Introduction to Practice and Impact

Download the resource for resource for Module 2: 3 Breaths and a Smile

Hello madaline from mind over matters, welcome back to managing your mind, you know, I love this stuff. So I’m excited to be here with you for module two, when we are going to jump right into practice and also to talk about the positive impact that these practices can have on your life. So as we said last time, it’s going to be as if you’re filling up this managing your mind, mind management success, toolbox, one tool at a time, beginning right now. Okay, so let’s begin our first exercise. First, we’re going to do it. And then we’re going to talk about what’s so great about it. Okay, so this is called three breaths, and a smile. And it’s exactly what it sounds like, actually. So I want you to sit up nice and straight in your seat if you’re sitting. Otherwise, you can do this standing, but sitting up nice and straight with your feet flat on the ground. And they want you to close your eyes. And if that’s not comfortable for you, you can simply gaze downward. And I’m going to do this with you. Okay, so I’m closing my eyes, top of the head nice and parallel with the sky. And we’re going to begin to breathe, begin to refine the breathing later on in the course. But right now, we’re simply going to take three luxurious breaths. So I’ll tell you when to begin. And breathing in through the nose, and breathing out through the nose. Three luxurious breaths. And when we’re finished, we’re going to come back into the room, and smile, if there’s someone else in the room with you, you can smile with that person. Otherwise, if you’re with yourself, smile anyway. And I will tell you what that smile does for you, when we are finished doing this, okay, so let’s all again, sit up nice and straight feet flat on the brown. And you may begin your three luxurious breaths in through the nose and out through the nose, and then come back into the room with your smile beacon. And how does that feel? Most people say that feels pretty darn good. And now I’m going to tell you some of the reasons why. So for example, when we smile, we change the musculature in our face, which fakes out our brain, so sciences into thinking that we’re happy. And so the brain floods the body with happy hormones, which then actually make us really begin to feel that we are happy. And the breathing. So like, what do you do when your computer’s acting crazy? it’s blinking. It’s frozen. It’s just not doing whatever it is that you want it to do. What do you do? You shut down. And so this breathing is a shutdown for the brain, it’s a shutdown and restart. So it takes you out of whatever craziness is going on in your mind. And it resets that just exactly the way we would reset a computer. So what a joy, I always say, to realize that we can, you know, have we’re always trying to change some person, place or thing outside of ourselves. And anyone who knows how hard it is to change a habit of your own that you might even want to change when we realize that we can understand how ridiculous maybe it is that we think we’re going to change another person, place or thing that may not even want to change. So what a joy to know that there’s so much that we can do. all by ourselves, inside ourselves, that can make much more of a difference than you may have ever thought. But we don’t all always feel that good, do we? So here are some statistics from the global organization for stress, and a recent global survey of 1000 corporations across 15 countries. commissioned by the Regis group. It was found levels of workplace stress have risen over the last two years. And the survey found that six in 10 workers in significant global economies experienced increased workplace stress. And here’s the thing. It’s not about time, as I’ve said before, people mistakenly think If only we had more time, take a time management course. But no, it’s not time management, as much as it is mind management. Because when our minds are focused and clear and calm, we actually save time, there’s not so much we doing, like the editor who told me that while she was taking this course, she found that error, before it went to press that she believes she would never have found, and then all hell would have broken loose and drained her and her staff have so much time and energy that could have been spent on so much else. So that’s how we get more hours in a day by increasing billable energy by managing our minds to free up energy and time. And other things to study show that even just 15 minutes a day of mindfulness based meditation, such as concentrating on the breathing can lead to more rational thinking when making business decisions. This study, it was inside Business School, investigated the effects of mindfulness on a phenomenon known as sunk cost bias, which is when we’ve invested so much into a hopeless project, at work at home, even at play. It happened to me with my bucket after bucket after bucket of golf balls, when I was trying to learn how to play golf. And the worse I got, the more buckets I bought, when probably I should have taken a break. In any case, when you can’t bring yourself to stop for fear of losing all that was invested. That’s called sunk cost bias. And this type of thinking influences future business decisions, some that may even bury a business leader in depth. The study found that mindfulness helped participants to draw focus away from the past and future temporarily, so that they could make decisions based on information known in the current moment. So this type of rational present, an oriented thinking improves an expedites decision making not only are better choices made, such as pulling out of a bed investment, but also decisions are no longer over analyzed for weeks. Now, at the opposite end of the spectrum, we have, you know, from the mind being stuck. at the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the mind being all over the place and is one CEO put it, he said, when my mind wanders in a meeting, I wonder what business opportunity I just missed. So when you start a mindfulness practice, paying attention on purpose in a particular way, and the present moment without judgment, when you start a mindfulness practice, you will become hyper aware of how much your mind wanders away from what you’re actually trying to focus on. But it’s the act of bringing the focus back to the breath. That seems to strengthen the brains circuitry for concentration. So when people say, Oh, God, I can’t do this, my mind is wandering all over the place. The idea is that when the mind wanders, we have that opportunity to bring the mind back, and it’s the bringing it back that strengthens the muscle. So our brains prefund pre frontal cortex is the executive area that controls our attention. When the amygdala in the lower more midbrain, which is the trigger point for disturbing emotions, like anger and anxiety, when the amygdala acts up, it signals the prefrontal areas to shut down. So that’s why we’re anxious or we’re angry, we can’t think so well. And if we can learn to which is what this course is about, we can learn to calm our amygdala that allows the prefrontal areas to operate more effectively, and thus to better focus our attention. And by the way, is more than an aside or memory to so those who practice mindfulness also show a stronger working memory, a short term memory that registers in the moment thought processing. So for example, with a mindfulness practice college students graduate school exam scores increased by 16%. in a professional setting, this can bolster leaders ability to perform the complex thinking needed for strategic work, problem solving, and even intense interactions with others. And having a less reactive amygdala means a leader can stay calmer, which means more clarity, and more effectiveness. It also means that people will show up, whether it’s at your dinner table or in the boardroom, a lot of people can be there without really being there, or not even showing up. Which brings us to engagement. Again, at work at play at home, wherever we may roam, people who practice get along better with others, because react, they’re reacting less strongly to minor conflicts. So this means they can also share information and ideas more easily, and at the end of the day, just make more effective strategic decisions, because they are able to calmly debate their different points of view. Research on other groups is also found that people who meditate regularly generally recover more quickly from a stressful event. There’s studies all over the internet for you. The point is that the better we can control the placement of our attention, the happier, healthier, more productive our lives can be. And that is how all of us can go from this to this. So let’s just do that one more time together now, and then you can put that right in your toolkit to be able to use anytime you want for a quick reset. I’m going to see you next time for module three on how the mind works. Till then, as always, please do not hesitate to contact me through my website with any questions or concerns or comments you might have. And we’ll take our breaths now and say goodbye till next time after that, okay. feet flat on the ground sitting up nice and straight. Three luxurious breaths. Begin them now and come back into the room with a smile. Bye bye till next time