Did you know that distractions could take up more than 2 hours of our day? That once we get distracted it takes between 15 and 20 minutes to refocus on the task we were doing? And that distraction can leave us exhausted and they reduce our understanding, memory and the possibility of taking appropriate decisions?
In a logical world, technology should make us work less, since technology helps us identify and solve problems faster and gives us more freedom and flexibility. However, it has a dark side as well that become more and more present: it assails personal life; it is hard to turn off; there is too much information to process; and, it invade us with too many distractions. In a subtle way we become hooked, and even appliances that are supposed to make are lives easier absorb us. As a result, we suffer more anxiety and exhaustion than ever before.
Nevertheless, much of the distractions that plague us are not external, but internal. Our mind is very difficult to control. It gets lost through twists and turns about the past, dreaming of a different future, and ruminating concerns. There are studies that have shown that people have a thought for an average of only 10 seconds before moving on to a different one.
Given this landscape, the techniques and principles of Mindfulness are naturally having so much success. Stated simply, Mindfulness is living in the present moment without allowing the mind to be lost in other things. It is a concept arising from Buddhism, and it is more complicated than simply a form of meditation. Although it has already existed 2,600 years ago in the East, in the West its introduction and adaptation to our culture it is fairly recent. It was mainly introduced by Jon Kabat-Zinn from the School of Medicine Massachusetts in 1979.
While in Asia, Tibetan lamas taught me to meditate as part of the way to understand the impermanence of existence and to transcend the ego. In the course, it used as a tool for improving attention and effectiveness. Football elite- teams are implementing it to improve the emotional balance of players and to cope with the enormous pressures of top-level sport. Children from families with violence are beginning to receive training in Mindfulness, and because of it they can focus on learning and release their emotions by finding alternative means to fighting. In organizations, employees are overloaded and stressed with work and feel pressure on their shoulders, so the course helps them stay calm amid the waves of challenges and teach how they can avoid making mistakes that that they would otherwise pay dearly for.
At a slightly deeper level, the Mindfulness begins to be attractive because it can provide a psychological antidote to the vacuum created by the materialistic greed and superficiality. At some point, everyone needs to find meaning and a sense of purpose in life, and these cannot be bought or secured with money.