light by Matthew Crawford in his new book “The World Beyond Your Head: Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction.”
Continue reading The Third Theory of Distraction: Is There a Solution?
Is the internet giving us a false sense of knowledge? That’s what three Yale psychologists set out to find in a very interesting study.
This study conducted by Matthew Fisher, Mariel K. Goddu, and Frank C. Keil has shown that simple researching on the internet can inflate one’s estimate of their own internal knowledge. This phenomenon isn’t related to any particular subject and can even transfer into other, un-related subjects!
Continue reading Could the Internet be Making us Dumber?
You’re sitting at work with what feels like 10 million things to do before the day is over and you’re starting to feel the stress build… sound familiar? You need to relax, but at the same time, if you stop to relax, that means less time you’ll have to work on everything—it’s truly a dilemma. What if the solution to your problem was sitting right beside you? What if your phone could give you that short stress-relieving break you need without wasting too much of your time?
Continue reading Pause, and Just Relax with Help From Your Phone
We hate to admit it, but nearly all of us take work home with us, it can be hard to just pack up and the end of the day and leave everything at the office. Whether we literally take home things to do after leaving work, or mentally take work problems home, it happens. Unless your job requires it—leave work stress in the office!
Continue reading Shutdown Rituals: Leave The Work Stress at Work
I just attended a session at Wisdom 2.0 called, “Wisdom Films for the Modern Age.” We may not think about film as a form of technology anymore because we are so familiar with it, but film and the various mechanisms for distributing it are technologies that act as amplifiers.
Continue reading Wisdom Films for the Modern Age
This morning I attended a session at Wisdom 2.0 entitled, “The Future of Transformation: How Can Technology Assist Awakening Wisdom?” Here’s some highlights.
Continue reading The Future of Transformation: How Can Technology Assist Awakening Wisdom?
We are excited announce that Robert Plotkin, author of Technology for Midfulness will be attending the Wisdom 2.0 in San Francisco this weekend. Look for insiughts, updates, and pieces of inspiration on the blog from him all weekend.
In keeping with the holiday season, today’s post is a simple reminder to set an intention to be grateful. If I were to represent the topics of my thoughts over the course of a day as a pie chart, the biggest slice usually represents things to do, with a tiny sliver dedicated to things to be thankful for. Furthermore, thoughts and feelings of gratitude often come and go fleetingly, without my mind resting on them and giving them the attention and focus they deserve.
Continue reading Mindful Gratitude
I will be giving a presentation tomorrow (Tuesday, November 17) on apps that can help to promote focus and mindfulness at MIT (Room 4-270), as part of the Radius “Hack Your Mind” program. There has been a boom in mindfulness apps over the last year or two, which makes this an exciting time to give the presentation.
Continue reading Presentation on Apps for Focus and Mindfulness at MIT
In an effort to share a range of perspectives on the meaning of mindfulness and to facilitate a discussion about this important topic, we are posting a series of short essays by different contributors on “What Mindfulness Means to Me.” Below is an essay by Sang H. Kim.
Continue reading Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Sang H. Kim
Do you find it hard to remain focused and mindful in the face of a constant barrage of interruptions from your devices: smartphone ringing, email notifications blinking, text messages chirping? Fortunately there are a variety of ways to configure your devices to limit when, where, and how they interrupt you.
Continue reading Mindful Technology Tip: How to Control Interruptions
We all complain about how technology distracts us and makes it harder to be mindful. Now is the time to stop moaning and take charge. Here are five tips for using technology to help you be more mindful.
Continue reading 5 Tips for Using Technology More Mindfully
If you look up “meditate” you will most likely come across a definition similar to the one above. It’s funny because when I think of meditation, I think of the opposite of “thinking deeply.” I meditate to calm my mind and slow down.
Continue reading HeadSpace Review: Just Pause for 10 Minutes A Day