Mindfulness has been a buzzword for a while now, and for good reason. It allows you the ability to be fully present, aware of where you are, and what you’re doing. Especially in today’s environment, adopting a few mindful practices will have a positive impact on yourself and those around you. Mindfulness is proven to have a multitude of benefits — it can provide a greater sense of wellbeing, lowers blood pressure, improves the ability to remain task-focused, lowers levels of stress, has a positive impact on mental health, reduces chronic pain, and can help create a more cohesive team environment. As a certified yoga instructor and a Demand Springer, I’ve put together a few simple shifts you can take every day to begin your mindfulness practice.
1. Be consciously present in every moment.
It sounds simple, but as we all know it’s easy to get caught up in dwelling about the past or planning or stressing about the future. To start the day off with this intention, take a few moments of ‘conscious awareness’ before doing anything work-related. It’s tempting to start checking your email as you just wake up. Start small. Try avoiding the temptation to check your phone for the first 10 minutes of waking up. Instead, take a few deep breaths. Tune in to the moment, and become aware of your thoughts. Avoid judgment of the thoughts that come up, and be willing to let them go. Come back to this place of ‘conscious awareness’ at any overwhelming point in your day.
2. Remove distractions & avoid multitasking (when possible).
This might already be something on your mind, especially if you’re one of the many who are new to working from home – a whole new set of possible distractions: kids, pets, Netflix, the fridge… Try to take no notice of distractions and avoid multitasking – this will help focus your attention in order to stay present.
3. Be mindful when communicating.
Check-in with your communication. Be mindful of your tone and language (body language too), your message, be attentive about how the message is being received. Working in a virtual environment adds a whole new dimension and importance to mindful communication. In a previous post, I talk about compassionate communication and active listening which are both great tools to bring more mindfulness into your communication.
4. Practice gratitude. Everyday.
The more you bring awareness to what you’re grateful for, the more gratitude you’ll experience. To get you started, this post outlines 40 simple ways to practice gratitude.
5. Cultivate a beginner’s mind.
Shoshin is a Buddhist term for beginners’ mind. When we approach situations with a beginner’s mind we are open, eager, and curious. Our minds are empty and full of possibilities. If your mind is empty it is open to learning and growing and in return, it becomes more mindful. If we think of ourselves as experts, then our minds are full and we are closed off to new opportunities and learning. As beginners, we are open and eager and present in the moment. In the beginner’s mind there are infinite possibilities, in the expert’s mind the possibilities are limited.
6. Practice yoga.
If you are interested in joining our weekly yoga classes (Tuesdays and Thursdays) to bring some movement and mindfulness into your workday, send me a note and I’ll add you to the Calendar invite. The more the merrier!
Try being a ‘single-tasker’ and working on a new practice each day. Let us know how you do. 🙂