3 Key points I learned from watching Andy Puddicombe’s ted talk “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes”
1. Are you looking after your mind?
Early on the presentation Andy challenges the audience to recall the last time they spent 10 minutes ‘simply doing nothing.’ This means 10 minutes of not talking to anyone or watching the Tv. Not being online not and even thinking about the past or planning for the future. Personally I honestly cannot remember the last time I had 10 minutes of doing nothing, even when I am not physically doing anything my mind is planning the day and week ahead! We rely on our minds to help us in every area of our lives from our problem-solving skills to fulfilling our emotional needs, yet for many of us we spend more time looking after our material possessions than our own minds . This constant overthinking without giving our minds a little break each day can result in periods of stress.
2. We are lost in thought 47% of the time
Andy cites a research paper that came out of Havard that found on average our minds are lost in thought over 47% of the time. The scary thing for me is that I would have thought that the percentage was higher. There has never been a faster paced time in society than right now and it is only going to get faster. We need to actively train our minds to stop becoming trapped in our thoughts and experience mindfulness. Andy defines mindlessness as simply familiarising ourselves with the present moment – being in the moment.
3. Focused relaxation –
The greatest take away for me from this entire presentation was the way that Andy explains what mindfulness is in a way I could easily understand and he debunked the myth that I had previously been taught that mediation meant that you are supposed to control your thoughts and stop them from entering your mind whilst mediation. Andy says that mindfulness means allowing thoughts to pass by, not stopping them or controlling them but witnessing them pass without judgement. I also learnt that you don’t need to sit still and burn incense to mediate you simply need to take 10 minutes out of your day to step back and familiarise yourself with the present moments so that you get to ” experience a greater sense of focused calm and clarity in your life.”
Today’s action step
For years I have wanted to allocate some time into my day for mediation but I have never been successful in doing so. I don’t think the traditional concept of mediation, with the guided meditation cd’s works for me . They always seem to distract me and I get panicky that I am not in the ‘zone’ yet like the guided speaker has hinted that I should be, so I am glad that Andy said that this wasn’t necessary. My action step from today’s talk is set aside 10 minutes each morning just to be present in the morning. I know that Andy said that sitting is not necessary , but I find that works best for me, so each morning for 10 minutes I will sit in my garden and just be present in the moment. I wont put any pressure on myself to be in a certain state or control what I am thinking, I will simply let thoughts pass through with no judgment – I will be in the moment.
What’s you take on mediation? How do you bring mindfulness into your life. Please share in the comments below.