The word mindfulness is becoming more and more present in everyday language. As the word suggests it is about your mind being fully involved in what you’re doing. So often during the day, our mind can run away, we lose touch with our body and can become absorbed in a cycle of thoughts. These can be mundane thoughts about something we need to do or negative or anxious thoughts. This can lead us to a negative cycle of feeling low or anxious. By bringing our minds and body back to the present and consciously paying attention, we can break these cycles and feel more positive.
Mindfulness is a certified therapy and practitioners go through a specific approved course. Doing mindfulness alongside one of these practitioners is ideal and recommended above all. However, with websites such as freemindfulness.org it is possible to do mindfulness exercises that are routed in stress reduction (MBSR) and cognitive behavioural therapy (MBCBT). Here you will find short exercises that can make it possible to incorporate into a busy working life. As we know, balance is important for improving and maintaining our working week and these mindfulness exercises can help rebalance a stressful day and help bring you back to your body and mind and create a more positive view of the day as well as increase productivity.
How to include them in the working day
3-minute mindfulness breathing exercise. Use a timer if you need to. It’s broken into 3 minutes and works as follows:
- For the first minute, ask yourself “How am I doing right now?”. Focus on the thoughts, feelings and sensations that come up and try to give these words.
- For the second minute, bring and keep your awareness on your breath.
- For the last minute, bring your attention outward from the breath to how your breathing is affecting the rest of your body.
- This can help you get in a more positive mindset to start your day.
- Or do it as you log off for the day. Close your computer down and spend time checking in with yourself and calm the body and mind to get ready to go into home life.
Mindfulness walks. Find time for a walk during the day. This can be anywhere. Engage with your senses during this, what can you see, what can you hear, what can you smell, what can you feel? Pay attention to these senses and what emotions they may bring up.
If you’re someone who struggles to do the typical meditation of clearing your mind, mindfulness may be for you. There are many ways to practice which means it can be done in almost any situation!
Warning: If you have experienced trauma or you’re hypersensitive to bodily sensations and these can cause anxiety, then mindfulness should not be done without a practitioner. This can be health anxiety or panic, where one may catastrophise thoughts that a bodily sensation may mean something is wrong with them.
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