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Are you happy with your mindfulness practice and how much you accomplish every day? If not, a more focused and thought out plan on how to practice mindfulness in daily life might be your key to better productivity.
There seems to be some misunderstanding regarding ways to practice mindfulness and productivity. A lot of people see the two as polar opposites. You’ve got monks on one end, sitting around on a mountaintop and doing nothing. And then there are the businessmen who have learned how to be mindful at work, hustling all around the big cities — always on the move.
But the truth is that there is no conflict between how to practice mindfulness throughout the day and productivity. The two can certainly go hand-in-hand. Below are ways that mindfulness can improve your productivity and help you achieve a greater sense of balance as well as achievement.
Use these five easy ways for your mindfulness practice and check more things off your to-do list.
1. Learn How To Meditate. Why? Because It Works
Meditation is a common mindfulness practice for a reason: it works. And while regular meditation produces more advantages than sporadic meditation, even a beginner can reap impressive benefits from taking a few minutes to sit down and clear their mind.
If you don’t currently meditate, start small. Five to ten minutes is a good starting point for most people. Get away from distractions, close your eyes if you want, and focus on clearing your mind. Your attention will probably wander a little at first, which is normal. Over time, though, you’ll have an easier time clearing the clutter from your thoughts, and this will lead to better focus throughout your workday.
Mindfulness Practice Podcast: Walking Meditation Instructions For Mindfulness And Awareness
It sounds intimidating to people who don’t do it, but it’s good for you. You needn’t sit on the floor in a yoga-like position and hum to meditate. Sit in your favorite chair. Lie in bed. Just focus on closing your eyes, clearing your mind, and breathing deep breaths or do walking Meditation using the mp3 above.
This is meditation, and it’s a wonderful way to practice mindfulness and release stress. It sharpens your mind, provides you with clarity, and helps improve your life.
2. Use Your mindfulness practice For Self-Care and Get Outside!
Taking care of your mind is a good thing, and it all starts with taking care of your body. Exercise. Eat right. Take care of yourself. When you practice mindfulness at mealtime, working out, and while you are home, you’re able to focus on what your body needs. Sometimes you’re tired and you’re feeling lazy, and all you want to do is lie down and be lazy. Go for a walk instead. It’s going to clear your mind and help you focus on feeling good.
Spending time in nature is great for your mind. It boosts your mood, banishes stress, and helps you refocus your attention. Aim to get at least fifteen or twenty minutes of fresh air every day, preferably in a green space like a park or even your backyard.
3. Take a Few Deep Breaths To Lower Your Stress Level
Feeling scattered? If you don’t have time for a meditation session, pause to center yourself with a few slow, deep breaths instead. Deep breathing as a mindfulness practice technique lowers your stress levels along with your blood pressure by stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system. The end result? You end up feeling calmer, more present in the moment, and more prepared to get things done.
Stress is not always a bad thing, but too much of it can be. Stress, when used wisely, can be productive. It can help motivate you and make you better, but it can also tear down your mind, your body, and your spirit. It’s why practicing mindfulness is so important in life. When you’re more mindful, you’re able to reduce some of your stress and focus on a more positive lifestyle. These tips help you increase mindfulness and reduce stress for more peace.
4. Unplug Yourself From Everything!
Gadgets like smartphones and laptops are convenient, but they can be terrible for your state of mind. If you’re in the habit of checking your phone every five minutes, you’re probably living in a state of constant distraction, instead of focusing on the present moment.
You don’t have to give up your electronics completely, but your mindfulness – and your productivity – will improve your ways to practice mindfulness if you limit your gadget use. Designate specific times of the day to check your email and surf the web, and turn off your electronics outside of those times.
If you’re like many working men and women, having your phone on means you’re expected to be constantly accessible. One strategy to keep yourself mindful of your stress and help you relax is to take some ‘unplugged’ time each day where you turn off your phone and ignore your computer.
Constant phone notifications and emails can feel overwhelming, and by unplugging for a bit, you can enjoy a relaxing activity to help yourself recharge in a way that you can’t with your devices in front of you.
5. Write in a Journal For An Effective Mindfulness Practice
Journaling is a simple and useful way to track your thoughts, reflect on events, and bring your mind into the present moment. Take a few minutes every morning to jot down what you’re thinking and feeling, as well as what you hope to accomplish during the day. Use a physical notebook and pen for this – typing on a computer doesn’t bring the same mindfulness benefits.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
It’s so easy to get caught up in the little things in life that make you feel down, out, and unhappy. One little thing goes wrong and suddenly the rest of the day is off. You feel as if nothing is going your way, the world is out to get you, and things just don’t work out for you.
By writing something every day you’re thankful, grateful, and happy for, you’re able to focus on the positives in your life. You are forcing yourself to focus on good things rather than bad things, and it changes your mindset.
