2020 was a year full of surprises and stress, and this new year will be no different. With all that’s going on, it’s more important than ever to be mindful—be more present, celebrate the small wins, and relax whenever possible. But why is being mindful so important?
- Mindfulness helps us deal with distractions and negative thoughts in a healthier way. It allows us to remain grounded in the present and better focus on what’s right in front of us, rather than worrying about future problems or regretting past mistakes.
- Mindfulness brings clarity of thought. By focusing on the present, we stop overthinking situations, allowing us to better think through solutions to current roadblocks.
Now that we know why mindfulness is so important, how do we practice it?
Slow Down: Being mindful and slowing down your thoughts go hand-in-hand. We often fret over future issues, stopping us from thinking clearly about the present. When faced with uncertainty, slowing down for a few minutes is a good idea. Take a few deep breaths to recenter yourself and your thoughts. Recognizing and validating these emotions can be especially helpful in times like these.
Set Goals: Set short- and long-term goals to stay focused. By taking the time to plan out your daily tasks or jotting down what milestones you hope to achieve in your life, you are reducing uncertainty. This can help you move away from questions like “What if I don’t achieve anything?” or “Why am I doing all of this?”. Taking more intentional actions can allow you to clear your headspace and be more present.
Reduce Mindless Tasks: In between meetings (or elsewhere), we might find ourselves mindlessly staring at a screen. Scrolling through social media or emails is far from relaxing; these distractions can be a source of anxiety. To reduce doom-scrolling, try turning off notifications for certain apps, or setting your Opal session’s protection to Deep Focus during times when you need to be fully present.
To decide how to best stay mindful, reflect on your life’s biggest distractors. Practice mindfulness with Opal by blocking out times to be fully present, setting intentions, and getting motivated by others taking back control of their devices.