“In order to remember something, you have to have paid attention to it.” ~ Dr. Amishi Jha
Raise your hand if you have wondered if you are losing your mental acuity? You think back to your younger years and fondly remember how easy it was to retain information. Or perhaps you recall times when you felt more energized and your brain ran more smoothly. Maybe you just wish you were less tired and could think clearer. (How many symptom checklists have brain fog on them?)
If you raised your hand, know you are not alone. Many people, especially since the start of the pandemic, have reported trouble with focus, concentration, and memory.
One contributing factor is lack of routine.
Many of us had a drastic change in our routine two years ago. At present, many of us are experiencing another change in our routine as more and more of our activities resume pre-pandemic expectations. These changes in our schedules, especially if not accompanied by intentional routines, cause our brains to work harder, and consequently, fatigue faster. (Source)
Another contributing factor is stress.
When humans are under protracted levels of stress, they experience a decline in their mental sharpness. Perceived threats, both physical and emotional, and negative mood also contribute to a degradation in our ability to concentrate and to focus.
Dr. Amishi Jha, who wrote Peak Mind, is a neuroscientist that studies the impact of mindfulness on our brain. Her studies have shown that when people practice mindfulness at least 12 minutes a day, they not only stop the degradation of their mental acuity, they also see an increase in their ability to focus and concentrate!
After listening to Brene Brown interview Dr. Jha, I got out my old yoga book, the primer I bought during my yoga teacher training, and practiced a yoga sequence which I had not done in years. Engaging in a routine practice – one in which I did not have to create – allowed me to focus on my physical sensations and my breath. By the end of my 40-minute practice, my mind felt calmer and I was able to sit for 10 minutes in meditation without strain. It was a great way to start my day. I am curious what may shift for me if I continue to begin my day with this practice.
How do you like to bookend your day? Do you have a morning and/or evening routine that helps you slow down, focus, and clear your mind? If yes, please consider sharing what works for you. I love to hear how folks practice mindfulness.
If you are looking for ways to connect, then make sure you check out our new events and classes. I am excited and grateful to the new facilitators who are sharing their time and talent with our community. If you would like, you can download a printable version of the spring schedule here.
These spring events are a great introduction to mindfulness as well as an opportunity to meet new people. Please note our first new and FREE event is tonight (March 30) at 6:30 pm. (See details here.)
Wishing everyone a beautiful week!
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where women could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Since 2010, Kim continues to build and to support a healthy, vibrant community and now guides retreats, teaches yoga, and provides one-on-one services for women who want an immersion experience into the life-affirming, Shakti energy.
Kim’s training as a therapist and yoga teacher allows her to safely and compassionately guide women on a heart-centered journey to Self, where women re-connect with their beautiful, authentic spirit.