How To Be Mindful At Work: Ways You Can Practice Mindfulness Hacks to Help with Productivity
1. First, Stop Working
There are a lot of people working themselves to the bone, yet they aren’t as productive as they’d like. In many cases, they are simply distracted. As you already know, mindfulness is the cure for distraction. Learning to focus on where you are and what you are doing is key. Many busy people never really get a chance to rest because they are always thinking about work when they are supposed to be resting, and vice versa.
From now on, leave your work at the office when you head home every day. You can’t be at your best tomorrow if you don’t allow your mind and body to rest today. Take some time to just be where you are.
When it’s your day off, focus on your family. Give them your attention and not just your physical presence. Enjoy time with your friends. Throw yourself into your chores, your home improvement projects, and your hobbies. Then, when Monday rolls back around, you’ll have a lot more energy and the ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand.
2. Ditch Multitasking for Deep Dives
Multitasking is often a mindfulness killer. You’re barely aware of what you are doing because your mind is juggling half a dozen other projects simultaneously. This is not the path to productivity and progress. A better approach for ways to practice mindfulness is to go all-in on a single task.
If you could only accomplish one task today at work, what would it be? Once you are aware of your highest priority for the day, set yourself to work on that task. Close the door, shut off your phone and take a deep breath. Then dive down into that work and don’t come back up for air until it is complete.
3. Use Technology to Improve Awareness in Your Mindfulness Practice
This one might sound a little out of place, but technology can actually help increase your mindfulness. In the same way that a meditation teacher at a retreat might ring a bell on occasion to draw your attention and focus, you can use phone apps or even just a simple alarm to help you find your center every hour. You can even use custom wallpapers for your phone and computer desktop that act as visual cues to bring your attention back to the moment.
How To Practice Mindfulness In Daily Life: Finding A Healthy Work-Life Balance
Finding a healthy work-life balance is harder than ever. With technology and telecommuting increasing employee expectations, it can seem impossible to find a balance between work and the ‘you time’ that you need. One way to help yourself find a work-life balance that works for you is to engage in mindfulness practices.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness refers to the practice of being aware of your presence in each moment, as well as being aware of your needs and desires. Many people think mindfulness refers to meditation; while meditation can certainly aid in mindfulness, many people’s ‘mindful’ practices are simply hobbies they enjoy in their free time or quiet moments spent sitting outdoors.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Even though mindfulness meditation has been practiced in the east for centuries, it’s only really been looked at in the west since the 70s. With a resurgence in popularity for taking care of oneself from within, mindfulness meditation is finally catching on in the west. Since it’s gaining popularity, naturally you probably have a few questions about it.
Mindfulness meditation is the act of meditating by focusing on your surroundings. It is a practice that keeps you in the now and aware of your mind, body, and soul. A quick exercise is to press your toes firmly against your shoe or the floor. Focus entirely on the feelings you’re experiencing. There are more in-depth guides to doing full-on mindfulness meditation, this is just a very small example.
What Does it Do to Your Brain?
Even though practices such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, and other similar practices have been gaining ground, there are still plenty of skeptics out there. After a mere eight-week course, MRI scans showed that practitioners of this had their amygdala shrink. This is the part of your brain that controls the ‘fight or flight’ response, fear, and emotion. It also tells your body when to be stressed.
The pre-frontal cortex, which is most commonly associated with ‘higher thinking’ functions such as decision-making, concentration, and awareness grew. Tons of research and studies are still being done, so check out news surrounding mindfulness meditation for some truly mind-blowing science and enjoy the Brainwave Entrainment Meditation below! Find out more about Brainwave Entrainment HERE…
Meditation Podcast: Brainwave Entrainment Meditation: Achieve Deep Relaxation and Emotional Balance In Your Life
What’s the Difference Between Mindfulness and Meditation?
Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, who has studied mindfulness for over three decades, has come out saying that when you practice mindfulness, you’re actually meditating. This is because mindfulness is awareness. It’s something that people don’t’ usually take the time to practice. However, when you devote concrete time (usually about 20 minutes), to awareness, you are in fact meditating.
How do you Practice Mindfulness As A Beginner?
Though there are other factors that come into play, such as sticking with it and going with the flow, when it comes to how you practice mindfulness effectively each day, it actually becomes pretty easy.
- Sit either on the floor or in a straight-backed chair.
- Focus on your breathing. This can be the swell and fall of your stomach as you breathe or the feel of the air flowing through your nostrils and out of your mouth.
- Once you are fully concentrated on this, expand your focus. Allow yourself to become aware of other things, such as sensations, sounds, and ideas.
- Now you have to consider and embrace each and every sensation and thought without judgment. Don’t decide right now if it was good or bad. This will only get your mind racing. If your mind does begin to take off, center yourself again by focusing on your breathing, and repeat the process.
