In the workplace, we can all admit that there are days when we feel super motivated and ready to take on all the tasks set out for us and there are other days we don’t even feel like touching the keyboard of the computers on our desks.
The same case applies to people who go to school and those who spend most of their day at home. There are just times we don’t feel like doing anything at all.
However, to hit our daily goals and achieve what we have in mind for our future, we need to keep our energy levels, motivation, and interest high in whatever we are involved in, which can be difficult for many.
And while taking coffee, green tea and other supplements can help improve our productivity, mindfulness is another natural and effective method to achieve the same.
We will be taking a deep look at mindfulness as well as mindfulness in motion, and how it helps with boosting our level of productivity.
What is Mindfulness in Motion
Before defining mindfulness in motion, it is worth noting that 2 concepts are known to point to the term, mindfulness in motion.
The first concept, which we will be looking at here, is the concept of taking mindfulness above and beyond our meditation sessions.
Many people who practice mindfulness only do it in the comfort of their meditation chairs and rooms for a couple of minutes every so often, and that’s just about it.
However, for you to fully benefit from it, you have to constantly engage in it outside of your sessions so that you can remain mindful throughout the day.
The second concept is one that involves the use of mindfulness, yoga, and music in a time-limited fashion, that is aimed at reducing stress and improving the quality of sleep.
The first concept of mindfulness in motion simply pushes for mindfulness enthusiasts to work with mindfulness throughout the day and spill it over from their meditation sessions to their daily activities.
Doing this provides more opportunity for you to be aware of your inner and outer environment which improves your mental, emotional and physical health in the long term.
Imagine these 2 scenarios.
One, a person who does mindfulness meditation for about 10 minutes in the morning and then goes to work on their daily tasks without thinking about mindfulness again.
Two, a person who not only engages in mindfulness meditation but also makes an effort of being mindful as they work, walk, eat, talk and do other things in their typical day.
Who’s more likely to benefit from mindfulness?
Your guess is correct, the second one.
Now mindfulness in motion aims to help you become more of the second person.
How Mindfulness in Motion Improves Productivity
To understand how mindfulness in motion boosts productivity, we first need to look at the techniques used in this concept and how they help to maintain our levels of mindfulness high throughout the day.
Here are some of the most common mindfulness in motion methods.
* Mindful eating – This is where you become aware of yourself as you have your food. During your mealtime, you put away anything like your smart devices that would distract you from fully concentrating on your food and then you aim to be mindful of the whole activity of eating. You pay attention to how you pick food from your plate using your spoon or fork and knife, how you get the food to your mouth, how you chew, and how you swallow.
* Mindful walking – This is where you aim to be aware of how you walk whenever you are traveling on foot. It helps to build the foundation of this practice through walking meditation first as it helps you master the essential aspects like your breath, thoughts, feelings, and environment that you should keep in mind as you walk for maximum benefits.
* Mindful listening and speaking – This is where you train yourself to be mindful when you are speaking to others. By learning to listen mindfully, you improve your chances of understanding what the other person is saying. Also, by speaking mindfully, you get to better approach how you express yourself or discuss various issues and thus improve your overall quality of communication skills.
* Resting awareness – This is a technique that involves being aware of yourself as you take a rest from an activity you were previously involved in like studying or working. Here, as you relax, you don’t aim to do anything physically other than rest. And while you are in that state, thoughts arise. You are supposed to be aware of them without pursuing any of them and you come to realize that they come and go on their own.
* Note-taking – This is where, as you run your day normally, you try to be mindful of your thoughts and feelings. When you notice a thought or feeling, you put a mental label on it by saying mentally, “That is a feeling” or “That is a thought”. With this, you get to keep awareness of your thoughts and feeling high.
Now, how do these techniques improve your level of productivity?
Well, first and foremost, mindfulness increases the density of the gray matter in the brain.
People who constantly seek to be mindful have been found to have a higher concentration of the gray matter in the brain especially in those regions that are responsible for perspective thinking, learning, memory processes, self-referential processing, and emotional regulation.
This means these areas are enhanced and helps with improving your overall studying or working experience.
Secondly, mindfulness reduces thought racing.
At any given point and time, we are always flooded with countless thoughts and our minds go from one thought to the other. Within a minute, we could have thoughts about how we are going to solve a problem facing us at work, how we are going to figure out if our crush likes us or even if our spouses are still in love with us, how we are going to get the money to take the kids to the upcoming event they are dying to attend and many more.
And the worst part of it all is that we don’t get to fully explore these thoughts. Mindfulness helps slow this constant mental chatter that prevents you from fully attending to your work and allows you to give all your attention to your work or learning and do a good job.
Thirdly, mindfulness boosts your sleep quality.
We all know that one of the ingredients of a high level of productivity is feeling fresh and energetic. And good sleep contributes to this feeling of freshness and high energy levels.
