Mindfulness

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Mindfulness

The opposite of multitasking

By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN
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Mindfulness, the practice of being fully present and in the moment, is a tenet of Buddhism that is increasingly getting the attention of the healthcare community. In a recent article from Scientific American, the authors noted that the practice can lead to improved focus and calm, effects that can have a positive impact on brain function.

The article explains that mindfulness serves to enhance the performance of “executive functions”: those parts of the brain involved in planning and setting goals. The result is improved working memory, enhanced ability to manipulate data and better self-regulation. Essential to many of these same functions is controlling worry and anxiety, especially about the past and the future. Mindfulness promotes a state of calm, which serves to reduce stress and anxiety. Good news for busy nurses!

How can you practice mindfulness? Create your own exercises by thinking of activities that allow you to focus 100 percent on the matter at hand. You might try:

1.  Meditation
2.  Deep breathing
3.  Listening to music
4.  Housework
5.  Quiet yard work.

Not everyone finds these activities absorbing or restful (particularly housework!), but you can bring mindfulness to almost anything by approaching it the right way: concentrating on the here and now, especially simple sensations like taste, touch and soothing sounds.

This article is from workingnurse.com.

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