For the past 20 years, mindfulness and meditation have been making its way to the corporate scene in the west. People have been turning to these ancient eastern contemplative practices to find peace of mind in our modern gadget and stress-filled lives.
If you are new to meditation and it seems impossible at this moment, try doing “mindful practices” which hopefully will lead you to a seated meditation practice in the near future.
Mindfulness or purposely focusing our attention at the present moment and removing all judgments has been proven to help reduce stress, keep the mind calm and the body relaxed. Here are 4 ways to be mindful throughout your day.
- The first step is to focus on your breathing. When was the last time you really focused on the quality of your breath? Find time throughout the day to stop whatever you are doing and take 5 minutes to take long deep inhales and exhales. Count your breaths. Inhale 4 to 6 counts breathing in and the same length on the exhale. As more fresh oxygen is taken in, the body will automatically relax.
- Focus your attention to what you can work on now. Our mind has the tendency to over analyze things. It comes up with different scenarios which lead us to worry and we become fearful of something that most probably will not even happen. Catch yourself doing this, then nip it in the bud. Stop worrying about the future or lamenting about the past. If we focus on doing well now the future will be bright.
- Be aware if your mind is constantly passing judgment on people, circumstances, and events. Most people are not even aware they are doing this. This prevents us from listening and giving the proper attention and understanding to the person we are talking to. We immediately have a response in our head even if the other party has not even finished explaining. Notice if your mind is doing this, then let it go. Learn to listen intently. Give your full attention and understanding to the person you are talking to, especially if the discussion is a sensitive one.
- Do not idle your mind away. Mind wandering such as day dreaming, worrying, over thinking, desiring, fantasizing is the main cause of stress as proven in neuroscience. Learn to relax the mind by focusing on the breath and enjoying the ever, present moment. Constant stimulation of the mind keeps it working all the time, which leads to a stressed out mind.
When you are feeling stressed, angry, nervous, just remember to bring your attention to your breath. Let us make everyone stress free one breath at a time.