'The secret to your success is in your daily routine'
A stumbling block we often have to implementing mindfulness practices is time. There is the misconception that to make a real difference to our wellbeing we need to spend an hour meditating in silence but the reverse is true - quick, daily practices build to impactful changes in your sense of wellbeing, calm and productivity - here are 5 to try this week...
Create a daily mantra or motto
Whilst you're brushing your teeth or commuting into work, focus on a positive phase or affirmation that sets the tone for your day. It could be something you remind yourself everyday, or it could change depending on your current mood or goals. If you need some inspiration there's plenty on Pinterest to kick start your imagination. Try to say it outloud three times to give it resonance.
10 deep breaths
Pay attention to your breath - this will take zero extra time out of your day; you're doing it anyway! It's just about making your breathing conscious, rather than unconscious. Google square, or box breathing - a simple practice of breathing in for 4, holding your breath for 4, exhaling for 4 and holding your breath for 4 will help calm a racing mind, reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) levels and bring you back to the present.
3 good things
If you are feeling overwhelmed, negative or need to re-focus - holding a mental image of '3 good things' is a great way to reframe your thought patterns. You might choose to write these down to have a permanent record to look back over, or simply stop and think of 3 things, people or experiences that you are truly thankful for.
Get out in nature
Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and wellbeing - we evolved to spend most of our time outside yet our day to day lives or office based work, commuting and family activities mean we may not be connecting with nature as much as we should. Just 10 mins 'unplugged' in nature can have a huge benefit to give ourselves time to switch off, recentre and has been proven to boost our concentration, creativity and focus when we do then return to a task. So rather than thinking of it as '10 minutes wasted' - consider it a way to boost your productivity!
End the day on a high
A simple tip to end your work day - bring it to a close on a high. Whether that means acknowledging a job well done, the to-do list you achieved, a difficult email or call you made or sending a message of gratitude to your team to let them know you appreciate their hard work. By making the last thing you do a positive one it will allow you to truly switch off in your down time and start the next day afresh.