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Last Updated on May 13, 2020

10 Easy Ways To Practice Mindfulness

10 Easy Ways To Practice Mindfulness

In this fast-moving external world, we have lost our inner connection. Every day is a struggle. Everyone is fighting for some position. You don’t have time for yourself.

You are always trying too hard to get noticed. But have you ever noticed your inner world?

You are always running after something. But have you ever taken a simple walk in your inner kingdom?

You are always frustrated after your hectic appointments. But did you schedule any internal meetings?

This is the time to answer all these questions by learning how to practice mindfulness.

1. Live in the Moment

Enjoy your present without connecting the events with your past and future. You don’t have to worry about anything because things unfold naturally.

Peel off all the insecurities and just concentrate on your work. Embrace the freshness of this moment to analyze the beauty of NOW.

Mindfulness means being aware of what is happening in the present moment.

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In order to live this moment, you have to love your job, your surroundings, and your life. Do everything with pure joy.

Stop listening to all those people who try to dilute your presence. Instead, start doing all the things you always wanted to do. Start making a wish list of all the things that are close to your heart.

2. Accept Things as They Are

It is a human tendency to wish for better things. Nobody is satisfied with their present conditions. But a mindful person doesn’t judge. By accepting things, we realize their true worth.

Things are not good or bad. We create all the mental tags.

You are blessed with unique powers. So, build up your self-confidence and don’t try to modify your true personality. Surround yourself with people who accept you and have faith in you.

Do not change things because you can’t accept them. Change only those things in which you enjoy the whole process of learning new things.

3. Use the Power of Visualization

Whenever you are feeling down, close your eyes, and visualize your aim in life.

In a matter of seconds, you will be transported to your dreamland. It is an awesome place where you can freely do all the things you dream of.

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You must take out some time for this exercise. You will definitely spend some quality time.

4. Practice Mindful Eating

Enjoy your food by chewing it properly. Chewing breaks down your food into small particles for proper digestion.

Eat food for nourishing your body only. Recognize your non-hunger triggers to break free from food cravings and compulsive overeating.

Do not upset your digestive system by eating more because this will have harmful effects on your body.

5. Start Your Day Without Any Gadgets

What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed each morning? If you check your phone, you are not alone.

Many people start their day by checking their phones. Instead of checking office emails or the notifications of your social media profiles, take out some time for meditation. If you want to learn how to practice mindfulness, you also have to learn how to meditate.

Plan out your whole day in a systematic manner. Don’t make any excuses and shift your focus towards this wonderful and productive exercise.

6. Accept Your Weak Points

Since nobody is perfect, you must accept your imperfections. If we are not fully aware of our mistakes, we may not only miss what is most significant in our lives but also fail to recognize our true potential.

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Instead of suppressing your mistakes, analyze them mindfully. A successful person learns from mistakes only.

Highlight your weak points and start working on them. If you can’t solve your problem, ask for some assistance from trustworthy people. You will not become small by asking. Share your problems with your friends and stay away from ego clashes.

It doesn’t matter if they laugh at you. Today, they are laughing at your foolishness. Tomorrow, you will smile at their innocence.

7. Take Small Steps

Design your successful road map by taking small steps. As Rome was not built in one day, your dream plan will also take some time.

You must give preference to quality over quantity. There is no need to rush into anything. Otherwise, you will spoil the essence of the whole journey.

Take small breaks from your work. Go out for a weekend trip with your friends and family. Make small targets and celebrate all small achievements.

Start staying away from all the things that will deviate you from your real path. Don’t get carried away by the lavish lifestyle of the people, and don’t waste time on ‘overnight success’ stories.

In the long run, there is no shortcut to a successful life. Always remember one thing: slow and steady wins the race.

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8. Wait Patiently

Having patience is key to learning how to practice mindfulness. Waiting at the red light, waiting for someone, or waiting in the line for something – all these examples are very common in our personal life.

The best way to tackle this problem is to shift your focus. Calm down and concentrate on the things around you. If this doesn’t work, focus on your breathing. You just have to observe your breathing pattern.

9. Free Yourself from All Distracting Thoughts

Thoughts are the temporary guest only. You are not your thoughts. So, don’t get carried away by all your disturbing thoughts.

In a state of mindfulness, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance only. You have the power to inflate or deflate their presence. You cannot stop these kinds of thoughts completely but as soon as they enter your mind, you must disconnect them from yourself.

Start writing a journal every day. Without thinking too much, jot down your true feelings. It proves to be a great stress buster. In this way, you will clear all the distracting thoughts.

10. End Your Day on a Positive Note

Before going to sleep, recollect all the sweet moments of the whole day. Appreciate all the sweet and small moments, and be thankful for everything.

