Mindfulness for busy people
Written by Simonne Lee
Busyness results in productivity, right? Or so I’ve been told. Don’t get me wrong, I love to set goals and be on my merry way feeling action orientated. There’s a fleeting sense of instant gratification after each project or goal is completed and then it’s straight onto the next thing. It can become a habit and can also become addictive.
What happens when you’re in busy mode only?
Mindfulness is a beautiful entry point before moving into meditation.
A state of busyness doesn’t allow for mindful feelings of happiness, contentment or even, more importantly, feelings of connectedness with the self or others. Everything is in fast forward, structured to the very minute — and watch out if anything forces your timeline out of whack. It’s a single-driven focus, based on getting through your day. You won’t even notice when stress enters your world and the worst part is you’re constantly living in the future mindlessly.
Here’s where we can step into mindfulness. A really simple way to understand mindfulness is that we’re still using our mind but in a different way. We allow the mind to observe (similar to people-watching) as we experience a single sense for a moment in time. Imagine using one sense only to experience the sound of rain — hearing — watching a cloud as it moves through the sky — seeing — or observing the texture and flavours of the meal you’re eating — tasting. Mindfulness is a beautiful entry point before moving into meditation.
By observing sensations in the body, we create an alignment between body and mind, opening a line of communication.
Motivation and proactiveness are important life skills; however, it’s just as important to make time for replenishing experiences, too. If you’re a gunner at getting things done but you find it difficult to unwind and sleep, this is where I’d encourage you to focus some time and effort. Think of it this way: you’re just going to transfer the skills that you’re good at and apply them to a different aspect of your life mindfully, while focusing other senses.
Let’s look at a different approach. You’re used to accessing information through your mind; there’s that analytical method that gets things done. Great! Bring this across to an area you want to work on and try using a different sense to access the information. For example, exploring how your body “feels” (sense) when you want to unwind.
– Does it feel comfortable?
– Does it feel rigid or tight?
– Do you feel as if you’re dragging your body?
– Does your body feel light?
– Do you feel an emotion eg happy, deflated, balanced, content, frustrated?
Let’s try a simple technique that I do daily, recharging the batteries with good feelings and experiences:
Take a moment to stop. Take five to eight slow and deliberate breath cycles into the belly, holding and then gently releasing. This gets the active mind to slow down and is a very good habit to strengthen as it instantly calms our state.
Now that you’ve started to slow down the mind, there is a subtle stillness within as you begin to pause. Now, ask your body some of the questions listed above. An area might feel tightness, focus on that area, imagine breathing in and out of that spot to loosen it up. Or perhaps there’s a feeling of softness, bring your attention to this place and as you breathe in and out, imagine expanding this softness within your body.
By observing sensations in the body, we create an alignment between body and mind, opening a line of communication. If you sense your body is tight, you might want to stretch and loosen those muscles. Or your body may be tired and you want to pump it with energy. Stand up and jump on the spot a couple of times to stimulate the muscles and shift some energy.
It’s these mindful moments in our daily life where we create and allow good experiences to be felt, instantly recharging our batteries. This is what fires up our passion and creativity in life, instead of just living in a state of complete busyness. And, seriously, who doesn’t love a bit of passion added to their day?