Yes, or find some other method to increase your level of mindfulness. A mediator's mindfulness promotes reflective mind and keeps you out of reactive brain. A mindful, self-aware mediator is creative, responsive, in-the-moment, and mentally fit. Promoting your own mindfulness is a professional responsibility, not to mention integral to excellent service to clients.
Mindfulness will be like the introduction of seat belts in cars; at first no one thought they were important and now they are a safety requirement, ... Mindfulness may become the seat belt of mental health ... .
Meditation and its effects have undergone much research recently. From "Meditation and Immunity":
By taking a step back and learning the art of paying attention to the now, people learn from mindfulness meditation to deal more effectively with many aspects of everyday life, including stress, said David Creswell, a research scientist at the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA.
In recent years, the practice of becoming more mindful and tuning in to ones internal experiences has gained scientific momentum. Multiple research studies have confirmed its beneficial effects in boosting the immune system and thickening brain areas in charge of decision making and emotion regulation.
Both decision making and emotion regulation are key to any process of conflict resolution. Katharine McLennan, founder of Mindful Leadership and executive director of the Neuroleadership Institute writes in her article "The Neuroscience of Leadership and Culture" [pdf downloaded from here] that another benefit of meditation is innovation, also welcome in the resolution of disputes, yes?
One of the most effective remedies to the stressed and rushed environment we are living in today is proving to be meditation—the slowing of the mind, which technically means reducing the frequency of our brain waves.
[A]s we lower the frequency of our brain waves, we begin to produce neurochemicals and hormones that are much more beneficial to creativity and learning.
Not meditating yet? Pick up a copy of Mindfulness in Plain English, read it and just start practicing. Or read "Awareness in Lawyering: A Primer on Paying Attention" by Leonard Riskin in The Affective Assistance of Counsel. Most cities have classes in meditation, too. As a result of your meditation practice, people in both your personal and professional life will reap big rewards.
Note: Many of you will probably enjoy the article to which I linked above. (I wish the author had cited more of her specific resources for her assertions; without them the article is a bit trendy and light in places but nevertheless makes some good points.) "The Neuroscience of Leadership and Culture" [pdf] contains information about the brain and covers these topics:
- Attention deficit trait (ADT)
- The power of meditation
- Improved implementation of change programs
- Blink-like intuition.
- Diversity of thought processes
Image credit: mooncove
- Key Readings
- Mindfulness Construct
- Mindfulness-Based Treatments
- Neuroscience and Physiological Effects
I would add The Mind and the Brain to the book list.