Being a full-time employee is more stressful than ever. With longer hours, stricter deadlines, and added responsibilities, many of us feel stressed on a daily basis.
Feeling stressed at work can lead to poor concentration, moodiness, and a decrease in overall work performance. When this stress is left unmanaged, many employees are susceptible to burnout. A company ran by burnt-out employees will experience increased absenteeism, less productivity, and higher turnover.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to make your life a little less stressful. This is where mindfulness comes into play. I believe that practicing mindfulness is one of the best ways to reduce the stress in your life. But how can being more mindful impact your daily life?
Let’s start by defining this popular buzzword. Mindfulness isn’t a technique – it’s a skill. It’s the skill of being fully present and paying attention to thoughts and feelings without judgment. Being mindful helps strengthen and train your mind, which improves your ability to handle stress.
According to research published by the American Psychological Association, an analysis of 163 well-designed academic studies found that mindfulness practice had a particularly positive and substantial effect on factors including stress and anxiety management.
Practicing mindfulness will not only bring your life balance and happiness, but it will improve your emotional and physical well-being as well. According to an article by HelpGuide.org, the physical benefits of mindfulness include stress relief, lower blood pressure, reduced chronic pain, improved sleep, and can even help fight heart disease.
Practicing mindfulness during your daily activities can become a healthy habit. Help yourself become more present by using the following tips to turn mindfulness into part of your daily routine:
Gratitude and mindfulness go hand-in-hand. Practicing gratitude expands your happiness and transforms the way you think. Reflecting on the things you are thankful for in life instead of focusing on the negatives can help you feel more positive and optimistic – which has been shown to lead to benefits such as better sleep, less stress, and a stronger immune system. There are many ways to practice gratitude. Start by writing down at least three things each morning you’re grateful for, compliment co-workers, or keep a gratitude journal.
Start a mindfulness journal
A mindfulness journal is different from a typical diary. Instead of writing about the events of your day, a mindfulness journal is used for purposes such as reducing stress or enhancing self-awareness. Writing in a mindfulness journal is a calming activity that will also remind you to stay mindful. Before you start your journal, set a goal of what you’re hoping to gain from your mindfulness writing. Keep yourself in routine by writing in your journal daily. Not sure what to write about? Check out this article for some great ideas!
Commute with a purpose
For a lot of us, the long morning commute is the worst part of the day. Traffic is stressful, and the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. If you have a dreaded morning commute, use this time to de-stress by practicing mindfulness. Instead of getting irritated with other drivers, become observant of your thoughts and feelings and consider why you feel this way.
Meditation is an easy way to practice mindfulness. Make a habit of meditating for just 10 minutes every day. Pick a time that is convenient and easy to stick with. I suggest meditating right after you wake up or before your morning routine or before you go to bed.
Have you ever sat down to watch some TV and notice 30 minutes later that you’ve eaten an entire bag of chips? If so, count yourself among the millions of Americans who often eat mindlessly. When you learn to eat mindfully, you learn to eat with intention and pay attention while eating. Practice eating slowly, keep a food journal, and learn to listen to your body to determine whether you’re hungry or satisfied.
Exercise is an excellent form of mindfulness. Many of us don’t even realize we are practicing mindfulness by working out or taking a peaceful walk outside. Certain exercises such as yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates work to connect the body with the mind. In addition to helping you master mindfulness, exercising will naturally reduce stress, keep you healthy, and boost your mood. It’s the ultimate win-win!
Put down your phone
Many of us are glued to our phones and feel anxious when we don’t have any Wi-Fi. However, spending too much time in the cyber world instead of focusing on reality and the people around us can have some devastating effects. Stay mindful of your phone usage. Ask yourself why you’re going to use your phone before you pick it up. Keep track of how often you are on your phone and stop using your phone as a cure for boredom. Limiting your screen time will help you connect more with your peers, family, and yourself.
Anyone can learn to be mindful. With a little bit of effort, making mindfulness a daily practice is entirely achievable. Try adding some of these tips into your daily routine to add a little more Zen to your life and also check out this free guide on mindfulness.
How do you practice mindfulness on a daily basis? Leave a comment below!