Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and not overly reactive to what is going on around us. For entrepreneurs, this is a mental tool that has endless benefits. Multiple studies have shown that practicing mindfulness can reduce rumination, improve focus, reduce stress, and lead to more cognitive flexibility. So how can we work to achieve that mindset? Read on to learn about five easy exercises that will improve your mindfulness:
Set Intentions for the Day
Starting your day with a purpose can help you stay present and achieve your goals. When you wake up, start with some deep breathing exercises. Once you’re in a calm and relaxed state, ask yourself, “What are my intentions for the day?” By taking the time to actually set your intentions, you are more likely to follow through with action.
Check In With Your Senses
One of the easiest ways to stay present and grounded is to check in with your senses. Listen to what you are currently hearing and look around at everything you see. Allow yourself to take a moment to stop and observe. During your longer breaks, continue checking in with your senses by going on nature walks, lighting your favorite candle, or listening to relaxing music. These exercises are quick and peaceful ways to stay refreshed throughout the day.
Meditation can give you a sense of balance and peace that benefits virtually every part of your life. It’s closely linked to mindfulness because it involves staying in the present and being conscious of your thoughts. Several studies have shown that meditation also improves anxiety and depression. One easy way to meditate involves sitting somewhere comfortable and closing your eyes. Allow your thoughts to come to you naturally. Once a thought comes to you, do not dwell on it like you normally would. Don’t try to solve it. Simply acknowledge it and let it pass. Visualize the thought leaving your brain. Continue this pattern until your thoughts start coming in slower and slower. Eventually, you will be left with a peaceful emptiness where you achieve true meditation.
Entrepreneurs are often on the go, moving quickly from one task to another. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of your workday, but don’t forget to press pause once in a while. Your breaks should consist of activities that you enjoy that give your mind time to recharge. Think of this exercise as a “pause button” where you can check in with your emotions, or simply rest your eyes for a few minutes.
To practice mindful listening, start with putting aside physical distractions. Next, set an intention to listen carefully. Then, as you begin to listen, take a breath before responding. Ask open-ended questions to encourage conversation. Listen with an openness and notice when your mind wanders. When it wanders, make an effort to bring your attention back to what the other person is saying. Your attentive listening leads to a feeling of support and more meaningful conversation.
Improving our mindfulness is something we all can achieve with a bit of time and effort. This state of mind not only reduces anxiety, but also improves concentration and mental clarity. By doing easy exercises such as setting intentions for the day, meditating and checking in with your senses, you’ll have a peaceful and more productive workday.