Life can often feel like a race. Some of us treat it like a sprint. Others see it as a marathon. Either way, there’s competition, pressure, and a finish line. This viewpoint can alter our work and life balance. Juggling our job and personal life gets trickier by the day. When these elements are out of balance, it can create situations like:
Poor physical and emotional health
Important relationships being neglected
Decreased performance of work/home tasks
An overall sense of life passing us by
What is mindfulness and can it help?
Mindful does not mean “full mind.” On the contrary, it’s a path towards emptying your mind of chatter. Mindfulness is a practice that brings us into the present moment. We get to decide how we show up to experience our lives. Of course, our job makes demands on us. Being mindful teaches us to embrace acceptance. Bringing our awareness to the here and now helps us appreciate the moment. We value each moment with compassion.
3 Ways Mindfulness Can Help
1. Be where you are
You know the feeling. You’re working on a project but thinking about how your boss will respond. Perhaps you’re at your desk but you’ve got your phone out to check social media. How many of us spend “now” writing to-do lists for “later”? Practicing mindfulness reminds us to embrace where we are. Let’s face it, we can’t change the past. And the future is not here yet. What is here is you, in the present. How does it feel?
2. Prepare for tough moments
As we learn to enjoy the pleasant experiences, we train ourselves to deal with tougher moments. It’s easier to be mindful when things are going well. However, this practice can put us in a better mindset when challenges arise. We’re present in a productive way. We can recognize solutions and appreciate our abilities.
3. Gain perspective
The more we accept the present moment, the more we understand our needs. When we’re not distracted, our feelings are front and center. We can evaluate how our work life makes us feel. We can better grasp how our personal life impacts us. This is evident to our senses. It empowers us to truly evaluate work and life balance.
Mindfulness Can Improve Your Work and Life Balance
Obviously, the above list is just a taste of what mindfulness has to offer. But how does it translate to your work and life balance? Here are a few possibilities:
At work or at home, communication is key. On the job, you will find yourself moving a little more slowly when sending that email. Around the house, there will be fewer reflexive reactions. You are present and aware. The words and body language you choose reflect your values. Even if it’s urgent, you remain mindful and hence reap the rewards.
Embrace the moment and you will feel the moment. You’ll know when you’re tired or stiff. This will inspire more self-care, e.g. stretching, eating slowly, staying hydrated, taking breaks. It’s a beautiful cycle. More awareness leads to more self-care. Self-care brings out the best in you. The best version of you is more likely to stay in balance.
Being mindful puts you in a position to expand your creativity. In the moment, you can be flexible and open. Your ability to innovate and improvise improves. Whether you are at work or home, you will benefit greatly from this position.
A great way to learn more about living a mindful life is by working with a therapist who can guide you! Please contact our intake team at the Center for Mindful Psychotherapy: call us at (415) 766-0276; or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.