For many of us, life consists of a lot of rushing around, getting ready for work, grabbing a quick coffee on the way, a hectic shift, making a quick dinner, and falling into bed. Sound familiar? If so, mindfulness may help.
What is meditation anyway? It’s a common topic, but many people aren’t sure exactly what it means. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. That last part is important because many people think meditation requires shutting off their thoughts and feelings. They avoid meditation for that reason.
Is it possible to learn to meditate? Yes. It’s about learning how to pay attention to the breath as it goes in and out, and notice when the mind wanders from this task. The practice of returning to the breath builds the muscles of attention and mindfulness. Notice how it says “when the mind wanders”—because the mind will wander. It’s normal. It doesn’t mean you’re failing at mediation; it’s an opportunity to work on your meditation muscles.
Take a Moment
Practicing mindfulness doesn’t mean that you need to set aside large chunks of time to meditate. Meditation is one way to work on it, but mindfulness also means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment through a gentle, nurturing lens. Hint: it doesn’t involve criticizing yourself, being hard on yourself, or putting yourself down.
The ultimate goal is to help shift your thoughts away from your usual preoccupations, toward an appreciation of the moment and a broader perspective on life. When you’re experiencing something good, immerse yourself in it. If your tea tastes especially good today, savor it. If the sun is shining, the leaves are crunching under your feet, and the day feels nice, dive even deeper into the moment. Be mindful of it.
Make Time for Yourself
Taking a moment is great, but take it a step further. Put several moments together to make time for yourself. You don’t have to be mindful in a meditative way if it doesn’t work for you. Taking a bath or reading a book—and staying off social media during those times—helps you to clear your mind and relax. What works for you? Do that and immerse yourself in it.
Also, take some nothing time each day. Even if it’s just five minutes, sit for that five minutes and do…nothing. Bring your full awareness into the present moment. It may feel different at first but do it every day. Over time, you’ll begin to look forward to those five minutes. You may even add a minute or two occasionally because you’ll realize how vital that time is to you. It allows you to reset and recharge in a peaceful, soothing way.
Is Mindfulness for You?
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. Mindfulness can make a big difference each day and in life overall. Are you thinking about your next assignment? We want to help; give us a call at 310.436.3650.