I will not use my mobile phone whilst driving.

I’ve made a decision this week to never use my mobile phone while driving.

Yes, I confess, I’ve done it before – and if you asked my children I was ‘arrested’ – for the record, I wasn’t, but I may have received a sizeable fine and a little bit of a damaged ego – but that’s a story for another day!

You see, the reason for my decision and declaration as above is that I’ve been doing a great online (and free might, I add) course about Mindfulness and Peak Performance.  To tell the truth, whilst I’m a little behind, I’m actually loving it.  One of the notions we have been learning about the attentional blink and that effective multi tasking isn’t really even a thing, nor is it a way to be more productive.

In fact, complex multi-tasking sees increased errors, missed information and increased stress levels, which all, in turn activate the part of the brain which sets off the stress response. Like, walking and talking is an act of simple multitasking, but driving a car and using your mobile phone is an example of complex multi-tasking.

You know, multi-tasking is actually a ‘misnomer’ – it is not possible for our brains to process two tasks/activities at the same time- so while we think we are doing two things effectively at one time – WE’RE NOT – sorry ladies!

When our focus is on one task, not only is it not on the other task, there is also time lost on the time it takes to switch between tasks.

This time is called the attentional blink – so when previously I was talking on my phone and driving my car – neither was getting my focused attention – so I’m here telling you, I’m making the change – and if you ever catch me – feel free to call me out!

Another point to note is that the more stressed we are, the longer this ‘blink’ is – it makes me wonder about those people who work with two computer screens – I would absolutely question if they believe this makes them more productive??  And if they do think they are more productive, are they really?

Efficient attention switching on the other hand is a learned skill and one that I see is necessary in our modern world.  It sees intense focus on one task at a time, which decreases stress and increases productivity. Easier said than done, I know, but with practice, definitely an incredibly valuable skill to have in your repetoire`.

One way to learn this is through practicing mindfulness frequently, so when you actually need the skill, your mind knows what to do.  They used a good example in the course about learning to swim – you don’t wait until you are the man overboard before you learn how to swim – you diligently went to the lessons and learned the skill as a preventative measure – mindfulness practice, therefore, is a preventative measure for good physical and emotional health.

So…. what simple actions can you do today that will help you be more mindful?

  • Try catching yourself out and becoming more aware of your thoughts.
  • Do one task at a time – I’ve got to say this is harder than it sounds.  Keep practicing bringing your attention back to the task at hand.
  • Practice self-compassion when you catch your mind wandering off – just be gentle to yourself as you bring your attention back.

Remember becoming more mindful is a process to be practiced and that small daily actions are what become helpful habits.

I love sharing this information, the more I know about it, the more I believe mindfulness has such a place in this modern world we live in!

So, I’ve committed to not using my phone while I’m driving, and I’m working on some other simple, more mindful actions, what will you commit to?

 

Featured Image:

Image ID : 9113681
Image Type : Stock Vector
Copyright : John Takai

 

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THAT fire.

I have had a couple of different conversations with various people this week about how the scales aren’t reflecting how good they (the beautiful people I have been speaking to) are feeling… I truly wanted to shout “THE NUMBER ON THE SCALES DOESN’T DEFINE YOU!!”  In the interest of social etiquette (and for them not to think I was a little crazy), I didn’t shout and I didn’t even say those words.  I said something more along the lines of ‘…as long as you are feeling good, that’s what matters…and…take some measurements, I think you will be surprised!’

Here’s 4 things I know about weight not coming close as a measure of wellness:

  1.  THAT number definitely doesn’t reflect how hard you have been trying to balance everything that you have going on right now, or that you have made some awesome positive choices for your long-term health in the previous weeks.
  2. THAT number matters less and less when your focus is wellness, rather than skinniness.
  3. Alexx Stuart (Low Tox Life) was way ahead of the game in 2013 when she quoted ‘The conversation is no longer about skinniness.  Its about wellness.  A much more exciting conversation to have.’  By the way, that quote is the background on my computer, that is how much it shouts out me.
  4. A weight can form part of objective data that is compared.  If you have a burning desire to look at numbers, and some people do, you could do some body measurements and partake in some fitness tests!  Go right ahead!

So obviously, I think what matters is not THAT number but rather, THAT fire in YOUR belly… Do you know what stokes the fire in your belly?  Can you remember the last time you felt so energised and determined about YOUR life, you could actually feel THAT fire?  If you can, you can clearly understand that wellness is about a feeling, not any number.

So here’s an idea – the next time you are in a conversation that includes THAT number, do yourself a favour and change the topic to THAT fire!

 

Be like Bill

So, after a week of deep-breathing, challenging my self-talk and being grateful, I think I’m feeling more present?! It might be mind over matter, but isn’t that what much of life is??
Even though it was my advice in the previous post, I’m not afraid to tell you that I have definitely caught myself not being very nice to myself, and certainly being ungrateful.  And I can tell you, I really did enjoy the feeling after those 2o deep breaths, it was enforced focus, which I was very thankful for, I found it soooo relaxing!
So turns out taking my advice worked for me, did it for you?  Do you think you were more present?
When we are present we can start from a clear space and truly give some time to the things that matter to us.  What is that for you?  Why do you get out of bed in the morning?  What are your strengths? What are you passionate about?
Ok, enough of the 20 questions … the answers to those questions may change a little, especially on a day off(!) but on a serious note, what drives us matters a lot!!
When I say it matters, it seriously does!  You know those people are so oblivious to their own selves, its almost humorous, I bet you wouldn’t have to think long to think of someone like this?! Don’t be that person.  Here is an example for you:
This is Bill.
Bill knows what drives him, what his ‘why’ is and the areas he needs to work on.
Bill is kind to himself and has a high level of self-awareness.
Bill is smart.
Be like Bill.