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February 3, 2016

If you read this blog long enough you will notice that the opposite of a truth is also true (thanks Gretchen Rubin for that nice expression). I have mentioned mindfulness and how keeping our mind on one thing is good for happiness and our health. Yet I have noticed in my own work that when I get stuck writing a speech or preparing course material the solution usually comes to me while I am simultaneously listening to a related audiobook and engaging my hands without using too much brainpower (washing up or doing routine Excel spreadsheets at the bank) work very well. Without knowledge about psychology these things sometimes work for and sometimes against us. However once we understand these mechanisms we can deliberately take charge to induce what we know works: mindfulness and savouring when we need to calm down and be present but creative split-attention mindlessness movements when we are in problem-solving mode.