Can Practising Mindfulness Really Change My Life?

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, Insights, Motivational, News

Do you spend time focusing on the present and living in the moment?  If so, you're practising mindfulness, a powerful antidote to the unwanted side effects of a fast-paced lifestyle, something I refer to as the 'Drive-By Life' phenomenon.

  • Mindfulness practice – enhances our emotional intelligence and benefits our focus. Concentrating on how you react when stressed will help you gain better control over those reactions. When we consciously realize that we can become more resilient through practice in our day-to-day activities, we are better prepared when a major issue comes our way.
    - Linda Marshall, Author

Drive-By Life Phenomenon

When writing my book, Giving Back, How to Find Your Personal Joy and Make a Difference to Others, I coined the phrase, Drive-By Life phenomena. During that time, I lived a classic Drive-By Life, working through a to-do list of meetings and appointments without feeling emotion or savouring the interactions and accomplishments along the way. When we live this way and suddenly gaze in the rear-view mirror, we realize many moments are a blur.

Ways to Stay Present

Can Practising Mindfulness Really Change My Life, Marshall Connects, Ontario

Leanne Giavedoni, Wellness Lifestyle Coach, Essential Oil Educator, and B.Sc. Physiotherapy was a recent guest on my television show Business Wellness in Hamilton, on an episode titled The Drive-By Life Phenomena. Leanne shared her expertise on mindfulness and ways to reduce the negative impact of the Drive-By Life Phenomena. She recommends a three-step process to focus the mind and be present: 

  1. Pause
  2. Observe
  3. Focus/Re-Focus

Leanne provides more details on this practice and a rationale for practicing mindfulness in her article, 3 Easy Steps to Ramp-Up Your Mindfulness Practice.

Staying Present and Choosing a Lifestyle of Mindfulness

Did you know you have approximately 50 - 80 thousand thoughts per day? Yes, it is surprising but true. But, of course, you get to choose which ones you act on. So it's no wonder it can affect our focus and attention span. According to a recent study done by Microsoft, the average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is 9 seconds. Still, humans now generally lose concentration after just 8 seconds. This data highlights the effects of today's increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain.

Many life situations can hijack our thoughts and emotions as we move through life each day. However, there is a clear link between mindfulness and resilience, so practising mindfulness can make a positive difference and help you develop more robust resiliency. In my book, The Power of Emotion, I dedicated an entire chapter to the subject of mindfulness. For more strategies on increasing your emotional intelligence, check out my emotional intelligence blogs or try an EQ-i 2.0: Self-Assessment.

This article was originally published on February 10, 2018, and has been updated (June 2021).

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