These days, when normal routines continue to be disrupted, it’s easy to get distracted by the news, surrounding activities and your own thoughts and worries, making you feel anxious. Practicing mindfulness—learning to pay full attention to the moment–can help you feel more focused, calmer, in control and productive, no matter what job or task you’re doing. Try these tips:
Avoid starting your day on autopilot. Even if your “commute” is to your laptop at home to browse job opportunities, before you begin your day, take a few minutes to take a few breaths and clear your mind.
Figure out how to reduce your exposure to distractions. For example, set aside a time to check your calls, texts and other notifications rather than checking them as they come through. Or, disable pop-up notifications for emails.
Give up multitasking. Finish one task as much as you can before moving to the next.
Avoid working through breaks and lunch. Step away to refresh yourself. Close your eyes, turn your attention to each slow inhalation and exhalation. Let any anxious thoughts just drift like passing clouds.
Is your mind wandering? Worrying derailing you? Practice STOP.
- Stop. Pause for a minute or two, close your eyes and just be.
- Take some breaths. Focus on your breath and the sensations it produces to bring you back to the present.
- Observe. Acknowledge the stressors and the thoughts and feelings they produce without judgment.
- Proceed. When you feel re-centered, continue with what you were doing.
Did you know?
The many physical and mental benefits of adopting a mindfulness practice is nothing short of amazing!
Mindfulness has been shown to help increase relaxation and stress reduction, improve tolerance and relief from physical pain, improve quality of sleep, relieve muscular tension, lower blood pressure and help improve circulation and heart health.
As for the mental and emotional benefits, practicing mindfulness can improve your relationships and listening skills, concentration and capacity for memory, and ability to make competent and wise decisions, while decreasing levels of anxiety, depression and worry.
Want more guidance about mindfulness? There are many meditation apps, audiobooks, and programs available. Start by checking the resources on mindful.org/audio-resources-for-mindfulness-meditation/