By Megan Sabo, Director of Employee and Community Relations at Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Company and Member of the Community Health & Wellness Work Group
We have been hearing more and more about mindfulness recently. But what is it?
The Oxford Dictionary defines mindfulness as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
Wikipedia defines mindfulness as “the practice of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, a skill one develops through the practice of meditation or other training.”
The definition and techniques of mindfulness can vary but the basic concept is the same: mindfulness is a technique used to lower stress and anxiety. The key of mindfulness is to focus on one thing at a time and to appreciate that thing. The goal is to be present in the moment, not thinking about something else. If we pay full attention to something and slow down to really notice and enjoy what we are doing, we won’t have time to worry about other things. It’s the opposite of rushing and multitasking.
Tips on how to practice mindfulness at work and home:
- Focus on your breathing. Slow down breathing if needed.
- Concentrate on your senses and focus on one task at a time. This is the key of mindfulness.
- Set a reminder on your phone to practice mindfulness.
- Have a mindfulness partner to remind us to practice mindfulness.
- Take time to appreciate and thank a coworker. This is contagious!
- Pick a personal mantra and practice it. Some examples would be:
- “It is what it is.”
- “God’s in control.”
- “Everything happens for a reason.”
- “Be the peace you wish to see in the world.”
What to do next?
There are many websites, books, and apps that are good for further study about mindfulness. My personal favorite to start with is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
You don’t need a book or app to get started. Start right now, enjoy whatever you’re doing. Concentrate on this one thing and find contentment in it. That is mindfulness!
About The Chamber Livability Work Groups:
This article was produced out of the Community Health & Wellness Work Group. The Work Group is tasked with educating, organizing, and deploying the business community into collaborative initiatives with the purpose of permanently improving health and wellness within our business community and the Joplin community at-large. The Chamber organizes and deploys the business community through these work groups to improve livability. These work groups are co-chaired by young professionals from the Young Professionals Network (YPN,) but are open to the entire Chamber membership to join and serve.