6:15 am- Alarm goes off “Beep, Beep, Beep”, your hand goes to hit SNOOZE
6:23 am- “Beep, Beep”, SNOOZE
6:31 am- “Beep”, SNOOZE
6:39 am- “B”, you finally get up and the day officially begins.
In between the Grande Americanos and the 28 unread Slack messages by 8:00 am, we are living in a world of information overload leading to an excess of stress. For many of us, this can feel overwhelming, particularly if we don’t have the right set of tools to stay mindful and balanced.
Many of us may dream about dropping everything and traveling the world (or even becoming a Buddhist monk), but the reality is that not all of us can disconnect much less take time out of our busy days to focus on our mental well-being.
That’s why we’ve created the “Mindfulness On-the-Go Guide”. This handy, concise guide will give you an arsenal of meditation and mental well-being exercises to use regardless of whether you’re at your desk, on the bus, or in line at the grocery store.
The goal here is not to eliminate the stress in your life, but to show you how to better manage it one step at a time.
1. Emotional Understanding
Understanding your emotions and trying to control them are two different things. In this exercise, we are focusing on understanding our emotions. When we are aware of what we’re feeling we are using mindfulness techniques. Awareness of our emotions is key to preventing ourselves from becoming overwhelmed by our emotions,as we are able to understand why we’re feeling what we’re feeling.
To give yourself the ability to understand your emotions, every time you begin feeling an emotion, take out your notes on your phone or grab a piece of paper. Write down the emotion you’re feeling – for example, anxiety – and why you’re feeling it – you have a business proposal due at midnight. By outlining your emotions, you both become aware of and understand your emotions rather than letting them consume you.
2. Physical Awareness
Our mind and our body are connected. There are many activities we can do to improve this connection. One mindful activity that we can all do while on-the-go is simply noting when we change our physical state: are we standing up or are we sitting down?
Just by engaging in this simple mindful technique, we become more and more aware of our physical state and strengthen the connection between our minds and bodies. It may sound easy, (hint: it’s NOT) or a waste of time, but by making a conscious decision to create physical awareness, you will see your mental well-being improve.
3. Controlled Breathing
There is such a thing as breathing correctly. We all absolutely take it for granted, but once you realize how controlled breathing can create an active mind you’ll never go back.
To start off, simply take a minute or two out of your day, find somewhere quiet and practice breathing deeply in and out while counting to 1.Restart this process over and over again until you get into a rhythm. In doing this, you’ll become conscious of your breath as a tool to use when stressed and as an indicator of your emotions (see exercise 1 above).
Lastly, don’t be afraid of your thoughts. Take a short break. Leave your phone and laptop behind and find a quiet area in which you can disconnect. No need to think, write, or do anything. Simply allow yourself to decompress, take a step back for a few minutes, and let your mind wander.
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