06 Aug Mindfulness – A Sure Cure for ‘Monkey Mind’
Would you spare 12 minutes every day to increase your intelligence and creativity? Mindfulness and meditation are old practices, but the speed at which our worlds turn has provoked many to reconsider incorporating these techniques into their daily routine. “Mindfulness helps you to build what I call ‘mind strength,’ ” Ron Alexander, a therapist and meditation teacher for Walt Disney, says in an article for Fast Company. “Your awareness and consciousness become really toned. This is an excellent strategy for becoming successful in your profession, as well as the bigger game of transforming yourself and the people who work with and for you.”
Neuroscientists are now suggesting that our brains are more malleable than we originally thought. This is great to know that if a skill is practiced, growth happens, but this also means that when the brain isn’t exercised, atrophy occurs. A study done with London taxi drivers showed that after training to memorize the city’s corridors, they had enlarged hippocampal regions, which are associated with memory.
But does this theory also apply to intelligence and creativity? There aren’t any conclusive studies yet – but mindfulness has been proven to provide a sense of peace and clears the mind of distractions. In other words, it frees up resources in the brain so focus can be placed on problem solving or creating. It sets the stage for creativity to happen, for unexpected connections to be made, for ideas to consolidate.
A meditation, yoga and spiritual program named Diamond Heart puts it best when they call it getting rid of your ‘Monkey Mind’ so that the brain can slow down long enough to allow a ‘creative spark’ to emerge. We aren’t suggesting you light a bunch of colored incense and cross your legs uncomfortably so you can ‘ohm’ away, but try to slow down for a few moments every day.