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New Year New You - Sainthood Or Selfhood?

04/01/2017 13:53 GMT | Updated 04/01/2017 13:53 GMT

In 2014 £23.5 million was spent on self-help books in the UK alone. In the US the self-help industry is reckoned to be worth in excess of $11 billion.

Traditionally each January sees a boost in sales of self-help books and they remain the world's biggest selling genre.

It was Aristotle who first promulgated the concept of self-healing, but the term self-help itself dates back to just 1859, when the Scottish reformer Samuel Smiles (yes, real person, real name) published his book which went on to be a contemporary best seller, simply called - 'Self Help'.

In fact, it sold 20,000 copies in 1859, and over 250,000 copies by the time of his death five decades later.

His thesis was a pretty simple one too. He argued that changing individual behaviour would be a far better remedy for all society's ills than changing any laws.

Do we need happiness and wellbeing?

I believe we do. To my mind, happiness and wellbeing are critical for future social and economic success at all levels. In fact, I think they are as important to a Nation as its' GDP.

I also believe in bringing Mindfulness within reach of both the young and the not so young alike.

Investing as early as possible in making it part of the school curriculum to give children a life skill that can contribute to helping them to grow-up to become independent, productive, happy and fulfilled adults.

And encouraging parents, teachers, politicians and policy makers, aunties, uncles and grandparents to incorporate the daily practice of Mindfulness into their lives, so they can begin to benefit from the many benefits.

As I've written in other on-line pieces, including 'Mindful Living its as Easy as A, B, C...', I believe that by introducing and making Mindfulness accessible, relatable, doable, we can create a kind of 'Virtuous Circle'.

Did you know?

Absences from the workplace because of stress cost the UK economy around £23 Billion per annum.

105 Million working days are lost each year, costing UK employers some £1.24 Billion annually.

Between 75 - 90% of all visits to a GP are stress related.

Around Nine Million people in the UK are currently taking some form of anti-depressant medication.

The World Health Organisation predicts that mental illness will overtake heart disease and cancer to become the biggest draw on the global health budget by 2030.

We spend on average Nine Hours a day on screens, tablets and other mobile devices, which is longer than on average most of us spend asleep each night; and

By 2020 - & that's just three years away now - there will be over 50 Billion connected devices world-wide.

(Figures from 'Mindfulness Summed Up', September 2016)

Your New Year New You Campaign

It's all part of the Human Condition to try and make things incredibly difficult for ourselves. After all, no pain no gain, as they say.

Mindfulness however is a goal-less activity, but the difference it can make to you both in your personal and professional life, with as little as a five-minute period of Mindful Breathing each day for just eight weeks, is well, overwhelming: And believe me, this is hard nosed scientific evidence, not woo woo stuff.

Daily Brain Fitness Practices

Daily Mindfulness practices are, 'Daily brain fitness practices' - and it's not me saying that, but Dr Dan Siegal author of 'The Mindful Brain' and founder of the Mindsight Institute.

And getting into the way of using Mindfulness techniques each and every time you observe your mind wandering off, or feel stressed to the max, really will pay dividends in a whole host of psychological and neurological ways.

Mindfulness can be Uncovered - Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere. So, why not start Uncovering Mindfulness today - Make it a priority for that New You in 2017, and in as little as eight weeks of practicing Mindful Breathing exercises for five-to-ten-minutes a day, you could begin to notice some very real, tangible differences to your overall quality of life, such as:

  • better concentration, increased mental sharpness, greater resilience and increased energy levels

  • Improved relationships, both at work and at home, greater empathy & compassion, and increased tolerance

  • improved sleeping patterns & a greater ability to relax

Sixteen hundred years ago, Augustine left behind Selfhood for Sainthood. Mindfulness

of course isn't a short-cut to Sainthood, but starting this year it might just help you to find your Best Self!

Paul Mudd is the author of 'Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful' available on Amazon and www.bookboon.com; the 'Coffee & A Cup of Mindfulness' and the 'Mindful Hacks For Mindful Living & Mindful Working' series.Through The Mudd Partnership he works with business leaders, organisations and individuals in support of change, leadership excellence, organistional and individual wellbeing, and introducing Mindfulness. He can be contacted at paul@themuddpartnership.co.uk and you can follow the continuing journey uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and at @Paul_Mudd