Top 4 Mindful Ways to Improve Your Mental Wellbeing for a Productive Lifestyle

Woman at desk with computer

Most of us are spinning a lot of plates every day. We’ve got several balls up in the air and we’re doing our best to keep them from crashing down on our heads. But the problem with juggling too many things at once is that the juggler often forgets to take care of himself.

Often, you’re thinking about the next task that needs to be completed with little thought of what you’re doing right now. Your day becomes a hectic series of jumping from one task or meeting to the next, but never really completing or fully focusing on any one thing. Never really being in the moment.

Take a step back and think about your average day. Is it really the way you want to live your life? Do you enjoy rushing from task to task instead of giving each task your full attention? Probably not. In fact, when you look back, you probably regret how quickly life flies by.

The habit of being “always-on” is tough on your mental wellbeing and your productivity. Whether you’re a busy mum trying to keep up with work, home, and kids, an entrepreneur, or a student, anxiety and stress can sneak up on you and sabotage your mental health.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. You can change all of this with something called mindful productivity. And it doesn’t take any extra time! It’s all about slowing down, creating moments of calm in your day, and taking a more balanced approach to your to-do list. Here’s how it works!

What is mindful productivity?

According to integrative wellness experts, anxiety and overwork are just a part of life for many. When we don’t get as much done as we think we should, we feel guilty and anxious. So, what do we do to ease that stress and anxiety? Work harder, work longer, and become even more stressed and anxious.

That’s why placing too much focus on being productive can often have the exact opposite result. And that’s where mindful productivity comes in. It’s about being in the present moment and taking control of your mental and physical stress, all while getting more work done.

Think of it as a portable state of mind that you bring with you throughout the day. It helps you bring non-judgmental attention to what’s going on with your mind and body, as you get the work done. Mindful productivity is based on the core principles of self-love and self-care.

4 Mindful Ways to Improve Your Mental Wellbeing for a Productive Lifestyle

Mindful productivity isn’t as simple as minimizing distractions in your workspace, but it’s not difficult either. While you can’t change your mindset overnight, with consistent effort, the following strategies will improve your mental wellbeing while boosting your productivity at the same time.

1. Learn to be present.

Learning to be present is the core of mindfulness and it’s more difficult to achieve than you might think. You have to make a conscious effort to bring yourself back into the present moment whenever you notice your mind is somewhere else. There’s nothing to gain by dwelling on the past or obsessing about the future.

Learn to use your body’s sensations as a way to anchor your thoughts in the present. For example, when you’re typing, think about the feeling of your fingers moving across the keyboard and pay attention to each stroke.

Or try placing something symbolic in your workspace that reminds you to be present, such as a quote, photo, or the wallpaper on your desktop. Find something that works for you. The how isn’t important, bringing your attention to the present is what matters.

2. Create a space that helps you centre.

With the new work-from-home culture kicking in for many, it’s easy to get into the habit of working wherever. Some days it’s the couch, sometimes the bed, other days, you set up your laptop at the kitchen table. 

Not only is this bad for your posture, but it also often takes away from your state of mind and focus. These environments simply aren’t conducive to productivity or mindfulness. Creating a designated workspace will help you focus, even if it’s just a corner of a room with minimal distractions.

Whether you work from home or in an office, create a workspace that puts you in a positive state of mind and promotes productivity. Your workspace should be the only place you work, and over time, your mind will become primed to work whenever you sit there.

If it helps, use headphones to block out background noise and play music that enhances your mood and wellbeing. Do whatever helps you get mentally and physically focused and ready to be productive. It could be as simple as organizing your office supplies, lighting a candle, adding some plants, or hanging photos of loved ones.

3. Take mindful breaks.

Taking regular breaks throughout your workday is an essential part of mindfulness and self-care. If it helps, schedule an alarm on your phone every two hours. Breath, walk, or simply sit back and relax for five minutes. Checking your social media or email does not count!

4. Be intentional about slowing down.

Making a conscious effort to slow down can do wonders for your productivity and state of mind. Something as simple as taking a longer, slower route to the office can make your commute more pleasurable. Roll down the windows, enjoy the fresh air, and put on some music that makes you happy.

This makes so much more sense than rushing from one thing to the next. You can apply this strategy to anything from eating to grocery shopping, doing housework, or folding the laundry. Focus on feeling the sensations of whatever you’re doing and look for ways to slow down and make it more pleasurable.

And finally… set clear boundaries.

If you currently lead a hectic, constantly-on-the-go lifestyle, there’s a good chance you haven’t established any boundaries. You carry your work with you everywhere… There’s no work-life balance. It’s time to learn how to set boundaries, not just with others, but also with yourself!

Love yourself enough to take breaks when you need them and be confident enough to ask for them if that’s what it takes. In the long run, you’ll improve your mental wellbeing and your productivity.

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