Today is a big day at the Wishingwell Life Coaching Blog!
Not only did it win a spot in the 100 Top Personal Development Blogs for 2015 Award (which is kinda a big deal), I’m also introducing to you today my first ever guest poster.
And for me to bring her to you guys, you know she has to be good. (My standards are pretty high – did I tell you about my award?) Ok, seriously though, I want to introduce you to Lynn Louise Wonders.
She is a wellness and life redesign coach for women over 40, but that doesn’t mean you guys out there can skip this one! NO, this post is for everyone. Lynn is a licensed professional counselor, and she works on all levels – body, mind and spirit.
So if you’ve got some stress in your life – hello, everyone! you need to read this post.
In the hustle and bustle of the work day, it may surprise you to know that slowing down and taking time to do NOTHING can actually help you accomplish MORE.
As we run around doing ten things at once, we create more stress for ourselves. And stress works against efficiency and causes us to accomplish less.
Would you believe you can actually relieve stress by doing nothing?
In our pursuit to be more productive, we are actually creating the opposite effect.
Yet we continue to take more on. We gladly accept more responsibility, flattered someone thinks us competent. We add more and more balls to the juggling act of career.
Recent research studies have shown that the practice of observing predictable time off from working actually improves efficiency.
Other studies show that mindfulness can increase improve focus, productivity and creativity by enhancing our executive functioning skills.
Here are 5 simple ways to relive stress by bringing the practice of mindfulness into your daily work life so you can have less stress and accomplish more.
- Wash your Hands like a Zen Master
Since hand-washing is something we all do several times each day, take these times at the sink to build in some mindfulness training. Slow down, listen carefully for the sound of the water flowing from the faucet, feel the sensations, smell the scent of the soap… Bring your mind into full focus of the simple yet full experience of washing your hands and keep your complete attention on it for 30 seconds. Do the same as you mindfully dry your hands.
- Wait Patiently and Mindfully
Whether you are sitting in traffic during your morning commute, standing in the line at the coffee counter or waiting for your boss to show up in the board room, these are perfect opportunities to practice BEING. Forego the urge to check your email or scroll through Facebook. Instead sit or stand where you are and do absolutely nothing except notice the sensation of the air around you, the seat or floor beneath you, the scents, the sounds. Discipline your mind to stay fully present. Notice feelings of boredom, amusement or agitation and try to breathe and be still through those feelings.
- Take the Stairs…One at a Time
We all know foregoing the elevator and taking the stairs can be good for heart-health. It also can be good for mental-health and productivity. When you need to get a file up to another department or you are headed out for lunch break, take the stairs. But take them slowly. One at a time. Feel the weight of your body fully shift into one leg and foot on the step before placing the other foot on the next step. Notice the echo in the stairwell, the smell, the feeling in your body as you slowly climb. Feel your breath and your heartbeat. This act of mindfulness on a regular basis will increase focus and efficiency when you get to wherever you’re going.
- Take a Breathing Break
Instead of a coffee break, opt for a breathing break. Set your alarm every hour to take a break, close your office door, sit and do NOTHING but breathe and watch your breath for 3 minutes. Just 3 minutes at the top of every hour spent at your desk is like a reset button for your brain.
- Pack a Lunch
Ensure you are getting a phytonutrient-rich lunch by packing a salad full of dark leafy greens, brightly colored peppers and other veggies and a serving of wild-caught salmon instead of grabbing a greasy burger and fries. Plan ahead the evening before so you’ll have a healthy lunch ready to grab from the fridge as you head out the door.
- Hello Sunshine!
Make it a point to leave the building and get out into the fresh air. Look up at the sky and feel the sun on your face. Take some deep breaths. Maybe even slip off your heels and walk barefoot in the grass. Re-connect to nature.
- Bring Yoga into the Office
Organize an effort to bring in a registered yoga teacher to lead an office yoga class or a workshop on mindfulness meditation. It can help to have a seasoned expert lead you and your peers in having an actual experience of practicing mindfulness. I used to go into large law firms and accounting firms and lead chair-yoga and office-yoga classes to men and women in suits. The peace in those conference rooms at the end of our sessions was mind-blowing.
Doing Nothing = Mindfulness
Whether you start your practice of doing nothing through a corporate workshop, at a nearby yoga class, or just sitting at your desk, make a commitment to yourself to train your brain to press the pause button, slow down and just notice.
The more you practice, the more natural it will come and you will notice you are more patient and getting more accomplished with greater ease.
In a society of ongoing digital demands and internet everything, we must reclaim our minds, our bodies and our lives by choosing to be mindful through daily practice or else we WILL burn ourselves out.
The irony is, through practicing doing nothing we truly will see tasks completed with greater ease and we will have more white space in our lives to laugh and breathe easy.
Lynn Louise Wonders is a and wellness and life-redesign coach for women over 40 and a licensed professional counselor. She helps women reclaim their lives with rich and detailed plans that attend to the needs of body, mind and spirit. Lynn provides education and services in aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, personal counseling, relaxation therapies and holistic wellness and weight release. She offers a wide array of holistic services, programs and products through her online marketplace www.wonderswellness.com and live in-person at her brick-n-mortar location Wonders Wellness Center located in Marietta, Georgia, USA.