Do not waste time getting irritated by stressful moments. You will get nothing in return except more stress  Instead, analyze your depressing moments of the day and look out for a positive solution.

Final Thoughts

Everyone has their own struggles, but it is up to you how you handle them. You can start with these 10 tips on how to practice mindfulness so you can live a better and healthier life.

More Tips About Practicing Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on October 13, 2020

How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

Burnout at work is an issue that most people who suffer from it, suffer unknowingly.

Have you ever felt that you can’t start an assignment, have an immense urge to Netflix binge, or couldn’t get yourself to wake up on time even though you have a lot on your plate? The cause for these might be burnout.

According to Deloitte’s report, “many companies may not be doing enough to minimize burnout.” This is to say that the responsibility is not only on the employee. According to that report, nearly 70 percent of professionals feel their employers are not doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout within their organization, and they definitely should.[1]

Too many companies don’t invest enough in creating a positive environment. One out of five (21%) said that their company does not offer any programs or initiatives to prevent or alleviate burnout. It is the culture, not the fancy well-being programs that would probably do the best work.

This is a significant problem for individuals and companies, and it’s also an issue on a macro level. A Stanford University research found that more than 120,000 deaths per year, and approximately 5%–8% of annual healthcare costs, are associated with the way U.S. companies manage their workforces.[2]

It is both the employee and the employer’s responsibility—and the latter can certainly take more responsibility.

In this article, I’ll guide you on how to know if you suffer from burnout and, more importantly, what you can do about it.

Who Are Prone to Burning Out?

For starters, it is a good thing to know that you’re in good company. According to a Gallup poll, 23% (of 7,500 surveyed) expressed burnout more often than not. Additionally, 44% felt it sometimes. Nearly 50% of social entrepreneurs who attended the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in 2018 reported having struggled with burnout and depression at some point.[3]

According to Statista (2017), 13% of adults reported having problems unwinding in the evenings and weekends. According to a Deloitte survey (consisting of 1,000 full-time U.S. employees), 77% of respondents said that they have experienced employee burnout at their current job.[4]

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Burnout is not only an issue of the spoiled first-world. Rather, it is a serious matter that must be taken care of appropriately. It affects so many people, and its impacts are just too significant to be ignored.

Some occupations are more prone to burnout, such as people who deeply care about their jobs more than others. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Passion-driven and caregiving roles such as doctors and nurses are some of the most susceptible to burnout.”

The consequences can have life or death ramifications as “suicide rates among caregivers are dramatically higher than that of the general public—40% higher for men and 130% higher for women”. It is also the case for teachers, non-profit workers, and leaders of all kinds.[5]

Deloitte’s survey also found that 91% say that they have an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration. Heck, 83% even say that it can negatively impact their relationships. Millennials are slightly more impacted by burnout (84% of Gen Y vs. 77% in other generations).

What Is Burnout Syndrome?

So, what is it, exactly? Burnout was officially included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and is an occupational phenomenon.

According to the World Health Organization, burnout includes three dimensions:[6]

  1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job;
  3. Reduced professional efficacy.

The 5 Stages of Burnout

At this point, you must have a clue if you’re at risk of burnout. There are different methods for understanding where you are on the burnout syndrome scale, and one of the most common ones is the “five stages method.”

1. Honeymoon Phase

As you may remember If you’ve gotten married, there’s always the honeymoon phase. You’re so happy and feel almost invincible. You love your spouse and at this stage, you’re very excited about everything. It’s the same when it comes to taking on a new job or role or starting a new business.

At first, most of the time, you’re hyper-motivated. Although you might be able to notice signs of potential future burnout, in most cases, you might ignore them. You’re highly productive, super motivated, creative, and accept (and take) responsibility.

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The honeymoon phase is critical because if you plant the seeds of good mental health and coping strategies, you can stay at this phase for extended periods.

2. Onset of Stress

Let’s continue with the wedding metaphor. Now that you’re happily married for some time, you might start noticing certain issues with your spouse that you don’t like. You might have seen them before, but now they take up more space in your life.

You might be less optimistic and feel signs of stress or minor symptoms of physical or emotional fatigue at work. Your productivity reduces, and you think that your motivation is lower.

3. Chronic Stress

Let’s hope you don’t get there in your marriage, but unfortunately, some people get there. At this stage, your stress level is consistently high, and the other symptoms of stage 2 persist.

At this point, you start missing deadlines, your sleep quality is low, and you’re resentful and cynical. Your caffeine consumption might be higher, and you’re increasingly unsatisfied.

4. Burnout

This is the point where you can’t go on unless there is a significant change in your workspace environment. You have a strong desire to move to another place, and clinical intervention is sometimes required.

You feel neglected, your physical symptoms are increasing, and you get to a place where your stomach hurts daily. You might obsess over problems in your life or work and, generally speaking, you should treat yourself.

