I recently interviewed an amazing psychologist in Miami, Carolina Raeburn, to discuss the principle of mindfulness and how it can help entrepreneurs and really anyone who wants to be more productive.
One of the great joys I have is working with psychologists like Carolina because they’re so full of valuable knowledge and they’re also very compassionate people. As business professionals and entrepreneurs, we spend so much of our time fine tuning our craft but we often neglect fine tuning our minds, which has a massive impact on our success day to day.
Carolina introduced me to this concept called mindfulness based stress reduction and it’s, it’s made a really big difference on how I approach each day. So I thought I’d share this concept of being present and 3 benefits of practicing mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the process of living in the present. Typically, things like anxiety and depression, these are time-based. They’re tense space. Meaning if you’re anxious, you’re thinking about what may go wrong. You’re already imagining the worst case scenarios. When you’re depressed or sad, you’re in the past. Your mind is in the past. It’s not in the present. It’s thinking about something that happens, an event that occurred, something someone did to you. Like it’s all about the past. Depression is in the past. Anxiety is in the future.
You don’t necessarily have to have a formal mindfulness practice to be in present. A lot of people saying that mindfulness means that you have to sit down, you know, and have this like 45 minute meditation and that’s not necessarily so. Mindfulness is literally just bringing your mind back into the present moment to then be able to live in the present moment. If you choose to do a formal sitting meditation, you can. But you could also be mindful walking, doing a report, speaking with a client, anything that you do, absolutely any activity could be done with a mindful process.
How To Be Mindful
How is it that we actually practice mindfulness? The way that we become mindful is by catching ourselves, by catching our minds when they go deep into the future or deep into the past, we have to catch our minds and bring them back.
To catch our minds from wandering off, we can take cues from our body.
- Start noticing when your jaw is tense.
- Pay attention to your body, pay attention to your breathing.
- Are you holding your breath?
- Are you breathing shallow?
- What’s, what’s going on within your body?
All these different cues are going to help you realize when you’re feeling stressed. Some people when they’re stressing, quench their fists. So just pay attention to what’s going on in the moment we are in now and then that’s going to help you catch yourself. Once you catch yourself, there’s actually a really effective mindfulness exercise called stop, S.T.O.P.
What is the S.T.O.P. Approach in Mindfulness?
S.T.O.P. is an acronym that’s widely used in mindfulness practice. By reminding yourself to stop during your day. When you feel feelings of sadness or anything negative you stop. If you become more aware of your thoughts and your environment, it can make a big difference. Let’s define S.T.O.P.
S: Stop right stuff what you’re doing. You take that step back
T: Take a breath, a very deep and slow breath and bring yourself back to the present. Realize that you’re neither here nor there needs to be actually in the present moments.
O: Observe what is happening internally and externally without attachments and without judgement.
P: Proceed with awareness and insights.
Now that we’ve defined what mindfulness is and how to implement it, let’s discuss 3 benefits that mindfulness brings.
Benefit 1: We Can Lower Feelings of Anxiety and Depression
Now when we bring ourselves to the present, we are neither here in the future where all these things may or may not happen. And we’re not in the past where it’s already gone and there’s nothing we can do about it except to move on. So being in the present helps you just focus on what’s going on right now without getting stuck in the past or stuck in the future.
Um, so the final question is, you know, how can we, what are the benefits of applying this, this being in the present, this mindfulness, uh, during a situation like we are in during the coronavirus.
Benefit 2: We Can Be More Productive
Mindfulness can help you be more productive at work or in other activities. When you’re in the present moment, it helps you just focus on what you’re currently doing and you don’t have to worry about that call tomorrow at three o’clock. It’s about just right now through finishing that current task.
Benefit 3: Lower Feelings of Uncertainty Even in Times Like COVID-19
Right now with the Coronavirus, there’s so much uncertainty that has come into our lives. COVID-19 has brought a lot of concerns not only with our health, but also also with financial matters, and many other things.
With all of the uncertainty happening in our world, this sometimes makes our minds go to the future. You may ask questions like “What’s going to happen if my mother gets sick or my child gets sick or my husband, my wife, et cetera, my partner. Uncertainty takes your mind to the future and pain caused can take your mind to the past.
Being in the present moment specifically now during the time of the Corona virus helps all these feelings that come up. It helps us process our feelings in a way that we can handle and it can help you be in the moment where you won’t be experiencing an overwhelming level of stress or nor overwhelming level of anxiety or an overwhelming level of sadness. Being in the present is going to help you focus on what you need to do now to then be able to do everything that you need to do tomorrow in a better.
Final Thoughts on Mindfulness
Mindfulness can be an extremely beneficial practice for each of us daily. Personally, I’ve experienced less stress, less anxiety, higher focus, higher productivity, and even higher levels of happiness when I bring my mind to the present.
I’d like to thank Miami licensed psychologist Carolina Raeburn for taking the time to share her expertise on 3 benefits of mindfulness.
My name is Anthony Bart, I’m the owner of BartX Digital. We help medical professionals like dentists, doctors, and psychologists grow their practices. Here are our best psychologist marketing strategies and our guide to build an online therapy practice. If you or your private practice need any guidance, I’d be more than happy to connect with you here!