Mindfulness could be your answer to be more fecund at Work

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.

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Conference Attendees 10 Best Stress Busters

We are all part of the rat race and no one slows down until they’re retired and even then your 
retired buddies will want you to join all the clubs so you can keep busy. Apart from all the negative health effects like high blood pressure and heart disease, stress also slows down your productivity and effectiveness as well as completely snuffs out your creative side.

So we’ve decided to ask some regular conference attendees at Intundla Game Lodge how they keep stress under wraps. And from their answers we’ve compiled the
10 best stress busters.

1. Be Active

Exercise has for a long time been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. New research now suggests that better still is walking barefoot. There is a whole science behind this and they call it “Earthing” which really means that we need to be grounded and connect with nature, the closer we get to nature the better for our health – and stress levels. Because salt water is an incredible source of free electrons “Earthing” by walking barefoot along the seashore in the sea water would be first prize but for those who are denied this luxury a close second would be walking on dewy grass in the morning.

2. Take Control
Simplify your life – by getting rid of all the clutter and this can be emotional as well as materialistic clutter. Learn to prioritise – we all have to cope with 24 hour days, in order to take control of your life you have to let go of some of the things that are less important. Juggling everything and trying to do all at once won’t help your situation either. Decide what is important and focus on that first, everything else can either wait or even better, let it go!

3. Build Boundaries
Meditation is one of the best stress busters. This ensures you get out of your head and gives better clarity on your goals. The only way you can achieve this is if you have boundaries and learn to say NO! You are not the superhero saving the world and everyone is entitled to a little me time some time.

4. Challenge Yourself
If you are constantly challenging yourself with learning a new skill, e.g. a new language, a different sport, etc. your focus will shift from being apathetic to being a resilient positive thinking person. This increases your coping mechanisms with stress.

5. Avoid Unhealthy Habits
Grabbing for the pack of smokes every time you face difficulty or drinking more than you should to alleviate your stress will only create more problems in the long run. Unhealthy habits don’t solve anything and is more like putting your head in the sand. Rather look for positive and deliberate ways of working through your adversities, this way you will build better coping tools.

6. Do Volunteer Work
You will be amazed at the difference it will make when you see your own problems in perspective. When faced with how others are suffering it is guaranteed to shift your perspective making you more likely to count your blessings than brood over your hardships.

7. Work smarter
Work smarter not harder. Collaborate and cooperate with others to get the job done faster and more efficiently. Be pro-active in the way you seize each day and make sure you manage your time well – schedule a 5 minute meeting with yourself every morning and establish what is most important to do that day. This way you can tackle the day head on and avoid wasting time on things that can wait or be put off altogether.

8. Be Positive
Know yourself, your strengths and limitations. Be deliberate in looking at things in an optimistic light and appreciating the things that matter. Laughing is the best medicine and all round cure for stress. Learn to be a kid again and to enjoy the simple easy things in life, and to enjoy life! Celebrate your life!

9. Accept the things you cannot change
Trying to keep an iron grip on everything and to keep control over everything and everyone can intensify your stress levels. Learn to let go of the things you have no control over. Accept the fact that you have no control over other people and that the only thing you can control is your own attitude and behaviour. Make peace with the order that things change, nothing stays the same – if you’re in a bad situation remember … this too shall pass.

10. Connect with people
Two are better than one, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. The better your support network and your resources, the easier it will be to face problems. You can share your trepidations with co-workers and friends, which could bring new perspective and ease your fears.

 

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