How can we find time for mindfulness, with all the tasks that occupy our days?
We have already talked about the benefits of a constant mindfulness meditation here, but how can we find time to practice it every day if we have a very busy life? Here are some tips!
Make “micro meditations”
The first advice is to practice a series of “micro meditations”: you can do it several times a day for a short time (from one to three minutes) only by becoming aware of your breath. Try it, for example, when you feel stressed or overwhelmed by too many things to do in too little time, or when you’re getting upset or distracted.
In order to become aware of your breath, you need to pay attention to how you breathe. Is the breath superficial or deep? Do you hold your breath, and maybe even your stomach? Or do you bend your shoulders?
Then begin to breathe bringing your breath to your belly, effortlessly. If you feel that it is too unnatural, try to bring your breath at least to the lower chest. If the mind begins to wander, try to return to the breath, without judging yourself for temporarily losing concentration.
You will notice that by practicing this micro-meditations regularly you will become more aware and calmer, but also more concentrated. You can create reminders to remember to meditate a couple of times a day, every hour, before an important meeting… In short, whenever you can. Practice when you need to prepare for a presentation, when you’re under stress, or when too much multi-tasking undermines concentration.
Mindfulness in action
An alternative to this technique is “meditation in action”. Instead of adding a new routine, start perceiving the day differently with special attention, for a few seconds at a time. For example, if you notice that during a meeting you were “elsewhere” with your thoughts, it means that you have stopped listening. This is very common, but unfortunately it costs several misunderstandings and missed opportunities.
When you’re in a meeting, try to listen carefully for a few seconds at a time. It’s harder than it seems, but with practice you can become able to listen continuously without interrupting your concentration. Whenever you notice that your mind begins to wander, return calmly and patiently to listen to the person you are talking to. By doing so, you will train your mind to be truly present.
Mindfulness and the brain
These simple techniques can really train the mind and restructure the brain, as neuroscientific research shows. Thanks to these simple tips, now you can find the time for mindfulness with ease. And consequently you will notice three things:
- Your ability to focus increases;
- You begin to see things more clearly, without prejudice;
- You perceive a reduction of physiological and emotional stress and at the same time an increase in the chances of finding creative solutions.
Mindfulness (and enjoying its benefits) shouldn’t be a big challenge or require a hard training. Why don’t you find a few seconds for mindfulness right now?