5. Habitual Burnout

This is the phase in which burnout is embedded in your life. You might experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, outbursts of anger or apathy, and physical symptoms of chronic fatigue.

The Causes of Burnout

So, now that we know how to identify our stage of burnout, we can move on to tackling its leading causes. According to the Gallup survey, the top burnout reasons are:[7]

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  1. Getting unfair treatment at work – This is not always something that you can fully control. At the same time, you should remember that even if you’re not calling the shots, it doesn’t mean that you have to accept unfair treatment. The consequences mentioned above are just not worth it in most cases.
  2. Workload – Another leading cause of stress according to dozens of interviews conducted before writing the article. According to Statista, in 2017, 39% of workers said a heavy workload was their leading cause of stress. We live in a busy work environment, and we will share some tips on how to manage that.
  3. Not knowing your role – While not something you can fully control, you can, and probably should, take action to better define it with your boss.
  4. Inadequate communication and support from your manager – Like the others above, you can’t fully control that, but as we’ll soon share, you can take action to be in better control.
  5. Time pressure – As mentioned, motivated, passionate workers are more in danger of experiencing burnout. One of the reasons is that they’re pressuring themselves to do more, sometimes at the expense of their mental health. We’ll address how to work on that as well.

How to Overcome a Burnout

After going over the stages of burnout and the leading causes of becoming burned out, it might be a good time to let you know that there is a lot you can do to fight it head-on.

However, let’s start with what you should not do. Burnout cannot be fixed by going on a vacation. It should be a long-term solution, implemented daily.

According to Clockify (2019), these are the popular ways to avoid burnout:

  1. Focus on your family life – 60% of adults said that stable family life is key to avoiding burnout. Maintaining meaningful relationships in your life is proven to reduce stress (instead of having many unmeaningful relationships).
  2. Exercising comes in second, with 58% reporting that jogging, running, or doing any exercise significantly relieves stress. Even a relatively short walk might improve your body’s resilience to stress.
  3. Seek professional advice – 55% say they would turn to a professional. There are online websites where you can speak with professionals at reduced costs.

Aside from the three most popular ways of avoiding burnout, you can also try the following:

1. Improve Time Management

Try understanding how you can use your time better and leave more time for relaxation. That’s easy to say (or write) but more challenging to implement. It would help if you started by prioritizing yourself. Understanding the connection between your values and your everyday tasks is a tremendous help. You can use proven methods to improve the relationship between your vision and goals to your daily life tasks’ lists. Check out the Horizons of Focus or V2MOM methods to get started.

2. Use the P.L.E.A.S.E. Method

The P.L.E.A.S.E. is a combination of things you should do to be at your best physically. It means Physical Illness (P.L.) prevention, Eat healthy (E), Avoid mood-altering drugs (A), Sleep well (S), and Exercise (E).

3. Prioritize

You don’t have to say yes to everything that comes across your way at work (or in other aspects of life). You’d be surprised how easy it can become once you start saying no. Some might even describe it as exhilarating.

4. Let Your Brain rest

Culturally, most of us are already wired to think that hard work is essential, and while that’s true in most cases, we sometimes forget that our brain needs to rest for it to recharge. Seven hours of sleep are essential (depending on your age). Meditation might be helpful, too.

5. Pay Attention to Positive Events

According to Therapistaid.com, we tend to focus on the bad things in our lives. However, by focusing on positive things, we can change our mindset. One way to practice this daily is by writing three good things about your life every morning or evening. It’s been scientifically proven that doing so for a few months can help rewire your brain.

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6. Take Some “You” Time

A Netflix binge is not always good for you, but it might be in some cases. The better the leisure time is, the better you’ll feel in the long term. It’s usually better to read a book or start a new hobby that requires more cognitive skills than just lying on the couch. But as long as you feel good watching a movie, that might be a good start.

7. New Technologies Might Be Helpful

There are tons of self-help apps such as Fabulous, Headspace (meditation), Noom (diet and exercise), and others. They’re good to use, but you should also be careful not to run away from your problems only to watch social media for hours. It’s not real, and no one’s life is perfect (even if their Facebook or Instagram feeds might seem so). You should also be aware not to be in an “always-on” mindset.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re at the first or the fifth stage of the burnout phases, the goal of this article is to show you that there are always ways to fight it. The first thing is self-awareness—knowing that there’s a problem. The second step is to decide what to do about it.

You can also consider using Lifehack’s community. You’re more than welcome to share your burnout story on our Facebook page.

Bonus: Rebound from Burnout in 8 Hours

Watch what you can do to rebound from burnout quickly in this episode of The Lifehack Show:

https://youtu.be/MNnyqQWK_zg

Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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