Are you- just like me – a professional who works hard and tries to get as much done in the smallest amount of time?
I bet this causes you stress. That is what it did for me at least. I was never really living in the ‘now’, always thinking about the next thing to do. I felt like was not fully enjoying life.
By being more mindful, I found a way to live a more balanced, happier, life. I will share three tips that worked for me.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is directing your focus to the now. Having awareness to what you are doing, having a conscious mind. It has been shown that it can be used as stress management intervention in healthy individuals.
Three tips to reduce stress and live a more mindful life
1. The ONE thing
In your work you have goals. With the end goal in mind, think about the very first step you need to do to reach that goal. Define that ONE step and do it NOW. Tomorrow, take the very next step that you would need to do in order to reach your goal.
I noticed that this is a highly fulfilling process of working. Of course, sometimes you have several goals and for each of them there is a ONE thing (see also this blog). But by managing those first steps, and not yet step 21 or 45, you will stay focused. And mindful in the now, whilst being very effective.
With meditation, you enter the 4th state of consciousness (the other 3 are sleeping, dreaming, and being awake). It gives you insight into your internal wisdom, it connects the analytical and creative mind, and gives you access to higher state of consciousness.
This might be vague for you, depending on where you are at. But it gave me of lot of insights and access to my inner self that I now highly value. Ok, I admit, it was quite a challenge for an analytical, logical, and mind-focused person. But I meditate daily now, and I do not even consider skipping a day.
3. Forget about your to-do list
And with that I do not mean to forget it completely. To-do lists have been ‘life savers’ for me in many occasions. And they might be for you.
But I would like to give you a challenge. That is to put your to-do list away for one day a week (or if not possible due to obligations at least one half day or evening).
Just go with the flow, do what you feel like doing. Whether it is reading a book, going for a walk, as long as it is your first choice by feeling (I want to do this), and not by thinking (I should do this) you will live in the now. And enjoy what you are doing.
I recently implemented Mindful Saturdays. The first ones did not go that well (I wrote about one in this blog), but I get better and better at it. And I love it!
Actually, this weekly practice made me realize I want more of it. So I am working on a way to allow that. Curious about which step I took? Have a look here!