According to Psychology Today – “Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.”
But what does all this mean to you and how can this help you to be more productive? Recent studies show that it is a good way to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress, all things that can keep us from functioning at our optimum.
We live busy lives. From the moment you wake up in the morning your focus is divided between a multitude of things vying for your attention. You grab your smartphone next to your bed and it only gets worse, emails, social sites, etc. While brushing your teeth you tend to the kids and the dog! Missing out on the beautiful sunrise, or the way the dog waggled its tail at your kid’s funny antics.
Once at the office your day is a one big blur of activities, paperwork, phone calls and people. Driving home after work is no better with high volumes of traffic, noise, billboards, shouting and hooting. Till you finally get home wanting to collapse on the couch like a stack of cards, but this is a privilege of few.
It is no wonder then that we feel stressed, overworked and anxious. What mindfulness teaches us is to be present in the moment, to be aware of our surroundings, our thoughts and feelings, without judgement.
At the office this would mean being fully present while chatting to a colleague, being aware of your emotions and thoughts, even if they are negative without judging them. Then gently steering your thoughts into a more positive direction.
So how do we achieve mindfulness?
Mostly a sense of mindfulness can be practised using some form of meditation and perhaps a mantra or word that you focus on. As with anything else the more you practise the better you get so don’t give up on yourself. Once you’ve mastered meditation you should practise mindfulness in a more informal way throughout your day, focusing your attention on your moment-to-moment sensations during everyday activities.
This is how to apply mindfulness in an informal manner:
- Start by focussing your attention to the different sensations in your body.
- Take a deep breath through your nose.
- Breathe out through your mouth.
- Think of a word that sums up how you’re feeling at the moment.
- If it is a negative thought gently move the word to the side.
- If the word is positive dwell on it for a moment.
- Notice the sensations in your body.
- See what’s in front of you.
- Proceed with your work fully engaged while still noticing sight, touch and sound and savouring every sense.
Bring your Team to Intundla for a Conference and/or Team building session, we’re situated in prime Game Reserve surroundings only 30 minutes from Pretoria, the perfect venue to practise Mindfulness.