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Mindfulness in your Practice

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With World Mental Health Day coming up on October 10th, we like to step back at this time of year to consider mindfulness.

How much time do you take for mindfulness is your own day? The practice of mindfulness is something you probably often speak about with your clients, but what about for yourself? Being mindful of your time and activities is just as important for you during your workday as it is for your clients.

Defining mindfulness is relatively simple:

Mindfulness is being actively aware of your day-to-day thought patterns, consciously deciding on your actions, and making a continued effort to be present.

It may be a simple concept to understand, but many people struggle with how to implement mindful techniques into their busy schedules. Between client sessions, managing your staff, and all of the administrative tasks related to your practice, not to mention your family and personal obligations, it can be difficult to find the time to be mindful. The reality, however, is that you can incorporate mindfulness into your current daily routine easily with these three tips and tricks:

#1: Start the Day off on the Right Foot

One of the most important things you can do to stay mindful is to start your day off on the right foot. Research has shown that stress levels can skyrocket in the first few minutes after waking up because our brains tend to jump into thinking about all of the tasks we have to do in the hours to come. Instead of falling into that rhythm of anticipation, take steps to improve your mindfulness each morning with a simple exercise.

When you wake up, take a few minutes to focus solely on the function of your breathing. If thoughts and stresses of your day threaten to take over your mind, try to push them away and focus on the pattern of inhales and exhales. Once you’ve connected with your breath, then you can feel ready to start your day.

#2: Set Reminders for Mindfulness

The most difficult part of being mindful might just be remembering to do it. Training your brain to become more aware and making conscious decisions to be present might be easily forgotten if you have a busy schedule. However, if you make a point to remind yourself, you’ll have a better chance at succeeding in your goal.

It could be as simple as setting an appointment reminder to go off three times throughout the day and taking a few moments to re-centre yourself. You could also frame a new photo to put on your desk or hang on your office wall that feels peaceful to you. Whenever your eyes land on that photo, it can be a helpful reminder to take a deep breath and refocus. You could also set a specific time each day to take a break, even if it’s only five minutes, to practice mindfulness. By making a conscious effort to remember to be mindful throughout your day, you’ll set yourself up for success.

#3: Commit to Simple Exercises

Taking steps toward a more mindful life doesn’t mean you have to spend a half hour or an hour meditating. You can incorporate simple mindfulness exercises into your already existing routine.

Try this: during your commute, instead of listening to music, try turning off the radio and silencing your phone. Having some time alone with your thoughts to reaffirm your plan of action to be aware;it will help you create a healthier lifestyle so you’re better able to serve your clients. You could even try doing this same exercise in the minutes you have alone to yourself in between clients or as you ride the elevator up to your office.

When it comes to being more mindful, it’s important to remember that you can work it into your busy schedule with only a little planning and consciousness.

Mindfulness is about moment-to-moment awareness and by utilizing the three tips we’ve discussed in this article, we’re confident that you can become more mindful as you go about your activities, work, and tasks.

Another opportunity to practice mindfulness on a global scale is coming up later this month on September 21 for the International Day of Peace. Discuss mindfulness with your clients or use these techniques in your day-to-day practice management and you’re sure to see a change in your stress levels and in your peace of mind.

As always,

Practice wisely.

 

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