Mindfulness, through its ability to reduce mental chatter, can help us drift off to sleep easily and allow us to have a deep, restful sleep.
Practicing mindfulness is known to influence the alpha rhythm, which is a critical brain wave that lessens the distracting information in the brain, and this, in turn, gets you to have sharper focus and a high attention span.
Lastly, mindful listening and speaking allow you to become an effective listener and speaker which makes it possible to create cohesiveness with your colleagues or friends and readily achieve various milestones as a team.
How to Work With Mindfulness in Motion For More Productivity (Creating a Mindfulness Routine)
For you to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness, you have to work closely with mindfulness meditation and mindfulness in motion methods mentioned above.
The best way to approach it is to first begin with mindfulness meditation. This will lay a good foundation for you as far as getting a feel of what mindfulness feels like goes.
It will help you experience what being aware of yourself and your environment is like, which is quite eye-opening.
Mindfulness meditation can be done for 1 to 5 minutes by beginners and the length of the meditation sessions can be added as the meditator becomes more comfortable with the practice.
It is also good to use guided mindfulness meditation resources like meditation videos, audios, and apps, where you will be walked through your sessions by a qualified and experienced meditation teacher.
This helps to take off the hectic effort of having to learn how to meditate and still have a rewarding session. By letting a teacher or meditation expert help you with that, you will have the chance to focus entirely on the experience and you will have more fun and benefit that way.
After a couple of months using guided mindfulness meditation, you will have learned the gist of the practice and will be more able to do it by yourself.
From there, you can choose to either continue with the guided meditation or take a step forward and begin doing it on your own. It is all up to you.
It is also important to go for guided mindfulness meditation resources from credible sources. Make sure you do your due diligence on the place you get your resources. Ensure that the meditation expert is a well-known and respected teacher of mindfulness meditation.
As you get comfortable with mindfulness meditation, it is now time to incorporate the mindfulness in motion methods for a more interactive experience with mindfulness.
It is always advisable to take up one method at a time.
Begin with the method you feel is easy to work within your particular case based on your schedule and how you know yourself.
Most people go for mindful eating or mindful walking.
When you make the first one work in your life, you can then choose another one and add it to your mindfulness routine.
Soon enough you should take up all the methods with the aim of remaining mindful from the time you get out of bed to when you go back to it in the evening.
To achieve this means waking up, doing mindfulness meditation, taking a shower mindfully, mindfully eating your breakfast, and then getting to your day’s activities while working to remain mindful.
During your breaks, you can engage in resting awareness and as you speak with people around you, you employ mindful speaking and listening.
Tips For Better Results
To get even better results with mindfulness, there are a few things you should keep in mind. These are:
1. Be patient with the practice – When it comes to self-improvement, a bit of patience is required. You won’t become mindful in a day, or a week, or even a month. It takes time. You have to be patient and keep at the routine you have created for yourself so that you can get to a point where you not only begin to see results but also make them permanent in your life.
2. Be consistent – Consistency is the key to making mindfulness work. You build on the previous session every time and these effects build up and manifest in your life. Please motivate yourself to follow your routine every day if you can. Don’t do it once per month and expect to see tangible results soon. It is true that we are all differently busy based on our schedules but remember that you are doing all this so that you can make the most of your skills and work and become better in your overall life. Plus, you don’t need to do any extra work, you just need to use the routine to be more mindful as you do the things you normally do.
3. Be patient with yourself – It is worth knowing that there are days you will be all fired up and productive with your day and there are days you won’t even want to sit down for meditation or to implement the mindfulness in motion techniques. This is part of life and you have to embrace it. On the days you don’t feel like doing anything or when you have a lot going on in your life that you feel you just can’t spare time for mindfulness, remember the good days of super productivity, inspiration, and high energy levels and how they were for you. Just keep reminding yourself that they are going to come soon again and you just go ahead and struggle through things to keep doing what is needed of you.
4. Don’t forget your purpose – Sometimes, it is easy to get so caught up in completing your tasks that you forget why you are doing them in the first place. Time will come when you will feel like mindfulness is another regular task you want to get over with and tick off your to-do list. You will do it for the sake of completion and then feel happy you did it, but you will be losing in the grand scheme of things. When such a time comes, remember this before you go do it. You decided to do it for a good reason and if you put your mind and heart into it for the sake of the reason you started it for, it will pay off handsomely.
If you never forget these tips, you will be able to overcome any hurdles you will meet along the way and get to make fairly smooth progress until you begin enjoying the benefits.
In summary, mindfulness is a well-known practice that carries many benefits.
If you take your time to work with it by adding it to your daily routine and making an effort to remain mindful throughout the day using the mentioned mindfulness in motion techniques, you will see your life start to get better slowly by slowly.
Take action now and in a few months, you will be glad you got into mindfulness sooner.