It’s but a few weeks into the term and for many already the holiday seems a distant memory. From the mindfulness camp, we bring you six great ways to effortlessly find more peace of mind and sense of fulfilment.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is a philosophy and set of principles that enables you to ‘live in the moment’ as a means of helping to deal with life’s day to day challenges. Mindfulness also promotes the value of meditation, stillness of mind and the need for compassion – both in your dealings with others and in how you relate to yourself.
There is growing interest, among education professionals and in other sectors, in the benefits that mindfulness can bring to our professional and personal lives. Here are six ways to help you embrace mindfulness this year.
1. Be more realistic about what you can achieve this year – there’s no use putting extra pressure on yourself by having over-ambitious goals. Even small steps forward are steps in the right direction. Create quiet moments each day to sit be very “present” with the emotions and thoughts that arise from unrealistic expectations. Research shows that a peace of mind develops when regularly practised, even in the face of excessive demands at work.
2. Remind yourself that it’s okay to say ‘no’ or negotiate things at work, and at home that are not genuine priorities – it’s actually a huge strength to feel comfortable saying no, or “ I can do this however, the consequence will be..”. being aware of your in-built emotional responses to fear and worry about standing up for your needs is a great way to dissipate such feelings and grow your confidence in this area
3. Find time to review your achievements at least once every month and congratulate yourself for what you have managed to do. It’s so easy to focus on what you haven’t done, but mindfulness encourages us to focus on the here and now and the positive changes we’ve managed to make. Even that voice that says to you…. “when do I have time to do that” is part of the problem. Paying attention to that voice without judging it will also help you achieve greater peace of mind.
4. Build ‘mental stillness time’ into your working day – in whatever form works best for you. Mindfulness does not require meditation! It’s not necessary to get the yoga mat out in your classroom or office; you can carry out mindfulness focus lasting only a few seconds or minutes when the opportunity arises. Many mindfulness practitioners take a few seconds to “check-in” with themselves at the back of the class during a test, walking between classes, in the staff room, as they pull up to school and take the keys from their car ignition, on the walk to the bus stop, or even on those rare “on-the-loo” moments. You can also benefit from the appreciative focus of the details of the cityscape or landscape around you, or by picking out an object for closer attention and noticing its beauty (e.g. a flower, bird or interesting building).
5. Try to show a little more compassion to your co-workers during the year. Most people carry around a hidden burden of past negative experiences and daily stresses and strains that can make them act irrationally. Try to ‘meet them new’ this year, as well as trying to rid yourself of any personal grudges you might hold; they are probably more damaging to you than they are to the person you have the grudge with.
6. Be kinder to yourself during 2015 by showing higher levels of self-compassion. If you fail to meet a target try to accept that you are human and nobody meets their goals 100% of the time. Don’t be too hard on yourself and instead regroup and have another go – then pat yourself on the back for keeping at it. Look beyond the status measures of success that our culture holds up as important, and notice your success in diverse ways.
Above all, have a great 2015 and try to practise mindfulness throughout the coming year!
Want to build more resilience? Learn Mindfulness and Self-hypnosis Course. Date 7th March 2015. A whole day’s training for only £83 + vat. Led by Will Thomas. Email us for information now: firstname.lastname@example.org