It’s not what you think – actually it IS what you think
Mindfulness or being in the moment is a popular catch phrase. Moreover, it is also commonly misunderstood. Many people believe they need to become Zen masters if they are to truly be mindful, but the reality is we can all practice mindfulness.
Being in the moment
You know the feeling, the kids want a ‘treat,’ you’re trying to get the shopping done, and you’ve just received an email on your phone from your boss marked ‘urgent.’ Firstly, breath. Take a deep breath in and out. Fill those lungs while focussing on simply feeling them expand and contract.
Secondly, is it working hours? If not, then is the email really urgent, or is family life more important right at this moment? I’m going to suggest family life is more important.
Finally, being totally present in the moment is the definition of mindfulness. Put your phone away, be with the kids, get them to help you do the shopping and enjoy the time as best you can. With or without the treats for the kids… up to you.
Reducing stress and focussing
Reduced productivity, burnout and stress are all results of not being able to focus on one task at a time, and then move on. In addition, if we try to do more than one thing at once we end up making mistakes, and ultimately feeling like we have failed.
Turning off distractions
The reality is that technology is designed to bombard us. Constant updates from Facebook, LinkedIn, work and personal emails, Netflix, YouTube and other internet media are all designed to lead us down rabbit holes of distraction, and time on-line.
If you can practice turning off technology even for 15 minutes a day. Walk the dog, sit in the sunshine, sip a glass of water, or simply breath deeply and slowly. Perhaps talk or laugh with friends, or spend some time with the kids talking or playing UNO or some other simple game.
Ultimately, our entire immune system will thank us if we can practice actually being in each moment of each day.
Do not delay making positive changes, while your health, your relationships and your whole well-being is suffering.
Above all, do ONE thing today… Turn off that technology for 15 minutes every day for three weeks. This makes it a habit. Doing it for 3 months makes it a lifestyle change, ultimately leading to becoming more mindful.
Regardless of how busy you are, how long your workday is, despite how many distractions are around. If I can encourage you to make one change today, and make it each day for 3 weeks, you will actually increase your productivity, increase your sense of success and increase your ability to be in the moment.
Prioritise slowing down
Slowing down takes intention, and effort. Less effort than continuously running on a hamster wheel. In conclusion, the benefits of slowing down our breathing, our actions and our thoughts will give us enormous benefits in the long-term. We will actually achieve more, make less mistakes, feel less guilty.
People will enjoy being around you because they know they have your full attention. Being mindful is about being intentional and deliberate in what we think, what we do, and focussing on only one thing at a time giving things 100%.
Be kind to yourself if you have setbacks, practise mindfulness as much as you can. Soon you will find it has become part of who you are.
You can do it!
At Step by Step training we offer workplace workshops in self-care, resilience and mindfulness. For further training workshops and information contact us at Step by Step Training.