Don’t let simplicity fool you! Mindfulness may seem basic, but its power lies in its simplicity. Overcome the initial disappointment and join us on a journey to alleviate chronic stress and burnout. Embrace the simplicity of mindfulness and experience its profound impact.
Most people are initially dissatisfied when they are introduced to some of the Mindfulness activities since they appear to be quite simple, and for others, even quite boring. This can deter many people from starting mindfulness training in the first place, especially if they are coping with chronic stress or burnout. Most of us believe that complex solutions are required for complex situations. You are well aware that it has most likely been demonstrated to you numerous times in your life that it does not have to be this way. Don’t be deceived by Mindfulness’s seeming simplicity. The weight of this practice is precisely in its simplicity.
Here are a few pointers to get you started:
- There are a few things you may ask yourself to help you ground yourself and be present in the moment. What project are you working on? What is going on around you; who is in the room with you, what sounds are you hearing? What have you accomplished/done thus far? Taking the time to watch yourself and your job will help you focus and concentrate.
- When you’re in a difficult position at work and need to make an important choice, take a moment to connect with your body, your breathing, and the sounds around you.
- Begin with concentrating on the sounds, then on the breathing, and eventually on the body. This practice can last as long as you want or need it to. It relaxes your nervous system and the natural fight-or-flight reactions that frequently lead to rash and unthinking reactions and behaviors. You can utilize your lunch break to eat mindfully, without checking your phone or computer (focusing on your sense of taste and smell). You can walk consciously, focusing on each step (the moment your feet strike the floor/ground).
- Avoid multitasking and try to focus on one activity at a time. If your attention wanders, notice it and gently return it to the activity you’re doing, without criticizing yourself for “wandering,” just restore focus (I recently read the subject of a research that multitasking pleases us because it gives us the feeling that we are more productive, although in reality it does not produce as good results as we would like).
The Breathing Space exercise is a mindfulness practice that helps you create a pause in the midst of everyday life and become more aware of your thoughts and feelings.
Awareness, Gather, and Expand
Here’s how to do the Breathing Space exercise using the acronym AGE:
- A – Awareness: Start by becoming aware of your body, thoughts, and feelings in the present moment.
- G – Gather: Gather your attention into your breathing, noticing the sensation of the breath as it moves in and out of your body.
- E – Expand: Expand your awareness to include your body and any physical sensations or emotions that you may be experiencing.
To complete the exercise, focus on your breathing for two to three minutes, letting go of any thoughts or distractions that arise. When you’re finished, take a moment to notice how you feel. You can repeat this exercise as often as you’d like throughout the day.
Remember, the Breathing Space exercise is a simple yet powerful tool to help you cultivate mindfulness and live in the present moment.