How to Practice Mindfulness
By Carrol Baker
4 ways for busy people to practice mindfulness
These days life can be crazy busy, and with the demands of a busy workplace, there’s rarely time to pause and take a breath. Practicing mindfulness at work can help. It’s not about simply zoning out, or becoming complacent. Nurture a mindfulness mindset and you’ll boost your bottom line and tick all those items off your to-do list, even on busy days.
1.The art of breath
Learn how to breathe properly, to still your mind and gain clarity. Bodhi Whitaker and Katherine Tucker from Breathe Project have developed a breathing exercise. They suggest building this into a three-minute daily ritual. You can also practice in the tearoom at work, or while waiting for the lift. Try it next time you feel anxious. Breathe slow, deep and even.
1. Chose to stand, sit or lay down. Get comfortable.
2. Place your right hand on your belly and left hand on your chest.
3. Inhale from right hand to left. Bottom to top like you’re filling a glass of water.
4. Exhale left hand to right. Top to bottom like you’re pouring the water out.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4.
2. Learn to listen and watch non-verbals
How often do people start talking, and you mentally jump in with your own thoughts, or tune out and think about other things? Mindfully listening – will save you time and improve communication. If you’re being asked to do something, you’ll get it right the first time because you’ve clearly listened. Be mindful and watch body language too – non-verbal cues can reveal a person’s innermost thoughts without them saying a word.
3. Begin your day in a mindful way
Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier, so you don’t feel rushed. Do 5 minutes of stretching – it increases stamina by relieving muscle fatigue and improves blood flow. Get organised the night before so you can spend a couple of minutes quietly lingering over your morning coffee. Resist the urge to check your emails until you’ve had breakfast. Then checkout some mindfulness apps and plug in for some down time while you’re on the bus to work.
4. Take a break from big tasks
Too busy to steal a few mindful minutes because you’re working on a huge task? Make time – you’ll reap the benefits. A Study by University of Illinois of 84 subjects in two groups showed prolonged focus without a break negatively impacts on performance. Taking regular breaks allows your brain to shift focus, it replenishes your mind, and boosts creativity, which is especially important if you are working on an arduous task.