Are You Really Too Busy To Be Mindful?

Mindfulness is a meditative technique that can be used to improve your mental and physical health.

It can reduce anxiety, reduce stress levels, speed up illness recovery, making losing weight easier, improve personal relationships, and much more.

But should a busy person take the time to be mindful?

Are the benefits of mindfulness really that useful?

This article will share some information about mindfulness and how it can be beneficial to busy people.

We’ll also offer a few simple ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your busy life.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the skill of being present and fully aware.

Instead of being distracted about events in the past or future, mindfulness makes you focus on whatever is happening right now — without judgement or prejudices.

There are two ways to practice mindfulness — formal and informal mindfulness.

Formal mindfulness refers to tasks that you perform with the goal of being mindful.

These tasks include meditation, mindful yoga, mindful eating, body scanning, and mindful listening.

Informal mindfulness is actively paying attention to the present moment, regardless of what you are doing.

You can practice informal mindfulness when performing any task, including chopping vegetables, brushing your teeth, or enjoying a glass of wine.

Your concentration is simply focussed solely on the task at hand.

Practicing mindfulness prevents you from becoming anxious or stressed about events in the past or potential events in the future.

It also leads to improved focus, information retention, cognitive flexibility, and relationship satisfaction.

The concept of mindfulness comes from Buddhist teachings where it is called Sati.

Buddhists believe that sati is required to develop the self-knowledge and wisdom that leads to enlightenment (complete freedom from suffering).

Mindfulness was popularised by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, an American professor who has spent decades researching the topic.

He discovered that mindfulness could be used to reduce stress, anxiety, pain, and illness.

In addition to writing many books on the subject, Dr. Kabat-Zinn developed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program.

Over the years, researchers have discovered that practicing mindfulness brings physical and mental health benefits.

As a result, programs based on Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s model have been used in many environments, ranging from schools to hospitals and aged care homes.

Mindfulness is also used by clinical psychologists and psychiatrists to treat a variety of conditions and to improve their patient’s general mental health.

Should you practice mindfulness if you are busy?

People who are extremely busy might not feel like they have the time to practice mindful activities like meditation, yoga, or mindful eating.

However, there are some significant advantages to be obtained by practicing mindfulness including:

Mindfulness improves productivity

The biggest reason why a busy person should practice mindfulness is that it can greatly improve your productivity levels.

You will have a greater focus on the work you are trying to complete and will be able to accomplish more tasks each day.

There will be less time spent ruminating on past events or dividing your attention between multiple problems.

Stress reduction

By being mindful and focussing on the present, you won’t be spending time thinking about stressful past events.

This can dramatically reduce the stress and anxiety caused by thinking about negative experiences that you have no control over.

Improved working memory

Researchers have found that people who practice mindfulness have a stronger working memory compared to people who don’t.

You will be able to absorb new information faster and retain that information for longer periods.

Less emotional reactivity

Emotional reactivity is an uncontrolled emotional reaction to stimulus.

If you have a high level of emotional reactivity, it can prevent you from reacting to an events constructively.

Mindfulness will help you manage your emotions while maintaining focus on the problems you are facing.

Better relationships

Multiple studies have confirmed that practicing mindfulness can reduce relationship stress and are improve a person’s ability to communicate their emotions.

Turning busyness into mindfulness

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend hours meditating to incorporation mindfulness into your day.

Here are some simple ways a busy person can be mindful.

Identify regular activities when you can be mindful

There are many regular activities that we all perform which can be used to improve mindfulness.

Try concentrating on how your body feels every time you brush your teeth.

If you are listening to a song on the radio, stop everything else and really concentrate on listening to it.

If you are exercising on a treadmill, focus on your breathing or the way your muscles feel for 10 minutes.

Concentrate on conversations

When you enter into a conversation with someone else, do so in a mindful way.

Concentrate on what they are saying, their facial expressions, and their tone of voice.

You will find conversations to be much more rewarding.

Be mindful with your children

If your child comes up to you and begins to pester you for attention, don’t ignore them or half-listen.

Give them your complete attention and ask them if what they need is important or not.

Make an effort to be mindful in public

Whenever you visit a shopping centre, the cinema or any other public location, make an effort to be mindful.

If you are waiting on line, be mindful of how your body feels or the environment surrounding you.

If you are talking to someone, give them your undivided attention.

Practice mindfulness when going to bed

Everyone has to sleep at some point!

Make it a habit to be mindful when you go to bed.

Think about how the sheets feel on your skin or how your body feels.

Have a short meditation session before jumping into bed.

Listen to some music as you drift off to sleep, concentrating on the different instruments.

It’s a great way to get to sleep quickly and is quite relaxing.

So, why not give mindfulness a try.

Most busy people find that the rewards gained from mindfulness are easily worth the time they invest!

author: Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a leading international and domestic tax consultant who specialises in solving complex problems. As well as advising on tax matters, Stephen also enjoys exploring topics relating to physical and mental wellbeing. You can follow him on Twitter at SColeclough.


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