The Busy Person’s Guide to Mindfulness
Keeping up with your car’s maintenance is essential to keeping its motor running. Trying to save money and time by avoiding its regular maintenance would eventually cause your car to break down, leaving you with a lot of lost time, a costly bill and a huge inconvenience.
Think of your mind, body, and health in the same way. For you to be able to continue to drive toward your goals, you must find time to prioritize some personal maintenance, or else you’ll risk breaking down. This means fitting in time for wellness among your demanding schedules and constant responsibilities. Easier said than done, right? We get it. That’s why we’ve put together the busy person’s guide to mindfulness. Because you’re busy, but we’d hate to see you run out of gas on the way to your goals.
- Breathe: Deep cleansing breaths can help keep you grounded when stress and emotions cause you to lose touch with reality. Find a peaceful environment, such as outside your office in the warmth of sunlight and pull in all negative and stressful thoughts on your inhale and release them on a long exhale. Repeat the process as many times as needed, experimenting with the length of inhale and exhale until you find the right rhythm and release.
- Pay Attention to Yourself: Notice how you feel throughout the day. If you feel anxious, angry, sad or happy, take note of what caused that change. Defining your emotion and connecting it to its cause can help you break it down so it’s easier to work through while also staying in touch with reality. Take notice of your face and eyes. You may notice holding tension around your eyes when you’re feeling stressed, so consciously release the tension around the corners of your eyes and across your forehead.
- Keep Boundaries: Feeding into negative people and situations around you can easily throw your good mood and positive attitude into a downward tailspin headed for a rut. When someone is negative— such as the office gossiper— empower yourself by resisting the urge to involve yourself or allow their perceptions to impact your own. Even if it’s a friend acting out negatively, practice loving them while understanding that their bad mood doesn’t have to become your bad day.
- Make time to Move: Wiggling your fingers, toes and other body parts throughout the day is a simple way to awaken the mind, body, spirit connection that fosters grounding. Stretch your limbs periodically to relieve mental and physical tension and fit in a short walk during your breaks to elevate endorphins to naturally alleviate stress and boost your mood.
- Stay Present: Holding onto guilt, anger, or resentment from last night or last year can hinder your ability to thrive in the now, just as much as worrying about the future can rob you of the strength of today. Indulge in the richness of whatever moment you’re in and what your purpose is in that moment, whether it’s being productive in a business meeting or being present with your child.
Letting go of mindfulness in lieu of meeting life’s demands won’t help you meet your goals. Maintaining holistic health will help prevent roadblocks and breakdowns from getting in the way of you meeting your goals. Don’t let being busy prevent you from finding your holistic health balance.
By Emily Starinieri