What is stopping you from practicing mindfulness?

Mindfulness: definition, benefits, exercises

Enjoyment in the job is above all a question of attitude and Mindfulness. All too often, modern office work leads to a lack of concentration, distraction, stress and physical tension. Mindfulness mindfulness) is a tried and tested antidote. However, this does not mean that you pay attention to what you do, but rather what you do just to pretend. So there is no esoteric Taichi Bumbeidschi behind this, but rather a method, a special perceptual and State of consciousness that can also be easily integrated into everyday work ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Definition: what is mindfulness?

What is mindfulness anyway? Good question! Originally, the term is an old Buddhist concept. Scientists today also define this as the intense attention we pay to the present - in a way that is as open as it is accepting.

Mindfulness is conscious awareness and that Experience the current moment. And with everything that goes with it: thoughts, emotions, sensory impressions, physical processes and everything - simply everything that happens around you and falls within your perception. An important aspect: There is no evaluation in mindful experience. They only perceive without categorizing, classifying or evaluating according to good and bad.

For many that sounds like esotericism at first, but it does non-judgmental observation and acceptance of the present is actually a state of consciousness that you can learn and use. Mindfulness can increase self-confidence, as you not only get to know the environment, but also yourself, your own thoughts and feelings better.

Pros: This is how you benefit from mindfulness

Greater self-confidence and knowledge of your own strengths and weaknesses is by no means the only effect of being more mindful. Numerous scientists around the world have already dealt with the topic and have come to different conclusions. The scientific recognition is partly reflected in the fact that mindfulness exercises are used to support the treatment of patients with depression or personality disorders.

Especially Relapses into depressive phases should be preventable through mindfulness rather than relying solely on medication. What is still missing, however, are meaningful studies and results from long-term research that provide more precise information about the effects.

Other Effects and benefits of mindfulness, on the other hand, are already proven and known:

  • Better mental health

    Researchers at the University of Giessen came to the conclusion: Mindfulness makes people significantly more psychologically stable and healthier. A particularly important effect nowadays, when psychological problems are occurring more and more frequently.

  • Greater resistance to stress

    You can cope better with stress and strain if you are more mindful about the triggers. It often turns out that everything is only half as bad and problems have been exaggerated. At the same time, mindfulness can help to find solutions and reduce stress that arises anyway.

  • More concentration and openness

    An Australian study by Belinda Ivanovski and Gin Malhi showed that overall mindfulness training can lead to more sensitivity, concentration and openness. For interpersonal relationships, empathy and dealing with more sensitivity are particularly important.

  • Less worry

    Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness doesn't make you brood. But on the contrary! They worry less; instead, mindfulness leads to greater gratitude in many people. You recognize what you have already achieved, what you can be proud of and what you should be happy about.

  • More positive thoughts

    You develop more positive thoughts and an optimistic attitude. If negative thoughts spread out, they will be reflected, processed and used for something positive through mindfulness. You learn from it, take away important insights and become more optimistic about the future.

  • More patience

    Mindfulness also makes you more patient - with yourself and with others. Nowadays everything has to get faster and faster. Nobody seems to have even a minute when the traffic light turns red, the cursing and honking starts and at the checkout you could freak out if it doesn't go fast enough. The conscious deceleration through mindfulness leads to more patience and more discipline.

Sayings and quotes about mindfulness

  • Because that is precisely the quality of true attention, that at the moment it turns nothing into everything.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • The happiness in life depends on the nature of your thoughts.Marc Aurel
  • Pay attention to your thoughts. They are the beginning of your deeds.Buddha
  • You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.Jon Kabat Zinn
  • If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we are missing out on everything.Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Happiness often arises from paying attention to small things, unhappiness often from neglecting small things.Wilhelm Busch
  • Always remember that there is only one important time: today. Here. Now.Leo Tolstoy
  • I live here and now. I am the result of everything that has happened or will happen, but I live here and now.Paulo Coelho

Why is mindfulness so popular?

Mindfulness is apparently on everyone's lips these days. One encounters the topic everywhere. Coaches, seminars, workshops, numerous books and now even apps for smartphones deal with mindfulness in all situations, provide explanations, tips and various exercises.

