MINDFULNESS

With Thanksgiving behind us, we enter the holiday season in full force.  Over a delicious meal of turkey and stuffing with family and friends our thoughts are often filled with gratitude and appreciation.  Can we maintain these feelings through the hectic year-end period?  

Through mindfulness, we can focus our minds to be more 'in the moment' with less worry about the future and fewer thoughts of remorse about the past.

Here are a few ways to remain mindful at work or at home:

1.  Meditate

This is what most people think of when they think of mindfulness.  If you are not a huge fan of meditation, you are not alone.  Rather than thinking about it as a way to create a feeling of zen, consider it an exercise to train your brain to focus.  Try meditating by paying attention to your breathing (in and out).  You're mind will wander - this is normal - but try to gently pull your thoughts back to your breath.  Effectively, this is training your brain to focus on what you want it to focus on, ultimately reducing distractions.  Try starting with 2 minutes and see how you feel.

2.  Be Present

While it sounds easy, being in the moment can be a challenge.  When we are engaged in conversation, we are often thinking about what we will say next.  Try active listening, giving full attention to what the other person is saying.  It's okay if you pause to collect your thoughts when they are finished.

3.  Open Your Mind 

Curiosity and openness helps to enhance our relationships.  Being genuinely interested in what someone else has to say, keeps us in the moment and mindful.  Try to avoid slipping into "default mode" which allows for judgement and criticism.

Want to know more about mindfulness and it's relationship to productivity wellbeing and peak performannce?

I recently finished a wonderful 6 week, free, on-line course through FutureLearn.  The class was taught by two professors from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.  You can find out more about it here:  FutureLearn