Tip o’ the Week 348 – Headspace and Mindfulness

clip_image002Mindfulness” is all the rage right now, or more to the point, it’s all the calm state of mental wellbeing. Airport bookshops are chock full of guides on how to empty your head, ironically just at the time & place when most people are rushing around with high levels of cortisol and many things fighting for their inner attention.

Satya is a great proponent of Carol Dweck’s thinking on Mindset (though it’s fair to say, her book is better than her website), but it’s worth noting that talk of Mindset and mindfulness can sometimes confuse as they are not necessarily related, even if often connected. It’s arguably easier to be conscious of one if you practice the other.

Mindfulness starts for most people with meditation: if you’ve never really tried it, banish thoughts of yogic flying, far out sounds and oming your way through life. Whilst some people doubtless find these things relevant, a simple 10 minute exercise in breathing meditation can help to get your head straight before or even during a busy day,.

Long-time UK Microsofties may recall the personal excellence training that was de rigeur in the tenure of a previous HR director, espoused by Nicholas Bate and his Strategic Edge consulting & training business. Not to be confused with a US business of the same name but a somewhat different charter.

Nick talked about a “personal operating system” ethos, called MEDS – Meditation, Exercise, Diet & Sleep. Here is a media file of the cassette tape he used to give out, to help attendees keep up the meditation bit, together with the warning of “don’t use this tape in the car”…

clip_image004If you’re not a alumnus/alumna of the Personal Excellence course and want to try 10 minutes of meditation to help clear your heid, then you could do worse than check out www.headspace.com – it’s a subscription service of bite-sized meditation guides, aiming to help you better deal with the stuff that competes for mental attention.

There’s a great, free, 10-day introduction (10×10 minutes) online course, and there are iOS and Android apps to aid mobile digestion, though everything’s browser accessible so can be picked up anywhere. Headspace’s Andy Puddicombe gave a great TED talk a while back – start by giving this 10 minutes and see how you get on.

There’s no Windows app for Headspace, but other similar if less slick alternatives do exist, like Harmony. Search meditation in the Store, and you’ll find all sorts of others too.

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