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Living for the Now

By Vitality Clinician Jamie Monk
Life is available only in the here and the now. Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, and utilise that energy to help us recognise the conditions of happiness that already exist in our lives.

In our hectic modern day lives engulfed by home and workplace pressures, we can be forgetful. The opposite of forgetfulness is mindfulness.
Mindfulness derives from ancient Buddhism and has existed for centuries, yet lately it has become so popular that large city firms, military officers, lawyers, schools, and many other organisations are teaching this technique of meditation. Among its many benefits, mindfulness has been scientifically proven to bolster our immune system, improve concentration and reduce ruminative thinking that contributes to high levels of stress.

With Vitality’s Britain’s Healthiest Workplace research indicating that 54% of employees suffer from at least one form of work-related stress, mindfulness can be utilised as an incredibly powerful tool to help us understand, tolerate, and deal with our emotions in healthy ways.

While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practise on a daily basis. Here are three simple ways in which you can tune into mindfulness throughout the working day.
  1. Listen Actively
    Mindfulness is not exclusively about our own attitude and actions, the way we interact with others is also fundamental. Practice giving your whole attention and listening to what your colleagues are saying without judging. In a professional environment, advice is frequently offered, however, merely being a comforting presence can allow the truth to unfold naturally. Trust that you will intuitively know the right thing to say.
  2. Scan the Body
    A body scan entails a deep investigation into the moment-to-moment feelings and sensations within the body. This method of meditation can be achieved in as little as ten minutes in a quiet area of the office and involves systematically bringing attention to the tensions in your body, focusing on them, and then releasing them, either by movement or simple the focus of your mind. The pain may not abate; just observe it with a non-judgemental mind. The body has its own wisdom, by listening to it, you may be able to identify where physical tension, thoughts, and emotions lie.
  3. Positivity and Gratitude
    At the end of your day, take time to reflect on and recollect all the joyous moments. Appreciate the interactions you had with friends, family members, work colleagues and be thankful to be able to experience the things you have. Do not focus on negativity and stress, this will only intensify the problem. The way we perceive situations can determine whether or not it is a positive or negative. Perhaps adverse situations are just a test for our success?