“Present.” This is the mantra of mindfulness meditation and the key to self-awareness and acceptance. In a mindfulness exercise, the goal is to perform daily activities with a high degree of attention. “Try to take the time to experience your environment with all your senses-touch, hearing, sight, smell and taste. For example, when you eat your favorite food, take time to smell, taste and really enjoy it, “One suggestion Mayo Clinic Article.
Mindfulness may indeed have psychological benefits.Earlier this year, a combination of randomized controlled trials showed that mindfulness-based interventions have Small and medium welfare Some health outcomes include stress, anxiety, and depression. In other words, compared with other therapies, the effects of mindfulness are smaller and less stable, and some of the effects seem to gradually disappear after a few months of intervention. In summary, the results indicate that for some results, mindfulness-based interventions may be better than nothing, but more research is needed to compare mindfulness with other therapies.
One thing in common with mindfulness-based interventions is that they all try to cultivate attention to the present moment through multiple meditation exercises.
Although mindfulness has its advantages, psychological research has also shown that it is important to maintain mindfulness in some situationslessThat is, as we develop skills in complex tasks, we can perform them more and more easily until attention seems unnecessary. Examples in daily life include cycling, cutting cucumbers and brushing teeth.
Behind this state of “automation” (as cognitive psychologists say) are mental processes that can be performed without paying attention. These processes operate without consciousness—a chain reaction of psychological events.We don’t perform all tasks automatically, but many were able Once they are well practiced, they can do it in this way.
To be clear, it is important to pay attention when learning new skills.In a study of our own, we found that the cognitive ability measurement that uses the ability to concentrate Predict the ability of novice pianists Learn and play “Happy Birthday to You”.
But professional research also shows that paying too much attention to what you are doing can have a devastating effect, especially when you show proficient skills. In fact, this is one of the reasons why some experts seem to “suffocate under pressure”: they think too much about the mechanics of the task at hand.
In a classic study, cognitive scientist Sian Beilock and her colleagues Skilled golfer tries to sink the putter Under different experimental conditions. In one situation, the golfer is simply instructed to pay attention to the swing of the club and say “stop” at the end of the swing. In another case, they were asked to listen to the target voice and ignore other noises, and to say the word “pitch” when hearing the target voice.
Contrary to intuition, skilled golfers perform well worse When they focus on the swing, not when they focus on unrelated sounds. Note that the effect of the swing is so harmful that the golfer actually did better when warming up before the experiment.
Recently, psychologist Yannick Balk and his colleagues asked golfers to try different Intervene Designed to reduce the impact of performance pressure. Researchers used video recordings of participants to induce performance pressure, telling them that their transcripts will be publicly released in the clubhouse, and motivate them to perform well through coupons in the golf shop.
Without intervention, golfers perform significantly worse under pressure. However, those participants who were encouraged to think about other things—especially a song they memorized—Improve When the stakes are high. It is worth reminding that these results should be replicated in a larger sample and different contexts.
However, the important message of this research is that paying too much attention to the execution of well-trained exercise sequences can lead to errors. Of course, we should not give up the life of autonomous driving and miss the opportunity to establish a deeper connection with ourselves, each other and our environment. But in some cases, we should let automation take over. Next time you ride a bicycle, don’t think too much.