But why and actually where does the big hype come from? On the one hand, this certainly speaks for the benefits many people can derive from mindfulness. In short: popularity is a sign of quality.

In addition, current developments and the State of society a role. Sounds far-fetched, but it is a simple connection: Time seems to fly by. One day is the same as another. Get up, work, after work, sleep. There are no real peculiarities, instead endless routine. Then there is the endless competition. Everyone has to be faster, stronger and better than the other and if you can't do that, you won't meet expectations.

Mindfulness can be used as a kind Counter-concept to this constant race be seen. Finally the focus is no longer on the pace, but on the calm. Not on that anymore What is tomorrow?but on the here and now. It is precisely this slowing down that many seem to seek, which in combination with the relatively simple application and the great benefit leads to the great popularity and growing attention of mindfulness.

Mindfulness: Tips for the whole day

Don't worry: Um To practice mindfulness, you don't have to change your entire daily routine, learn complicated techniques, or justify yourself to others. Mindfulness always remains invisible and is easy to learn and implement in everyday life.

  • After getting up

    You can use the first few minutes after the alarm clock has rang as an exercise for more mindfulness. Do not get up straight away, take a few minutes to take in all the impressions and concentrate on your breathing.

  • At breakfast

    Instead of making yourself a coffee or tea as you normally would, spreading bread and thinking about the coming day and its strenuous tasks, you perceive the meal consciously: the heat of the coffee, its invigorating smell, the crispness of the bread roll Slicing, enjoying the first bite, the consistency of the cold cuts ... The only important thing is that you concentrate on the here and now, to consciously experience the moment and not to drift away.

  • When commuting

    Whether by car or train - the daily trip to the office or home in the evening also offers a good opportunity to train mindfulness: watch people in the train or at the wheel, watch out for uneven ground, feel the road, listen The noise of the wind, feel your seat, smell the smells of the passengers (even the unpleasant ones) ... But only see, hear, feel, smell, do not evaluate! In this way you sharpen your senses and discover new things at the same time.

  • In the office

    If there is a bit of idle time, allow yourself a three-minute break and look around consciously: the workplace, the desk, the plants in the office - pay attention to small details and take your time to look at them individually, preferably even still to be touched, palpated and felt. Follow only spontaneous impulses: Whatever comes before your senses, give it your full attention. The main thing is that you let go of everything else (in the job) at that moment.

  • In the evening

    Another great opportunity to learn more mindfulness is before bed. Make yourself comfortable and reflect on what is on your mind. Are they things that happened during the day or are your thoughts and feelings already directed towards the future? If you listen to yourself in this way, you can learn a lot about your priorities and focus on what is really important to you.

Mindfulness especially when eating

When it comes to eating, the subject of mindfulness quickly becomes a minor matter. There is not much thought about what ends up on the plate. Even with the actual ingestion of food Eating is often a minor matter. Either there is just a quick snack on the hand, while eating the television is on and gets full attention or at the table the smartphone plays the main role - and people eat while lost in thought is scrolling across the network and reading.

Eating becomes a duty, after all, the body needs food in order to function. Mindfulness can lead to a whole new enjoyment, especially when eating. Instead of carelessly shoveling what's on the fork, you should taking the time to be more careful with your food. What do you smell and taste? Which aroma do you perceive the most, which taste do you like best?

You do not have to fundamentally change or change your diet for this. It is enough to eat what you already know and therefore pay less and less attention to, to see with different eyes and to rediscover for yourself.

This also has the advantage that you Eat more slowly and consciously - through which you can learn to eat less and also more healthily.

Simple exercises for more mindfulness

The above mindfulness exercises can be spread over the day, but there are many more other methods and exercises that you can use to become more mindful and focus entirely on yourself, your feelings, thoughts and your surroundings.

The important thing is: You don't have to try every exercise right away or just pay attention to mindfulness from morning to evening. You better find out what works for you, which mindfulness exercises will help you to withdraw a little and to become more conscious in your perception. It's not the amount that makes it, but the individual benefit for you personally.

The following List of mindfulness exercises is therefore not a checklist that you absolutely have to work through, but rather a source of inspiration from which you can choose different things that work for you. The main thing is to use your senses consciously instead of always doing everything unconsciously and on the side.

