How you can practice mindfulness every day

Published by: LifeWorks,

Mindfulness

If life seems to be moving too fast and you’re struggling to catch your breath, you may benefit from incorporating mindfulness techniques into your daily routine.

Mindfulness is the practice of eliminating distractions and “purposely focusing your attention on the present moment,” a report by the Harvard Health Publications says. Some experts call it the opposite of multitasking.

Here are some ideas to get your daily mindfulness practice started:

Limit multitasking. As much as you can, do one thing at a time and give it your full attention. Keep in mind the words of the psychologist Mary Pipher, who says in her book Seeking Peace: “A very simple definition of mindfulness is doing one thing at a time.”

Practice mindful listening with others. Focus carefully on what other people are saying, whether they are new acquaintances, close friends, or relatives, and try not to interrupt. Listen actively rather than jumping ahead to plan what you want to say next.

Unplug your devices. Periodically, turn off your television, phone, tablet, or laptop so they won’t distract you from your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Use all five of your senses. Let yourself see, hear, touch, taste, and smell your world. This will help you try to stay in the present moment instead of dwelling on what has happened in the past or may happen in the future. Using all of your senses will also make you more aware of your surroundings and maybe appreciate them more.

Try progressive muscle relaxation. This technique may help if physical tension makes it hard for you to practice mindfulness. Sit or lie down in a quiet place. Then tense and relax different muscle groups one at a time. Start by holding out your right arm and making a fist. Tense your arm and fist for a slow count of 10. Then relax your arm and fist for a slow count of 10. Repeat with your left arm. Then do the same with your legs, stomach, and other muscle groups.

Be patient. Don’t judge if being mindful is hard at first. It can be a challenge to stay in the present moment if you’re used to multitasking. Stick with it, if only for a few minutes a day. With regular practice mindfulness will become easier.

More information about mindfulness practices is available LifeWorks users. Go to the LifeWorks app or connect at login.lifeworks.com with your username and password. There you can search for “mindfulness” for articles, podcasts, and other resources.

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