Counting Curls
How Mindfulness Drives Innovation

One of my favourite things to do is to sit and count my son Ollie’s curls. He has beautiful springy golden curls and depending on the humidity level, he has anywhere between 18 and 32 curls. I’ll sometimes sit with him for an hour or more, twirling and counting his curls over and over again.

I find it a deeply relaxing ritual (as I think he does as we often fall asleep together). It also reminds me how grateful I am for Ollie and through the simple practice of being completely present and focused I often switch off to conscious thinking and automatically feel warm, happy and content. I feel my heart rate slow and my mind start to reshuffle priorities and the relevant importance of various life and business issues. It seems to naturally and gently give me true perspective of what’s really important.

But aside from the stress-relieving and mindfulness benefits of counting curls, something I’ve noticed recently is how meditative and almost hypnotic the practice is. I’ve also started to notice that often, after a while of counting curls and my mind quieting down, I will spontaneously come up with an idea, a concept or a solution to a problem that has been bugging me for weeks or months.

The modern human brain is so busy, overloaded and distracted by hundreds of notifications each day that sometimes we need to give it a break, free it up and give it a chance to connect the dots on things itself.

The positive impact of meditation on health and wellbeing is now widely accepted by the medical professional. Google searches relating to ‘mindfulness’ have doubled in the last five years.

But if you struggle to sit still and meditate, find something meditative, or your version of counting curls. And if the health benefits aren’t enough to convince you, the potential creative output or problem-solving result may get you inspired.

What’s your version of ‘counting curls’? I’d love to hear in the comments below.