Meditation Podcast: 5 Minute Guided Meditation For Beginners With Script
Ways To Practice Mindfulness To Create A Healthy Work-Life Balance
Practicing mindfulness can help you keep a healthy work-life balance in many ways. Mindfulness helps you be better aware of stress, and managing stress is crucial to balancing your work and personal life. If you realize that you’re feeling stressed and unproductive, you’ll know that it’s time to take a short walk or give yourself a mental break of another kind.
Mindful people also tend to be more organized and focused with a well thought out mindfulness practice, and thus more productive. This is mostly because mindfulness allows you to establish a schedule that works best for you. Many people use a mindfulness practice to remain ‘in the moment’ and completely focused and mindful at work during work hours, then turn that part of their brain off during breaks or after work to give their minds a rest.
Mental exhaustion, after all, is a common reason for decreases in productivity. Being mindful also helps you prioritize between what tasks are urgent and what you can take your time on.
Mindfulness Practice Tips: To help you establish the best possible work-life balance, here are some mindfulness practices you might choose to engage in:
Exercise – Exercise should be up there with eating regular meals and drinking enough water on your list of personal needs. Exercise is one of the best stress-relievers and is proven to make people more productive overall, not least because it helps your mindfulness practice so you can stay focused on the moment.
Make a Personalized Schedule – One final tip to maintain a good work-life balance is to create a schedule that best suits your needs. Be mindful of your stress levels on a day-to-day basis and find activities that help you reduce stress, then incorporate these into your mindfulness practice and schedule along with hours spent working.
Remember Your End Goals – Your End Goals can be one of the most important motivators, encouraging you to be in your most productive state. Note down your goals and make a long-term plan of action to attain them. Remember that every day you are practicing mindfulness you move one step closer towards that end goal, which is good enough to keep you motivated to the day.
The next time you find yourself struggling to achieve the balance between your work and personal life, use these simple ways to practice mindfulness techniques to help you rest when it’s time to rest and to work when it’s time to work. Your productivity will improve in direct proportion to your sense of balance and rest in other areas of your life.
Practice Mindfulness as a Nighttime Routine
Evenings are an ideal time for practicing mindfulness. With the day behind you and the promise of a good night’s sleep ahead, you can unwind, reflect, and take the time to center yourself before going to bed. Here’s how you can incorporate mindfulness into your nighttime routine.
Stop Using Electronics Before Bed
Research has shown that the blue light from computers, smartphones, and other electronic devices can make it harder to fall asleep at night. Electronics are also highly distracting – it’s hard to live in the moment and practice mindfulness when you’ve got a dozen tabs open in your browser. Turn off your gadgets at least one hour before you go to bed.
Focus on the Sensory Details of Your Routine
As you get ready for bed, take some deep breaths and focus your attention on the world around you. Take a warm bath and notice the way the water feels against your skin, or light a candle and focus on its scent.
Unwind with a Short Mindfulness Body Scan Meditation Session
When you practice mindfulness it can help you let go of the day’s stress and prepare for a restful night’s sleep. Take ten minutes or so to clear your mind and focus on your breathing. Don’t meditate in bed, though, or you might accidentally fall asleep!
If you tend to carry tension in your body, make a point of relaxing before bed. Take deep, soothing breaths and consciously relax each muscle in your body, starting with your toes and moving up to your head. You can also try using a foam roller to massage any tightness out of your muscles.
Meditation Podcast: 5-Minute Mindfulness Body Scan Meditation Script & Mp3
Reflect on the Day in Your Journal
If you keep a mindfulness journal, evenings are a perfect time to write in it, since the events of the day are still fresh in your mind. Jot down some observations about what you experienced and accomplished, and make a note of your thoughts and feelings. If you’re working on improving your productivity, make a note of what you want to accomplish the next day.
Take a Moment to Prepare for the Next Day
Before you turn off the lights, take the time to lay out the next day’s clothes and program your coffee maker. Setting things up for your future self will help you feel less stressed about the upcoming day, and you’ll have a more productive morning if you prepare ahead of time.
Learning how to practice mindfulness and incorporating mindfulness into your evening routine won’t just help you fall asleep more easily. It will also help you maintain a brighter outlook and get more done around the clock. Incorporate these tips into your nighttime routine, and you’ll reap the benefits all day long.
A mindfulness practice won’t change your life until you learn how to practice mindfulness in daily life. It takes a few days to make it a habit and once you do, you’ll find you won’t want to stop practicing mindfulness. It’s time for you to focus on yourself, your health, and your own reality.
These tips can help you change the ways to practice mindfulness so you’re more aware of your feelings and thoughts. This helps you reduce your stress levels and your reaction, and it helps you feel better about life.
An effective and well thought out mindfulness practice can make you happier, less stressed, and more productive. If you want to learn how to practice mindfulness throughout the day, try making these simple mindfulness practices part of your regular routine.