In today’s article, we’ll be exploring a concept that doesn’t strictly relate to the running of a business, but can give you the right mind-set to do so. Mindfulness is a concept originally inspired by Buddhism, but it’s actually a scientifically proven technique which is recommended by the NHS for treating all sorts of problems, including work-related stress, anxiety, and more. So how can you leverage the concept of mindfulness to help you make the most of your working day? Let’s find out.
Before we get into the practical ideas, let’s first explain exactly what mindfulness meditation is. And before you decide you don’t have time to sit with your legs crossed and hum, allow us to re-assure you that none of that is required. What mindfulness as a concept really does is asks you to focus your full attention on the present moment, rather than on the past or the future. By closely observing your current experience, from your breathing to the sound of a bird outside, you can create a bit of breathing room in your thoughts. As a busy person, your mind is probably racing 24/7 – and mindfulness can give it the pit-stop it needs.
How mindfulness could help you (and your business)
The benefits that mindfulness can provide is actually a list that’s growing all the time. It’s already been proven that mindfulness can improve issues like depression, anxiety, PTSD and plenty of other debilitating conditions. But it can also be used for everyday life. For example, if you ever find yourself feeling completely swamped by your workload, that’s a great indicator that you need mindfulness. By remaining snowed under, you actually become less productive, as worry can set in and affect your performance. Mindfulness allows you to re-frame your to-do list and find some headspace that should let you prioritise things better – and gain a little perspective.
A quick ‘how to’ for mindfulness
Mindfulness isn’t something that can be taught in one short article, but there are ways you can feel the benefits without digging too deeply into the ethos. Here’s a quick 5 minute exercise you can do anytime, and really anywhere:
- Sit in a straight-backed chair, comfortably but not slouching. Ensure there aren’t any distractions around, like loud music or television.
- Slow your breathing so it’s steady; in and out, in and out. Focus only on your breathing and nothing else.
- Begin to examine the feelings in your body, such as where the chair is making contact with your body, or perhaps a light breeze. All of these factors will bring you into the present moment.
- If stressful or work-related thoughts cross your mind, don’t follow them, just let them pass. Don’t try to get rid of them, just accept them and move on.
- Do this for 10 minutes, then see how you feel.
You might just be surprised at how much more relaxed you feel. All it takes is 10 minutes a day and you could find that your productivity at work has never been better, and your stress levels are lowered. That’s what we call a win-win!
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