"Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want" - Naval Ravikant (well-known Silicon Valley investor). We all have desires: from physical to financial, from business to personal. These desires can sometimes overwhelm us and lead to extreme selfishness, stress and anxiety. According to research coming out of Harvard, this can lead to hypertension and heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
How do we balance this stress? One method is to try incorporating a "mindfulness practice" into your life. I know what you're thinking... meditation? Really? What do think Rupurt Murdoch (New Corp), Bill Ford (Ford Motors), and Oprah Winfrey have in common (other than they are billionaires)? They meditate daily.
"Mindfulness helps us put some space between ourselves and our reactions, breaking down our conditioned responses. Here’s how to tune into mindfulness throughout the day:
Set aside some time. You don’t need a meditation cushion or bench, or any sort of special equipment to access your mindfulness skills—but you do need to set aside some time and space.
Observe the present moment as it is. The aim of mindfulness is not quieting the mind, or attempting to achieve a state of eternal calm. The goal is simple: we’re aiming to pay attention to the present moment, without judgement. Easier said than done, we know.
Let your judgments roll by. When we notice judgements arise during our practice, we can make a mental note of them, and let them pass.
Return to observing the present moment as it is. Our minds often get carried away in thought. That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.
Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up, just practice recognizing when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back.
That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The work is to just keep doing it. Results will accrue."
What Are The Benefits?
Mindfulness.org explains that benefits include improved connection to friends, reduced stress, improved mental focus and clarity.
There are plenty of apps out there that will help you start. Aura offers free 3-minute meditations and Headspace offers a 10-day beginners course. Go ahead, try something new. There's no downside and only a potential to improve you.