Bringing Presence to Decision-Making

June 23, 2018

Quote of the Week

"Life is available only in the present moment." --Thich Nhat Hanh

Can Mindfulness Improve Decision-Making?

Faced with decisions large or small, how do we bring presence to bear on our actions?  This article from Greater Good Magazine describes a study that examined the impact of mindfulness on decision-making processes. 

“Researchers have conceptualized mindfulness as being a trait—a quality inherent in an individual—or a state, which can be arrived at through meditation. In a study published in Psychological Science, Andrew Hafenbrack and colleagues used these two concepts to investigate whether the enhanced present-moment awareness that comes with mindfulness would reduce “sunk-cost bias”—that is, the tendency to continue down a path once we have already made some sort of investment of time, money, or effort.  They found that increased mindfulness—through a brief 15-minute breath meditation—reduces the tendency to think in terms of sunk-costs and thus changes how people think when making decisions.”

Reading Corner

Title: The Three Questions
By: Jon J. Muth
Recommended Ages: 5 and up

Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy, this beautiful book captures the essence of how to make decisions based on being mindful and present. It captures the dilemma of wanting to do the right thing, but not always knowing what that is and it points out the simplicity and beauty of being in the "now" for knowing what is the most important thing to do. I heartily recommend sharing this book with all ages!

Be the Change

The next time you or your child face a decision, take 15 minutes to sit together quietly in silence.  Then focused on the present moment, decide upon your action.  Afterwards, discuss how that might have been different (or not) if you had not experienced the stillness and presence first. This link gives 7 really fun ways to teach your kids mindfulness and will work with kids of all ages!