“Microdosing” Mindfulness

It can be challenging to make time to implement mindfulness strategies and practice meditation with our busy schedule (and all of life’s other barriers). But – whether you want to hear it or not – there’s a significant body of research about physical and mental health benefits of even brief engagement (10 minutes or less) in mindfulness practices.⁣ ⁣⁣

UC Berkeley has done research on the positive effects of recognizing greatness in our lives – also known AWE. Awe is most easily achieved by experiencing breathtaking views and doing things that fuel your soul, but how can we implement awe into our everyday lives? They call this ‘microdosing mindfulness’ and it’s best described using the acronym that matches the feeling – A.W.E.⁣ ⁣⁣

A – Attention: pay attention to the things that make you feel really good, and focus on those for just a few minutes. Our minds are often so overstimulated that we go into autopilot and forget to appreciate the little things. Maybe it’s your dog sleeping next to you in your home office, maybe it’s the leftovers in the fridge that you’ve been looking forward to. Whatever it is, let go and choose to focus on that thing for even just a moment.⁣ ⁣⁣

W – Wait: Once you allow (or force) yourself to appreciate something small around you, wait – even for just a breath or two – to get back to what you were doing. That text message or email can wait 30 seconds, trust us. Enjoy that few moments of peace and stillness because you might not get another one for a while.⁣ ⁣⁣

E – Exhale: Lengthening your exhale to ~twice the length of our inhale stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system and helps to create a sense of safety. It also decreases your heartrate, lowers blood pressure, and releases muscular tension. Paying attention to your breath quiets your mind and who couldn’t use that every once in a while?⁣ ⁣⁣

Consider this your challenge for the day – microdose some mindfulness and experience AWE, no matter where you may be. We promise that you’ll be happy that you did. 

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