  • Feel the surfaces

    The human sense of touch is strong and is used every day. We touch something constantly and everywhere, touch a wide variety of things, pick up objects, put them down again or touch different surfaces. However, we hardly notice any of this. Try to change this and to really feel things consciously and to act in the truest sense of the wordto grab.

    Take what you can find to hand - you will already have more than enough in your home different shapes or surfaces to be able to choose. Close your eyes and really focus on what you can feel and sense. Rough or smooth, corners, edges, materials and shapes.

  • Concentrated listening

    Most people only know loud, shrill and crashing. There is only quiet at night when people are sleeping. Otherwise the noise starts early and ends late. TV, radio, telephone, cars ... The Sources of noise are innumerable and in the head everything mixes into a uniform pulp that is barely noticeable,
    because it has become a constant background noise that is faded out more and more.

    A popular mindfulness exercise is to perk up your ears and take in the many noises instead of ignoring them. Try to find out where the sounds that you have in your ear are coming from. How are you different? What is it about? Also, specifically ensure silence, close all windows and ensure an absolutely noiseless environment. What do you hear now?

  • Conscious breathing

    Many thousands of breaths a day, but this process is completely unconscious. On the one hand this is good and important, after all, breathing ensures our survival, on the other hand you could train more mindfulness if you concentrate on your breath and become aware of yourself Oxygen in your lungs to fill.

    Breathe in slowly and as deeply as possible through your nose. Imagine the air flowing through your nose into your lungs and try to feel how the oxygen is distributed throughout your body. Take care of how your Your chest and stomach rise as you inhale and lower it again as you exhale.

  • Targeted reflection

    How often do you take the time to really think about what you're doing or have been doing all day? Probably far too seldom, because most people do hardly waste a thought on it. But for more mindfulness this is an important exercise in which you learn to focus on the moment.

    Stop what you are doing and be aware of the situation. What exactly are you doing? What is happening around you right now? Especially in the job we develop tunnel vision and hardly notice anything. Pull yourself out of the bubble you created yourself and expand your field of vision.

  • To run barefoot

    Sometimes it can be the little things that make you more mindful: Take off your shoes and socks and just walk around barefoot again. You can do this at home, but of course also outside on a meadow in the park. Feel the subsurface, its texture, surface, temperature. This exercise works best when you choose different surfaces to walk barefoot on.

  • Pay attention to the unpleasant

    Man has a very fine instinct for all the things that he doesn't like or finds uncomfortable. This feeling is mainly used to hide exactly these things or to keep them away as much as possible. Unpleasant rumors, far too bright color combinations, high-pitched noises that irritate the eardrum. We try to avoid all of these things as best we can - and if that doesn't work, they are at least ignored and paid as little attention as possible.

    Difficult but effective mindfulness practice: take all of these aware of unpleasant things true. Instead of focusing your attention on something else, listen carefully to screeching noises or music you can't stand. In this way, you can learn to control your attention and become more mindful overall.

  • Just doing nothing

    It doesn't always have to be an exercise or a special trick to help you become more mindful. Nice pure doing nothing can help you and sharpen your senses for the moment. Just make yourself comfortable, just focus on your breathing and what's going on around you. Eliminate possible distractions or sources of interference and just do nothing for a few minutes.

    This comes one Meditation very closewhich can also be a good mindfulness practice. Where you indulge in doing nothing is up to you. You can lie down in bed or on the couch at home, but also sit comfortably in the grass on a blanket or take a break from a walk in the woods.

These are - as I said - only Exercises. At first they seem quite unusual and maybe esoteric to most of them.But that subsides. And much more important: you will learn to find a way out of the Hamster wheel to find that you can use again at any time.

Instead of being rushed by your job and everyday life, take yourself with this kind Moment meditation out of the equation, perceive yourself and the moment more consciously and recharge your batteries. Also, don't try to make hasty judgment about mindfulness. Before you decide whether it will work for you, at least try and give yourself a few weeks to do it - this is the only way you can find out whether you too should incorporate more mindfulness into your everyday life.

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17th December 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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