Kevin Hart is worth over $150 million, and he’s world-renowned as a stand-up comedian, actor, and producer. With such a vast fortune and legacy to his name, one has to wonder what the secret to his success is. Well, it may surprise you, but Kevin Hart is a strong advocate for mindfulness, so much so that he’s even teamed up with the meditation app Headspace to produce a series called “Mindful Runs.”
Hart’s LOL Studios production company partnered with Headspace to produce content for both the app and the production company. The content will blend comedy and mindfulness, attempting to inspire and motivate people, all while making them laugh. After all, isn’t laughter the best medicine?
Kevin Hart’s Journey With Mindfulness
We all know that running is a great way to stay fit, and it provides a number of benefits for your health. Unfortunately, while Hart understood the benefits of running, that doesn’t mean that it didn’t take him a while to appreciate the sport.
So, in an effort to build up endurance and love for the sport, Hart turned to mindfulness. The practice helped to take his mind off how running was.
“The freedom of thinking took my mind off of how far I was going, and I ended up pushing myself more distance and more distance,” he told TODAY.
If that’s not enough, mindfulness also helped him to focus better, which in turn helped to improve his running as well as help him become more goal-orientated.
“I was a person at one point in time that used to voice my thoughts to others before I gave myself a chance to truly vet them out and form a perspective on my own,” Hart said. “And running has allowed me to get to space where I can just hear my feet hitting the pavement. … I can hear traffic, I can hear the sound of a day … it just helps me to go to a space of focusing on, ‘Kevin what do you want to do? What are your goals?’”
Does mindfulness have any benefits?
You don’t have to be a famous comedian to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness as the practice can help to improve your health in a number of ways.
1. Combats negative thinking
Your thoughts have more power over your body than you realize. According to a study published last year in the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, repetitive negative thinking can increase the risk for cognitive decline and dementia.
Thankfully, research has found that mindfulness can help to reduce negative thinking (1).
2. Reduces stress levels
3. Heart health
Even with the coronavirus pandemic, heart disease is still the world’s deadliest killer with the World Health Organisation revealing that heart disease has remained the leading cause of death at the global level for the last 20 years.
So, if you’re worried about your heart health, then you may want to look to mindfulness as research has found that it can help improve your heart health.
4. Improve sleep
Struggling with getting some quality sleep?
Well, fret not because mindfulness may help ease you to sleep. That’s at least according to a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research which revealed that mindfulness helped to significantly improve both sleep quality and mental health.
Hart’s 4-Step Guide to Mindfulness
If you’re looking to begin your journey with mindfulness, but you’re not sure where to start, Hart shared the following tips with TODAY.
1. Carve out time to reflect on the past
“I make sure that I’m able to take my time, assess the things that I’ve done so far, find the good in those things, and know the directive that I need to move forward.”
2. Ask yourself: What do I want?
“The best thing that you can think about, especially when you are attempting to be mindful, is about what you want to do,” explained Hart. “The things that you want to do in life, the things that you want out of life, the things that you want to improve on, the things that you would love to get better at. I think that’s where your thoughts should be.”
3. Make it a part of your daily routine
Hart makes sure to include mindfulness and meditation into his day. It often takes up to 45 minutes out of his workday. According to the actor, doing this every day has helped him establish a routine, which is important for health. Additionally, it’s also helped him better handle difficult parts of his day.
4. Use moments of frustration as a reminder to step away
“Throughout the day, I have to make sure I have my breaks and that during those breaks I have a moment to myself. If I don’t, I find myself in a place of my patience getting thinner,” said Hart. If he finds himself getting frustrated during a conversation, he knows it’s the perfect time to step away and collect his thoughts. This, he says, ensures that his conversations are much more productive no matter the topic at hand.
Mindfulness has amazing benefits for your health, and it’s the perfect tool to help you maintain your longevity. If you’re still not sure where to start, Hart leaves shares a simple piece of advice: “Just try your best to put yourself in a thinking space of improvement.”
Chen, T. L., Chang, S. C., Hsieh, H. F., Huang, C. Y., et al. (2020). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on sleep quality and mental health for insomnia patients: A meta-analysis. Journal of psychosomatic research, 135, 110144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.110144
Cladder-Micus, M.B., Becker, E.S., Spijker, J. et al. (2019). Effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy on a Behavioural Measure of Rumination in Patients with Chronic, Treatment-Resistant Depression. Cogn Ther Res 43, 666–678. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-019-09997-8
Marchant, NL, Lovland, LR, Jones, R, et al. (2020). Repetitive negative thinking is associated with amyloid, tau, and cognitive decline. Alzheimer’s Dement. 16: 1054– 1064. https://doi.org/10.1002/alz.12116
Krittanawong, C., et al. (2020). Meditation and Cardiovascular Health in the US. American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 131, 23 – 26, 10.1016/j.amjcard.2020.06.043
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