Mindfulness in a Hurry
Mindfulness is proven to increase attention span, improve resiliency to stress, and increase compassion, making one more present, focused, relaxed, and a more kind and clear communicator. Why wouldn't you make this a regular practice?
In short, because we are in a hurry. There's no time to stop and breathe, or notice the color of the sky, or taste the food on your fork. There's proposals to be submitted, data to be analyzed, soccer games to attend, your LinkedIn profile to update, and dinner to prepare. Yet we must realize that unless we can focus and slow down the anxious to-do list in the mind, there's no real way of getting anything done effectively, plus, you'll find that you miss key moments of life if you're always jumping ahead or reliving the past. So here are some tips on how to slow down and practice mindfulness in a hurry:
- Pause in your car after arriving at your destination. Close your eyes and take 3 deep, slow breaths. This will take less than 60 seconds, yet it will make you feel calmer and more relaxed.
- Rub your hands together vigorously for 20 seconds then cup your hands over your eyes. Keep them there for 20-30 seconds. Breathe. Notice how this feels.
- When walking to a meeting or someone's office, purposefully walk at a slower speed and notice the sensations in your feet and legs, and notice your own impatience and resistance to slowing down.
- When picking up a pen to sign something or make a note, pause and feel the pen in your hand for 5-10 seconds before writing.
- When listening to someone speak, be it your colleague, your boss, or your 4 year old, give them your full attention. Make eye contact, and don't think about how you'll respond. Simply listen. When they are done, then think of a response if one is needed. The silence in between their words and yours is OKAY. Practice getting comfortable with it.
Think of other ways you can add a brief pause here and there to your day. Drop your attention into the subtle details of the moment. Notice what happens as a result. At the very least, you'll simply experience more moments of your life. And that's pretty important.