Baking and the Mindful RevolutionNovember 06, 2015
Can you please do me a favour? When you have finished reading this post, please promise me to disconnect from all electronic devices and take the time relax. It is time for the Mindful Revolution.
What is the Mindful Revolution? Termed by Jon Kabat-Zin, the man who developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction curriculum in 1979, mindfulness is "the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” It is a good tool for coping with daily onslaught of stress and distraction, and focus on the present.
Yes, that means a revolution against our constant connectivity that is silently taking a toll on most of us. It has become habitual to incessantly check our phones, laptops, tablets and other smart devices, and we might not even recognise these actions as distractions. We might mistake this is being more efficient, but scientists have already proven that multi-tasking leads to lower productivity. Unfortunately, unless we make a conscientious effort to disconnect, this societal level of distraction is only likely to increase with the rapid development of technology.
And know how your mind tends to go into a mad soliloquy when we get anxious, and just refuses. to. shut. up? Well, the mindful practice helps to deal with stress, anxiety, and pressure and silence that overactive brain with its pessimistic thoughts.
According to mindful.org, these are the key reasons why mindfulness has the potential to transform our life and society:
• Anyone can do it. Mindfulness practice cultivates universal human qualities and does not require anyone to change their beliefs. Everyone can benefit and it’s easy to learn.• It’s a way of living. Mindfulness is more than just a practice. It brings awareness and caring into everything we do—and it cuts down needless stress. Even a little makes our lives better.• It’s evidence-based. We don’t have to take mindfulness on faith. Both science and experience demonstrate its positive benefits for our health, happiness, work, and relationships. In fact, it has even been suggested that exercising our brains for mindfulness might re-wire it for the better (a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity). While studies are still inconclusive, it is hard to dismiss mindfulness as fleeting or contrived.• It sparks innovation. As we deal with our world’s increasing complexity and uncertainty, mindfulness can lead us to effective, resilient, low-cost responses to seemingly intransigent problems.
I always knew how baking was therapeutic to me personally, but I was unaware of the psychological theory and reasoning behind it. Now I can attribute it to mindfulness, which explains how being focused on baking relieves my overactive brain. My mind is so focused in the kitchen that I barely notice the passing of time. Baking is also an outlet for me to express my creativity. Every dessert is a mini piece of art. Baking is truly my therapy.
You don't have to be a baker to be part of the mindful revolution. You can always get started by doing something you enjoy. You can run, paint, do yoga, or just stone away - that's fine too. Just take the time off for yourself.
Let the revolution begin.