Life is busy and work is stressful, which means having a system to deal with the stresses of day to day life is crucial to a healthy mind and body. Mindfulness is a natural system of relaxation and focus that is designed to lower that feeling of being overwhelmed, simply by being present. It is an amazing way to help anyone deal with the adverse effects that stress can cause, including burnout, anxiety, depression and more. By simply being present and aware of what is happening around you, it is possible to protect yourself against these effects.
The best way to make this a habit is to schedule it. I personally schedule my mindfulness meditation practice in my 2019 diary by Saint Belford. There is space in the planner to schedule your mindful practice every day. Scheduling this in can be helpful, especially when it’s new to you. Although meditation is arguably the most common form of mindfulness, there are many other ways you can practice being present. Mindful walks, mindful eating, sipping on a cup of tea and soaking up your favourite aromas are just some examples you could try. Ultimately, the objective is to pay attention to the present moment without judgment and create space between yourself and your reactions. Of course, this is easier said than done, so it’s important to personalise your practice and choose something that you’re more likely to stick to.
Mindfulness in its essence is about being in the moment and aware of how your body and mind feel. It’s about reconnecting with yourself and observing the different sensations in your body. Paying attention to your mind and body will teach you plenty about your thought process, the things that energise you and the things that make you tick. Improving your level of self-awareness will ultimately allow you to identify those moments when you feel a little overwhelmed and on edge. Instead of an irrational outburst, you can pause, assess the situation and respond in a controlled and graceful manner. When you have a greater understanding of how your mind and body works, you can take steps to improve your overall quality of life.
Mindfulness is an excellent tool for increasing your emotional intelligence. We know that emotional responses can heighten stressful situations, but not many people realise that the benefits of mindfulness can trickle into all areas of your life. This intelligence helps you become more measured in your responses to stressful or anxious situations. By being aware of how you feel and what is happening around you, you allow yourself to be more controlled and measured in your emotional response to any given situation. It is this intelligence that helps you to avoid overly emotional responses and lower stress and anxiety associated with those responses. This in turn will help you feel more grounded and revolutionise your personal and professional relationships.
Mindfulness is a natural system of awareness and wellbeing that is available to us all. It is a daily practice that can help us better measure our emotions, improve our level of self-awareness and our relationship with others. Becoming more mindful really is the natural vaccine to burnout, stress and anxiety in your life. All it takes is a little practice.