We live in a global environment, with many of us working extensive long hours, the norm of working the standard 9-5, Monday to Friday, now a distant memory. And, because our working lives are now becoming so integrated into our personal lives and our personal time, it is vitally important that we carve out time for ourselves each day to slow down and check in with how we are feeling.
If we don’t do this, we can end up living in autopilot mode and, without realising it, we can impact our overall health and wellbeing by being in a constant state of ‘doing’. I know this because, in 2013, my world came crashing down around me when I started suffering from panic attacks, chronic anxiety and depression – all born from burnout. At the time I was living in a perpetual state of autopilot; going from meeting to meeting, conference calls to conference calls, and from one commitment to the next, with no time in between each activity, to just take a moment and breathe, be present, and check-in with myself.
Unfortunately, my experience with burnout is not unique.
Burnout can impact us due to work pressures as well as pressures in our personal life; however, we put steps in place to mitigate burnout. One of these steps is having daily mindfulness practices to check in on how we are feeling and by using these practices to calm down when we become overwhelmed.
What is mindfulness exactly?
To those that don’t know what mindfulness is, it can seem a bit ‘woo woo’ and can induce feelings of scepticism. To the inexperienced, one may think that mindfulness involves incense sticks, chanting, hot yoga, yogi’s in sandals and robes and hippies sitting in the lotus position.
Mindfulness is not this.
Mindfulness is quite simply paying attention to the present moment. It’s not about emptying the mind and attempting to ignore and push all thoughts away. It’s merely taking a moment to understand what we are thinking and feeling in the present moment with no judgement about the thoughts or feelings. And, it’s about releasing and relaxing any feelings that may be overwhelming.
Does mindfulness require a unique, quiet setting?
No. Mindful breathing can take place at home, in the office, on a bus, in a waiting room, during a walk – you name it – anywhere.
Is mindfulness time consuming?
No. Implementing just 5-minutes of mindful breathing decreases stress, and increases both personal, professional and social wellbeing.
How can I implement mindfulness into your daily life?
To learn how to apply mindfulness into your everyday life, watch this video.
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