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Mindfulness hacks for everyday life to lower your stress

Mindfulness hacks for everyday life to lower your stress and improve mental health

Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment. When a work environment is chaotic or unenjoyable, our mind tends to wander. Mindfulness teaches individuals to be present in and embrace the moments of life, rather than be suffocated by the constant self-criticism and anxiety that so often plagues our minds.

Many of us crave peace and happiness in our lives, and mindfulness is an effective means to achieve that. But we often abandon it in our daily lives because practising mindfulness and taking care of our mental health can seem at odds with our desire to succeed. But it really doesn’t have to be.

We have listed a few simple ways of incorporating mindfulness into your busy work life that can actually help you succeed. 

Take one task at a time 

Multitasking is not always good.

Multitasking might make you feel more efficient, but focusing on one thing at a time is always better. When you multitask, your concentration is divided between too many things. You make more mistakes, and most of the time you’re not able to finish much work. It also increases your stress and anxiety levels. By taking up one task at a time you are strengthening your ability to focus on something for a longer period of time. You’ll find that by giving complete attention to one task at a time, you’re improving the quality of work and becoming more efficient.

Meditative mind dump

Dedicate 10-15 minutes to sitting down with just a pen and a pad of paper. Use this time to write out any and all thoughts that are swirling about in your mind. Not only will writing down your thoughts help clear your mind and relieve built-up stress, but you also may stumble upon some genius ideas that were previously buried.

Get lost in the music

Music can be another handy tool for practising mindfulness as part of your everyday routine. Ideally, choose a song you've never heard before and hit play. Avoid letting your mind drift into thoughts about the song's genre, artist, and lyrical meaning. Instead, simply listen with attention to the song, following the beats and crescendos while keeping your mind quiet.

Get rid of negativity bias 

The bad stuff is always easier to believe. Have you ever noticed that? 

Humans have a “negativity bias.” Essentially, this means that you’re much more likely to focus and dwell on something that’s gone wrong than on things that have gone well. Behaving in this way every day means that you ultimately adopt an excessively negative and unbalanced way of thinking.

Instead, taking in the good by spending more time soaking in positive experiences, even small ones can help us clear our minds of negative thoughts.

Feel gratitude: It turns what you have into enough

Gratitude is the antidote. Plenty of evidence suggests that actively practising gratitude makes you feel better and has a positive impact on your creativity, health, working relationships, and quality of work. Gratitude makes being at both work and home a more positive experience.

Workplace tactic: Forgive and forget

Workplace politics are draining, and a waste of time. Don’t let yourself get sucked into the drama. Save your mental energy for your own success by forgiving those who slight you, forgetting who said what about whom, and moving on to more important things.

Accept what you can’t change

Acceptance lies at the heart of mindfulness. To be mindful means to accept this present moment just as it is. And it means to accept yourself, just as you are now. It doesn’t mean resignation or giving up. But it does mean acknowledging the truth of how things are at this time before trying to change anything.

When you accept yourself, you cut down on energy-draining self-criticism. You’re then much better able to enjoy your successes and smile at your shortcomings.

Breathe before you blast

Try not to shoot off emails when you’re angry. Take a deep breath first and reflect on what’s behind your anger. Anger-driven emails almost always do more harm than good, to sender and receiver alike.

Take time to stretch

Take a mid-day break from the office and step outside to do some basic stretching. Stretching is good for maintaining a healthy body, and taking the opportunity to study how your muscles move and feel is a great opportunity for mindfulness.

Listen to yourself

Focus on what's important!

Did you know that practising mindfulness can actually increase your attention span? With increased self-awareness, you can be more intentional with your focus and mental clarity. The best part is you can practice mindfulness while you’re at work.

Pick a time of day (like after lunch) and take time to listen to how you’re feeling. Ask yourself:

  • How is my mind feeling?
  • How is my body feeling?
  • Do I feel stressed, busy, or tired?

By checking in with yourself, you are becoming self-aware. When you do this regularly, your brain will begin to rewire itself to make stress and fatigue less painful. Once you acknowledge these feelings, you are able to work with more honesty and clarity.

In this busy world, a hundred thoughts occupy our heads, making us anxious and stressed. With increasing competition between companies, relaxation has taken a backseat. But it is essential to keep ourselves relaxed and give our minds some time to reset. But, at the same time, practising mindfulness makes us aware of our surroundings and have a soothing effect on our mind.

Prachi Bharadwaj is an experienced Marketing Communications Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the health tech & higher education industries.