These days, we have more tools at our disposal than ever for improving the state of our minds. Many of these techniques are used multiple ways, including to reduce stress or increase productivity. These techniques can also help users to achieve “Flow”, the optimum state of consciousness when we feel our best and perform our best, often referred to as being in “The Zone”.
Popular techniques to improve Flow like Meditation and Mindfulness take a lot of practice, a lot of time to get skilled, the ability to deal with the challenges that come with these skills, and good guidance in particular practice that works for you. While many appreciate both Mindfulness and Meditation, Recess employs bilateral stimulation to improve mental fitness with a shorter learning curve. But, first, let’s take a look at common ways of improving our consciousness without using bilateral stimulation.
Mindfulness is not only a set of practices, but also a way of understanding and interacting with the world. The goal of mindfulness is learning how to be fully engaged in the present moment. Most often, we are remembering the past or predicting the future, both of which move us away from Mindfulness. Proponents of mindfulness say that masters of this technique, including monks and other experts, experience more happiness in the present moment.
Mindfulness helps us understand how our conscious mind works, by first perceiving information, then interpreting it based on past information, and then taking action to respond to that information. Effective mindfulness is not just setting still, but rather engaging in each of these steps fully in a way that helps us to become more fully present.
To gain skill in mindfulness, one can take up techniques like yoga, meditation, and others that promote awareness in the present moment. One can also practice in daily life, by fully attending to sensory experiences that you would otherwise overlook. This could include paying full attention to the feeling of washing the dishes, fully participating in tasting and eating your dinner without television or other distractions, or mindfully engaging with your pet through physical touch and affection.
Mindfulness is a technique that can be useful to many that are looking to improve their Flow state, and one type of Mindfulness skill that many people find helpful is meditation.
With apps like Headspace and Calm making it easier and more accessible to learn meditation, and many studies showing the positive impacts of meditation and changes in the brains of expert meditators, many high performers have been adding meditation to their toolbox.
There are many different kinds of meditation, too many to describe or explain. There are religious and spiritual meditation practices, mindfulness meditation practices, as well as secular meditation practices. Most meditation practices fall into one of two categories: “Opening the mind” and “focusing the mind”.
Focusing the mind is the most common and recognizable form of meditation, such as when you are sitting still, with a straight spine, and focusing on a single image, a mantra, your breath, or another single point of focus. It is often traditional with this type of meditation to learn how to watch your thoughts without engaging with them, until your mind settles down over time.
Opening the mind involves allowing different information to enter conscious awareness without overly attaching, or resisting, it. This could include a walking meditation where we allow ourselves to contemplate our thoughts, or a nature meditation where we take in the sights, smells, and sounds of our surroundings. Different types of meditation are helpful in different situations.
Getting good at meditation takes lots of time, energy, and help. It is often necessary to find a mentor or teacher, even if its online, so that you can learn how to be skilled in the specific type of Meditation you want to practice. It also takes a lot of time: it takes a while to learn the habits, and meditators report that it can take years to become skilled enough to see ongoing benefits. Many meditators early in their process also experience frustration when sitting and watching their thoughts, having trouble focusing or tolerating the distress that comes with the process.
To address some of these challenges, Recess utilizes bilateral stimulation technology to harness neuroplasticity and enhance the brain’s ability to change and grow. Many report that after using bilateral stimulation, both meditation and mindfulness become much easier to learn and benefit from. This is because bilateral stimulation improves the circuitry used for Mindfulness and Meditation – think of it like flossing for your brain!
In using bilateral stimulation, Recess helps users to boost their brain growth and more easily attain flow. Recess uses the Key Factors of Flow: Peace, to reduce stress, Presence, to improve focus, Potential, to enhance self esteem, and Purpose, to boost productivity. By setting aside time each day to utilize Recess and bilateral stimulation, you can improve your mental fitness over time and enhance your brain’s ability to enter flow. You’ll also find that both Meditation and Mindfulness become easier and more effective as your brain grows.
There is no one skill that is right for anyone, and often it takes multiple skills in our toolbox to master our consciousness effectively. Many current meditators and those who practice mindfulness will likely find Recess and bilateral stimulation are great additions to improving their practice: making it easier and more effective. Those who are considering Mindfulness or Meditation would benefit from trying bilateral stimulation with Recess first, so you can optimize your consciousness and build your ability to attain flow state. Whatever practice you choose, Recess is here to support your brain and your ongoing growth.