What if there were a way you could command more control, ease anxiety and soothe the mind? If you are open to a suggestion, I’ve got just the thing.
That thing is called mindfulness.
It is a buzz word these days, even in some workplaces. Mindfulness is a practice that has helps me daily, and I advocate for it based on my personal experiences. It most certainly enables me to ease anxiety, soothe the mind, slow down, enjoy myself, and more!
What exactly is mindfulness? *There are varying definitions:
- Non-judgmental, present-moment awareness
- The process of actively noticing new things
- Fully focusing on present circumstances without reacting
- Ability to recognize and release distractions as they arise
- Concentrating on what you do in the moment
For a detailed explanation on mindfulness, click HERE to view Emma McAdam in her youtube channel, Therapy in a Nutshell.
Conversely, mindlessness is when we operate on autopilot. We go through the motions without focusing on what we’re doing or why. I also refer to mindlessness as ‘living by default.’ And that, my friends, is no way to live!
Why practice being mindful? *Studies have indicated that mindfulness
- Reduces anxiety and mental stress
- Is energy-begetting, not energy depleting
- Increases resilience and clarity
- Improves memory
- Promotes a healthy brain
- Boosts concentration and creativity
- Reduces your urge to be judgmental which increases appreciation for others
- Quells procrastination
Perhaps the most beneficial results, in my opinion, is that you become more engaged. As you ease anxiety and soothe the mind, you command more control over decisions and your life. Therefore, one of the biggest benefits is mastering the ability to maximize your living.
You may find it difficult or awkward as you start – that is completely normal! Mindfulness is not a one and done activity. Rather, it is a practice that you build over time, just like increasing muscle mass. You practice a little and keep ramping up until you can commit daily. Therefore, it may take a little time before you notice some of the benefits.
Here are a few tips to get started. Practice one tip, one minute at a time or try them all. It is whatever fits your lifestyle.
- Imagine that ALL your thoughts are transparent. If others could know exactly what was going on in your mind, how would you change your thinking?
- Question everything. Ask why things are done the way they are. Be inquisitive about rules, policies, standards, or guides. And remember this: rules and routines only guide, they shouldn’t govern you.
- Fully focus on your breathing. Notice your breath in, notice your breath out and think of nothing else. Even if you can try this for 30 seconds as you’re sitting at your computer, it can serve as a momentary relief. Kind of like a ‘micro-meditation.’
- Learn to meditate. You can discover many kinds of meditations online, guided, unguided and partially-guided.
*Scientific studies have shown that meditators have a larger hippocampus, which is the part of the brain associated with emotions and memory. Meditators enjoy more self-regulation and become experts at resisting distractions.
An important goal of mindfulness is to ease anxiety and soothe the mind. Mindfulness helps you understand that you are enough and that your worth is not contingent on your productivity.
*Note: Source is from Harvard Business Review Emotional Intelligence Series, “Mindfulness.” Authors include Daniel Goleman, Ellen Langer, Susan David, Christina Congleton.