Anderson Cooper did an investigative segment on “Mindfulness” this last Sunday on 60 Minutes. If you haven’t heard of “mindfulness”, you will soon. Read more to be in the know so you don’t get caught at a party, or at your job, with a silly look on your face saying, “What’s that?”
As Cooper says in the opening, mindfulness helps us get around the stresses of daily life. It means, “being aware of your thoughts, physical sensations, and surroundings”, as he puts it. This may sound trivial until you look carefully to the sentence. Most people are completely unaware of their thoughts, their true present-moment sensations (not just pains or emotions), and what is really happening in the present moment.
Cooper was very skeptical going in. He had a profound experience and said it has changed his life.
13-minute 60 Minutes video (watch in browser):
To put it simply, your mind and body are in this present moment, rather than lost somewhere else in distraction. The most common distraction being the incessant running commentary of thinking or problem solving. Why is that important? You can only ACT in the present moment. You cannot act in the story in the head, being lost in the past, future, or projections of the mind. That’s like trying to take action in a dream. Indeed, many people are stuck in their own dream rather than participating in this moment.
There are also three additional short video segments on the CBS site to view: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mindfulness-anderson-cooper-60-minutes/
There are literally thousands of forms of meditation. What gives mindfulness the edge is that it’s been scientifically proven in countless studies over 40 years to eliminate depression, anxiety, and stress. Even medications typically just mask symptoms, create side effects, but still don’t eliminate the problem. Mindfulness is being taught at Google and other cutting-edge profitable corporations as well as taught in hospitals to cancer patients.
Mindfulness is something we can see at the highest levels of peak performance as well. Watch the Seattle Seahawks play football and you notice they’re a different kind of team. Pete Carroll, the head coach, has created a training system that has the players be mindful in the chaos of a big game.
If it works for all these people, maybe it will work for you to create a little more peace in your busy day? You are worth trying it out for yourself!