How to Focus Under Pressure
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Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider tries a body scan meditation to sharpen her focus and calm her nerves as she prepares for the Tournament of Champions. Episode summary: Amy Schneider is the most successful woman to ever compete on Jeopardy!. Part of her winning strategy was to shut down all her mental chatter and completely focus on the competition. But when the cameras are off, she struggles to find the same calm. For today’s show, Amy tries a body scan practice to connect with her body and quiet her busy mind. Later we hear from Jonathan Greenberg, a Harvard psychology professor. He explains how mindfulness can make us better problem solvers, and how that can benefit our emotional health, too. How to Do This Practice: Find a quiet place where you feel safe and comfortable. You can be standing, sitting, or lying down. Close your eyes, and take a few deep, long breaths. Move your attention through your body slowly, part by part, starting with your feet. Focus on your feet, then your calves, knees, and so on, until you get to the top of your head. Without judgment, notice what sensations you can identify in each part of the body. When your mind wanders, gently and with self-kindness, guide your attention back to the part of the body you’re focusing on in the present moment. Find the full Body Scan Meditation practice at our Greater Good in Action website: Today’s guests: Amy Schneider is the most successful woman to compete on the quiz show Jeopardy! and won 40 consecutive games. Follow Amy on Twitter: Follow Amy on Instagram: Follow Amy on Facebook: Jonathan Greenberg is a psychology professor in Harvard University’s Clinical and Translational Science Center. His research focuses on the role of mindfulness and relaxation. Learn more about Jonathan’s research: More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Try a body scan meditation guided by host Dacher Keltner, on Happiness Break: Where to Find Wisdom in the Body: Compassionate Mind, Healthy Body: Moving Your Body Is Like a Tune-Up for Your Mind: Your Anxiety Might Be Coming From Your Body: More resources on body scan meditation: NPR - A Crash Course in Body Scan Meditation: Harvard Health - You can practice mindfulness in as little as 15 minutes a day: 10% Happier - Change Your Posture, Change Your Mood: Time - This Quick Meditation Helps You Let Go of Stress and Sleep: Tell us about how you feel after trying the body-scan meditation. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show:
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