Mind full or mindful? 6 things we learned at our Glandore wellness seminar
Mindfulness is your awareness of your emotions, thoughts, behaviours and sensations in the given moment. It is a gentle way of being continuously in touch with the present so we can think more logically about issues that arise in our lives.
Originally adopted from Buddhism, it has been proven to help with treating stress, anxiety and depression. Mindfulness has also been proven to be a useful tool that can help us both inside and outside the workplace.
As part of the Glandore Wellness Programme, here are five things we learned from our recent ‘Mind full or Mindful’ wellness seminar.
1. Mindful not mind full.
In today’s busy world we often race through life and find it hard to stop and think. We regularly forget what people say in conversations, travel to work unable to recollect the journey or pay attention to our phones more than the people we are with.
Mindfulness helps prevent this. Bookending your day with nourishing activities, spending more time in nature with green and blue activities or simply spending time away from lure of the checking siren that is social media are easy ways to introduce more mindfulness into your life.
2. What does mindfulness do for our brains?
Studies have shown that mindfulness has a positive impact on how our brains operate. During our seminar we learned that when we’re disengaged, we can often get into negative loops of thinking. When we adopt a more mindful approach to life our brains become clearer.
Those who adopt mindfulness in their day-to-day routine have increased memory function, increased focus and attention and increased compassion and perspective taking. Our ability to focus on tasks and deal with setbacks is enhanced. This positively impacts our day-to-day life and helps decrease anxiety and stress.
3. How can we introduce mindfulness into our daily routine?
Introducing mindfulness into our daily routine is not as difficult as it might seem. There are multiple small ways you can gradually increase your mindfulness both at home and in work.
Choose one or two small tasks each day and complete them mindfully. This means giving them your full attention and concentrating on how you are completing them. Block out any distractions and truly focus on the goal at hand. Not only will the task be complete but also you are more likely to be happier with the outcome.
Another easy way to introduce mindfulness is through “Everyday intention”. Each day, stop to pause and ask yourself “what do I intend here?” It might be a small task you have to complete or a bigger question about your overall goals but stopping to ask yourself what you are doing helps refocus the mind. This makes you more aware of tasks and goals and why it is you want to complete them.
4. Mindfulness can help when you’re feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
We can all identify with the sensation of feeling rushed or overwhelmed, both at home and in the office. Mindfulness helps combat these feelings by providing us with the tools we need to prevent it and to deal with it when it happens.
During the seminar we learned exactly what to do in these types of situations. The first thing to do is to stay where you are. It may seem easier to simply remove yourself from the situation at hand but this won’t help overall. Then pause and relax. Taking a few seconds to re-centre yourself can work wonders. This gives you a chance to breathe and refocus your mind.
The next step is to do the task in front of you and give it your full attention. Often when you are overwhelmed it is because of numerous different factors. The task at hand may not even be on your list of worries. Focusing on one thing and being aware of what it is and what you’re doing means your mind is not overflowing with worries or thoughts.
5. The science of simplicity.
We learned that by stripping back and de-cluttering, whether it’s clothes, household items, office admin or sometimes even people, can have a huge impact on our happiness. This simple reason being that with less stuff, we often have less to worry about. We can often spend precious moments concerning ourselves with unnecessary details.
We learned that President Obama, when faced with multiple, impactful and important decisions daily, ensured that clothing was not one of them. Speaking with Michael Lewis for Vanity Fair, the president explained the logic behind this routine: ‘You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.’
6. What are the benefits?
Being more mindful and introducing mindfulness into your daily routine can have numerous mental and physical health benefits.
When we focus more on what we are doing and stay away from distractions we are able to savour the pleasures in life. We have an increased appreciation for things we may have missed in the daily grind. This helps us to become more satisfied with life. When good things happen we notice them, and appreciate them more.
Mindfulness has also been proven to reduce stress and worry. Taking life at a slower and more relaxed pace also helps us to prevent burnout, something which is fast becoming a workplace epidemic.