Achieving greater mindfulness is accessible to all of us and it comes with health benefits, including better cognition, a stronger immune system, and possibly greater longevity.
Whether or not you meditate, consider using these simple techniques throughout your day:
1. Stopping and breathing
A mindful breath is a slow, deep breath during which you focus your mind on your breathing. This extremely simple technique is particularly effective when you're feeling upset or stressed. But because of the way our minds spin along, gaining speed as we zoom through the day, it's useful any time. It will help slow your speeding mind and improve your concentration.
2. Mindful walking
Mindful walking is a form of mindfulness meditation that you can do without making time for it during your day. Most of us do a lot of walking, instead of allowing ourselves to get lost in thoughts of the past or future, if we pay attention to our walking, we're calming our minds.
Again, this is an extremely simple technique. While walking, focus on one sensation of your walking, perhaps the feel of your feet making contact with the floor or ground. If that's not enough to fully engage your attention, count your steps from one to five, then go back to one again.
If you're not in a hurry, keep a slow pace to slow your mind. Mindful walking will bring you some of the same benefits that seated mindfulness meditation will.
3. Attentive listening
Start by looking into the person's eyes and listening mindfully to what he or she is saying. Don't allow yourself to be distracted by whatever else is going on in the room, things you need to do, or things that happened before. This technique is likely to have a big impact on your relationships with customers, employees, and anyone else you speak with.
When you're engaged in a conversation with someone and you know that person is listening to you, you feel a greater connection.
4. Mindful speech
The other side of attentive listening is being mindful about how we express our thoughts. Speaking more mindfully takes a little time and practice to develop.
The first step is to take a few seconds' break before we speak. By pausing a little, we can think a little more about how we can respond in a way the other person understands better.
Often, not just what we say, but also the tone of voice, gestures, and mannerisms that accompany our statement can make a big difference to how that statement is heard and understood. So once again, we recommend slowing down. If we're more calm and speak a little more slowly, we subconsciously infuse a more peaceful content into the conversation. That really helps keep the stress level down in a work environment.
The next step in mindful speech is to tune in to how your speech, and your presence in general, is being received. You will notice that sometimes people seemed to feel a little tense. It isn’t real anxiety, but people can be a little guarded, and I could see that. Try to be more loving, kind, and respectful. When you learn to put people at ease, you create more harmony and better communication.
5. Writing meditation
While some meditation experts recommend journal writing as a mindfulness technique, there is a very simple approach.
Simply write out the words of a meditation or affirmation by hand for 10 to 15 minutes a day. (If you want to give it a try, you can download the text here.) That's all you must do.
The words imprint themselves on your subconscious, so that literally after a few days you find yourself behaving differently without any conscious effort. What it does is change our attitude and our feelings about people in general. If we see the world in terms of people who are out to get us, and we need to get them before they get us, this will change our attitude.
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Author: Karine Allouche-Salanon, Founder Healthy Lifers https://www.instagram.com/realhealthylifers/
Copyright (c) 2019 by HealthyLifers 2019