[By Léa Salameh]
Can you isolate yourself from the outside world, try to shut off any thoughts, and focus on your breathing for 10 minutes?
You think you can do it? Give it a try, then come back.
Let me explain to you why most people give up after just two minutes.
Be mindful, they say. But it’s easier said than done. How can a PR and communications professional disconnect when they are expected to be connected 24/7?
It’s no surprise that PR ranked sixth on the list of the most stressful jobs in America last year according to CareerCast. With long hours, deadlines, sleepless nights and unexpected surprises, it’s not an easy job.
Oftentimes, PR and communications professionals find themselves caught up in so many different tasks at once that they get used to that rush of thoughts from the moment they wake up to the moment they shut their eyes. This way of living can lead to stress, anxiety, and many other health problems.
Thankfully, there are three easy ways to reduce these potential health side effects by dedicating 10 to 15 minutes a day to mindfulness. De-clutter your mind and step away from all the shenanigans that await you:
1. Practice mindfulness through apps:
Your electronic devices can be put to good use when it comes to mindfulness. Apps like Headspace and Stop, Breath and Think can guide you through 10-minute sessions that will help you get into this habit. Ten minutes of mindfulness per day promotes a relaxed mood and positive energy.
2. Get some fresh air:
There is no better way to disconnect from everything and everyone than being outside in the woods or taking a stroll along the lake. Take this time to focus on things you usually neglect during the course of the day, like your breath for example. Put all your effort into noticing the way you inhale and exhale, and how it makes you feel. This technique will help you clear your head and increase productivity and creativity.
3. Experience the present:
If you can take just 10 minutes a day and absorb what is happening around you and within you without analyzing the situation, you are practicing mindfulness. To do this, deliberately pay attention to moments, as you experience them, without judgment. The emphasis is always on what is happening, not why it is happening.
So, if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, keep these tips in mind and remember these words from mindfulness expert Anna Black:
“Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. Simply BE in the present.”
(Photo by Léa Salameh)