From popular Ted talks to well attended executive conferences, “mindful” living is on the rise. But what exactly IS mindfulness and how can it help you balance the stresses of daily life and work? “Mindfulness” simply means being aware and paying more attention to what you’re doing right here, right now. In doing so, you reduce stress and promote your own emotional wellness.
How to know when you should be more mindful?
Ideally, you should bring mindfulness into all aspects of your daily life, from work to your responsibilities at home. Quickly become aware of whether you need to slow down by paying attention to your breath. Fast, shallow breaths are your body’s way of ramping up your “fight or flight” response, letting you know that you’re stressed. Clenching your teeth, furrowing your brow or gripping your chair’s armrests are other surefire indicators that you need to slow down, take a few deep breaths and focus on being more mindful.
How to be more mindful
- Set a personal intention to be more mindful. This simple act creates focus and acts as an anchor point to bring your awareness back to a more mindful lifestyle.
- Do your own research on mindfulness. Look for books, tapes, or videos that resonate with you. Get inspired by what you think will work best for you and resist the temptation to force yourself into mindful living. In other words, be mindful about how you become more mindful!
- Remove yourself from your own stress triggers. Reset your daily life by booking a stay at a fitness retreat or other lifestyle wellness retreats. The staff of nutrition and health experts at a retreat, conference, or weight loss spa will give you the mental tools and detailed action plans to reduce stress and kick-start your personal wellness, physically and mentally.
- Stop looking for problems and start appreciating more. Look around you for things to appreciate, including small things. Keep a daily journal of things you appreciate.
- When you’re feeling stressed, count backwards from 10. This helps you step out of anxious or angry thoughts and helps you concentrate on your breathing, which brings you solidly into the present moment. If stressful thoughts or feelings arise again, simply repeat the process until you feel more calm and centered.
- Meditate. Set aside at least 5 minutes for your daily meditation. Meditation isn’t difficult or complicated; think of it like a quick cleanse for your spirit. Getting started is easy and it can be done anywhere. Check out our tips for meditating at your desk.
- Get lost in something you love to do. Whether it’s cooking, painting, ice skating, or yoga, you become more mindful when you concentrate deeply on an activity you love to do. Notice how stress simply dissolves away as you focus on a joyful activity.
Make 2016 the year you reduce stress through mindful living. From small daily changes you can make at home to extended stays at a fitness retreat or other wellness retreats, uncovering your personal stress triggers and becoming more mindful will make you feel more centered, become more productive and trigger your overall emotional wellness. Simply relax and enjoy the moment!