Wherever you are... Just be
What is mindfulness? And how it helps to create awareness in a constantly changing reality?
Over the past few years, we have been living through very unstable times that are the cause of lot of uncertainty and anxiety. We are increasingly experiencing stress, both emotionally and physically. Consequently, it detrimentally affects our efficiency, drive, and mental health.
So, a very important question arises: how to deal with stress and manage or time and energy in a healthy way?
Nowadays, thanks to common awareness of the everyday challenges, we have access to a wide range of tools and techniques that help us take care of our well-being. Not only can we find them on the market, but they are also offered to us by our employers who benefit greatly from our well-being. Therefore, most organizations provide us with psychological support, stress management workshops, yoga, and many other alternatives. But it that enough? Are these solutions the correct answer to the problems we are facing?
Taking into consideration the measures we can take individually or through organizational initiatives, my answer would have to be yes. We are trying. We are putting a lot of effort to take care of well-being of all. We are constantly taking steps towards our goal to meet the needs of our employees individually. Any action that addresses the improvement our overall well-being is good and helpful. However, it is important to stop for a moment and observe. Especially, when there are resolutions to our difficulties that we can find by our own. In the past I was searching for these solutions as well after years of struggling with difficult emotions and long-lasting stress. Eventually, I managed to “stop the time” – this moment led me to the ancient Buddhist practice that can be of great use for the modern world. The first contact I had with the topic although very random turned out to be the reason I learnt how to achieve emotional balance, reduce stress, and react to difficult situation with higher awareness.
Why is it important to put this into practice? So called VUCA world is a world that is constantly changing, a world that is a part of our realty whether we like it or not. Both in our personal lives and in the context of work life, the universe will force changes that we will not always agree to or changes that we will have a hard time accepting. Therefore, one technique that can help us going through motions of life is mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a state in which we are extremely aware of our thoughts and surroundings but at the same time not attaching ourselves to them. Through long practice, mindfulness allows us to think rationally in stressful situations, put some distance between ourselves and intrusive thoughts. Consequently, it allows us to experience difficult emotions without overexperiencing and overanalyzing them. To put it simply mindfulness helps us to manage our emotions. Regular practice improves our concentration, supports our immune system, helps us to relax but most importantly it brings us back to reality.
How can this be achieved? Mindfulness is learned; it is a skill that can be trained. Unfortunately, mindfulness training is like every other training - if you don't exercise regularly, you lose your progress. The first step to success is a sincere declaration of willingness to learn. In the beginning it’s best to start by consuming small portions of research combined with meditation, mixing the technical aspects of mindfulness with technical ones. Then, gradually adding more steps to your practice, such as: body scan, conscious breathing and movement, paired with conscious eating and overall awareness.
Mindfulness makes us feel present here and now improving our efficiency. Thanks to awareness to another human being, people are less prone to seek conflicts with others. They understand the importance of communication and being in tune with themselves which helps them to set one rhythm and direction.
Mindfulness isn’t anything mythical or enigmatic. It is a logical and accessible technique that leads to positive life changes. Mindfulness helps us to realize we are here with ourselves and for ourselves but at the same time being there for others striving to be the best version of ourselves. And that definitely helps to face the constantly changing world that we live in.
The article was created in cooperation with OLYMPUS Business Services which partnered in the World Values Day celebrations.