Mindfulness: Why you need it and how to achieve it

July 2, 2018

 

 

Consciousness.

 

Being present without judgement.

 

A mental state achieved by focusing your awareness.

 

Do these things come to mind when you think of mindfulness? You’ve probably seen the word multiple times, maybe you’ve looked into it, or maybe you’re tired of hearing it so often in the industry.

 

Maybe you even correlate mindfulness to a yoga retreat, but in the modern workplace, it is key to finding balance, being productive and attaining success.

 

At the end of the day, it’s a popular term for a reason.

 

Many successful people attribute mindfulness to their achievements, and research is continuously finding new ways mindfulness impacts a persons actions and behaviour. So, before we explain it’s multiple benefits and how you can begin to practice it, let’s clarify what it really means.

 

Mindfulness is often described as the ‘controlled, conscious awareness of all of the content’s of one’s mind’. It can be seen as both a process and an outcome, and ultimately leads to focus, stability and understanding – of yourself, others and the world around you.

 

Here’s a few ways mindfulness can positively impact you:

  • It can reduce or alleviate stress

  • It can strengthen your ability to be resilient and flexible

  • It provides you with further insight into your emotions, reactions and behaviour, and that of others as well

  • It boosts your ability to focus

  • It encourages you to be present

  • It leads to refined discipline and self-control

  • It incites patience and tolerance

  • It can help your sleep and sleeping patterns

  • It positively influences your physical health and well-being

Now, how can you practice it? Here are a couple of steps you can take to develop your mindfulness and integrate it into your daily activities, both professionally and personally.

  • Attempt basic mediations, such as taking a minute at your desk to focus on your natural breathing, allowing thoughts to filter through without ‘holding’ on to any of them.

  • Check in with your body during your interactions with others and in situations, in both positive and negative experiences, notice subtle reactions, your body language and your breathing.

  • When you enter a new place, meet new people, or even in a familiar situation but find yourself getting stressed, employ sensory awareness. Notice sights, smells, touches etc.

  • When you are experiencing emotions, such as happiness, stress, anxiety, surprise etc. register them and acknowledge their presence.

  • Try to focus on one task at a time. While multitasking has its benefits, make sure you are completely aware and alert with each task.

  • When you find yourself getting distracted, have a sudden urge to do something or feel impatient, gently redirect your thoughts, daydreaming or criticism to the present moment.

Ultimately, mindfulness is also a skill, and as we know, skills get better the more you practice them. Give one of the steps a try today and soon you’ll see the benefits of this personal investment.

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