"Mindfulness" is a hot topic currently, gaining attention in almost every field. Often, it can feel intimidating to incorporate this into your daily routine. These simple tips may help empower you to make small, but powerful changes! The best part? No one will even know you are engaging in these and they can be done anywhere, at any time.
1) Develop a gratitude practice.
Think about 3 things that happened during the day that you are proud of, excited by, or grateful for. Gratitude practice can help you to reset, refocus, and shift negative energy/ thoughts to a more positive framework. Engaging in this daily can promote higher levels of satisfaction both personally and professionally.
2) Engage in grounding techniques.
Do you feel stressed out in the middle of the day? Maybe your heart is beating fast, your body is tensing up, you start to feel overwhelmed? Often, when we are experiencing intense stress of anxiety, it is because we are worrying about something that already happened, or worried about something that could happen in the future. Try a grounding technique like "the color game". Choose a color and look around to try to find any place that you see that color. Why? Grounding techniques bring us into the present moment and out of the state of worry. Grounding techniques center us, bring us calm, and the ability to reset.
3) Bring attention to your breath.
For example, try using an app to do 3 minutes of guided breathing. Great examples are the breathe app for apple watch, the Mindfulness app, Calm, and Headspace. Engaging in breathing exercises serves many purposes and is highly supported by research. First, it physiologically benefits the body, by bringing down your heart rate, which in turn causes the body and mind to achieve a state of relaxation. Next, it brings the attention to the breath and away from racing thoughts to allow for a sense of calm. Doing this throughout the work day can help with productivity and satisfaction by providing safe space for a mental break and offering calm in the midst of a stressful day.
4) Make room to add intention.
Think about habits or routines you are already doing and try to add intention to them. Do you have a routine when you get to work? Something you do everyday at lunch? A way you end each day? Whatever it is, try bringing intention and conscious awareness to it. For instance, if you have a cup of coffee every morning when you get to your desk, try thinking of this as a "ritual". Think about what it feels like to engage in this act. Ritual helps us to transform habits we are already engaging in to do them joyfully and deliberately, which can deepen our connection to ourselves. If you don't have an existing routine, can you think of something you can add to your work day that might serve this purpose?
5) Allow yourself small moments of joy or pleasure.
Read a book or magazine for 10 minutes every morning, at lunch, or before you leave work for the day. Think about a hobby that you find relaxing or enjoyable and set aside time to do it a few times a week. Self care and mindfulness does not have to be indulgent or over the top. In fact, it is more sustainable, realistic, and effective if it's something that can help you feed your soul regularly.