“Mindful attention is choosing to make our mindfulness practice the act of diving deep into one detail.”
In this week’s episode we continue our month of Mindful Moments for the Slow Experiment, looking at the technique of mindful attention or observation. This is something I’ve been practicing for a few years now, and is an excellent example of just how simple mindfulness can be.
At its core, mindfulness is paying attention, and this technique takes that to a granular level. This week we encourage you to try sitting in study of a tiny detail for a couple of minutes, noticing something you wouldn’t have otherwise, and then see how you feel afterwards.
Another way to do this is a body scan, where you sit and rotate your awareness through each of your five senses for a couple of minutes in total – getting very specific about what you can see, hear, smell, touch and taste. I still remember the impact this had on me at the height of my overwhelm and depression years ago, and the way it would pull me into the present moment and out of resentment and anxiety.
For Ben, this mindful attention technique translates to the workplace as single-tasking. After years of being told multitasking is gold, he now breaks projects down into tasks and then works through those tasks one at a time, focusing on nothing else until the one at hand is complete.
There are so many benefits to these techniques of stripped-back mindfulness. Towards the end of the episode I share a study I found that said even after one week of a short daily mindfulness practice, participants showed significant improvements in attention, energy and ability to cope with stress, as well as in processing, working memory and executive functioning.
We’d love to hear how you’re going if you’re playing along, and whether you’ve noticed any benefits like these after last week’s breath experiment.
Here’s to more mindful moments this week!
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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:
- Elise Bailyew on the Science of Mindfulness – Episode 233
- 10 surprising health benefits of mindfulness – PsychCentral
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